Sweden Unlimited Is the Master of Making the ‘Ugly’ Internet ‘Beautiful’

Shop started designing websites for brands in 2001

(L. to r.) Leja Kress, CEO; Alex Kress, chief client officer; Richard Agerbeek, CCO Courtesy of Sweden Unlimited
Headshot of Lindsay Rittenhouse

It’s quite the family affair at the New York digital agency Sweden Unlimited. Established in 2001 by twin sisters Alex and Leja Kress (chief client officer and CEO, respectively) and Leja’s husband, CCO Richard Agerbeek, the shop started out designing websites for brands during the first internet boom to make the “ugly internet beautiful.”

At the time, the trio was playing in an electro-pop band called Sweden. “When we started our little agency, we didn’t really have a name, so we said, ‘We’re Sweden Unlimited, we’ll do everything and anything’ … we never changed it,” Leja Kress said.

To master “everything and anything,” they had to pick skills up on the fly, like coding. Early on, Sweden Unlimited fashioned websites for rising brands at the time, including designer Alexander Wang, eventually snagging projects for Kate Spade and Michael Kors. It’s grown new business organically ever since.

Today, Sweden Unlimited—with a primarily female staff of 20—offers services like brand strategy and video, social media and editorial content creation, along with design. Most of the shop’s work is clean and simple, but Leja Kress noted what’s unique about Sweden Unlimited is “we don’t try to insert ourselves into the final work … it should feel exactly like the brand we’re working with.”

This story first appeared in the July 9, 2018, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

@kitten_mouse lindsay.rittenhouse@adweek.com Lindsay Rittenhouse is a staff writer at Adweek, where she specializes in covering the world of agencies and their clients.