The Kudzu Brand Artists
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MURPHY FUNKHOUSER CAPPS is the CEO and chief brand strategist at Kudzu Brands. She is specialized in brand storytelling and brand strategy. Murphy has worked for two decades in corporate training, management, marketing and branding. She is a graduate of Leadership Asheville, Class 29, a member of the United Way Women’s Leadership Group and serves on the UNCA School of Business Advisory Board. She is also an accomplished performer, writer and speaker. Her original one-woman play won at the Colorado Theatre Festival and was nominated for a Denver Post Ovation Award. Murphy is a frequent speaker at UNCA, AB Tech and Blue Ridge Community College, guiding future entrepreneurs and small business owners. In her quiet time, Murphy can be found doing yoga (badly) or trying to read Mary Oliver without interruption. Coach or Consult with Murphy. Schedule here. Visit her personal website here. Murphy is also available for speaking engagements
HEATHER JOHNSON supports Kudzu Brands as Business and Operations Manager and Managing Partner. Local to the Western North Carolina area, Heather graduated East Tennessee State University with a Bachelor in Business Administration. For over two decades, her professional career has included everything from business management to human resources, graphic design to corporate strategic marketing plans. Experienced in B2B and B2C marketing, her experience is specifically in strategic business management and developing brand management plans. Heather’s focus is to assist with day-to-day operations and project management for the Kudzu team as well as offer guidance and strategic branding insight on specific projects.When she is not putting out fires (aka fanning the flames of creativity), Heather likes to spend time with her family and work on her parent’s farm.
ASHLEIGH ROGERS is a graduate of Western Carolina University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. She is a creative with an eye for good typography, layout and strong design elements. Ashleigh focuses on executing details that might otherwise go unnoticed. She enjoys design work because of the creative process and the ability to bring clients’ ideas to life. When she’s not beautifying brands, Ashleigh enjoys pampering her pitbull, leisurely summer nights with her husband in their camper by the lake, and living a healthy lifetsyle!
HANNAH TEO is a recent graduate of Montreat College, majoring in Communications and minoring in Business Administration. As a Communications Coordinator, Hannah is excited to help clients through their brand development process, as well as create beautiful copy to complement each project. Outside of Kudzu, Hannah enjoys discovering new restaurants, personal fitness, and traveling both locally and overseas.
LEAH MIDDLETON moved to Asheville from Seattle, Washington where she attended Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College to obtain her Associates in Applied Science, specializing in the Digital Media program. She began her professional career in 2015 as a freelance graphic designer and photographer before arriving at Kudzu Brands as a project manager. She has a particular interest in social media management, graphic design, copywriting, and photography. In her free time, you can find her and her husband enjoying a brew at a local brewery or booking their next trip.
LAUREN WRIGHT originally hails from Colorado. She graduated from the CU-Boulder with a BA in Humanities, focuses on English Literature and Gender Studies. She began her professional career in 2009 and has since grown to be a “wearer of many hats” within the digital marketing realm, with a particular interest in copywriting, editing, and social media marketing. In her free time, she likes to hunt for waterfalls, create fermented concoctions in her kitchen, and drink coffee.
ADAM GARNSEY is the production manager in the print shop. He makes sure your signs, banners, posters, business cards, and all your printed collateral matches your brand. He served in the Army for 6 years. After serving, he worked at Fedex as the lead production manager. When he’s not manifesting your brand in the print shop, he takes care of his two cats and loves to play video games. What you may not know he used to sing karaoke six days a week. Next time you’re in the shop, if you ask nice, he’ll belt out a tune for you.
NICK JONES is an Asheville, NC native with a formal background in digital media and the arts, ranging from fine art to graphic design. He carried over his passion of creativity and interactivity to a more expansive canvas, spending the last 3 years working on online branding and website design & development. In the “real world,” Nick relishes playing various musical instruments, exploring new places in and outside of the woods, snowboarding, and just spending time with good friends. Nick will be supporting our clients with website design, social media and SEO strategy!
SUSAN MORTON is from Tennessee but acquired a BFA in Graphic Design at Murray State University in Western Kentucky. Her experience is in the service industry but her education is in design. She enjoys many forms of art from simple sketching to welding large 3D sculptures. She is the proud mom of two adorable dogs and enjoys doing most anything she can do with them.
Shelley Pereda is a senior level designer who began her career working for old-school “Mad Men” style advertising agencies. In her first year, she won 3 regional advertising awards. Since then, Shelley has worked as a senior design manager for national advertising agencies, news publications, startup companies and boutique design firms. Some of her achievements include developing streaming interactive media for Artisan Pictures and the Sundance Film Festival, overseeing the web UI/UX design & development for a national news website and influencing the creative direction for five successful political campaigns. Being a perpetual learner, Shelley is also enrolled as a student at WCU earning a BSBA in Innovative Leadership & Entrepreneurship where she hopes to expand her knowledge of human technology interaction.