Meet Shelby Mathews

Shelby brings design concepts to life. She helps our clients make impact not only with her graphic design talent, but also organic designs, hand lettering and illustration. Meet Shelby Mathews.


At Fervor, Shelby is: a graphic designer.

What and where she studied: Shelby earned her degree in graphic design from Missouri State University, and she also completed coursework in fine arts and illustration. It’s a different style of education, Shelby explains, due in part to who she learned from. Many of her professors had come to America as refugees from the Bosnian genocide, bringing their wealth of professional experiences. Shelby says. “So I learned from famous graphic designers who taught in a concept-driven way.”

Before Fervor: Shelby held multiple internships while in college at a letterpress and a screen printing studio. After graduation, she was hired at Whiskey Design. “I was so fortunate to jump into a good job!” While there, Shelby had many responsibilities, from graphic design to account management and HR. But she was hungry for a more personal investment in her clients. Shelby transitioned into a part-time role with Hammerpress and part-time freelance. “I really loved the environment at Hammerpress, but I was excited about my freelance work the most,” she says, making the move to be independent earlier this year.

Digs Fervor because: “I think Fervor is one of the most thoughtfully run agencies in Kansas City,” Shelby says. “All of the Fervor clients are doing something good in the world and pursuing really meaningful work.”

Family: Shelby has been married to her husband, Michael, for just over two years. “It’s just the two of us in a tiny apartment . . . we’re milking this season of life!”

A community she loves: Shelby is part of multiple Bible studies through her church, Midtown Baptist Temple. She’s also part of a ladies book club that has been going strong for several years — but books are only the beginning. “Sometimes we read books, sometimes we do scripture studies, sometimes charitable things and even movie nights!”

Outside Fervor, you’ll find Shelby: At Thou Mayest, Sporting KC soccer games or Half Price Books. “Michael and I are there every Saturday morning,” she smiles.

Favorite reads: Although sci-fi is her favorite genre,“I’ll read anything and everything, really,” Shelby says. Two classics top her list — Pride and Prejudice and Lord of the Rings.

The travel bug: Shelby caught it early and she’s especially passionate about traveling abroad. She has visited seven countries and counting; so far, Kenya is her favorite. “For whatever reason, my personality jives really well with East Africans. I loved the culture and the scenery . . . most people are silly and outgoing, and they don’t put on a façade.” Next on Shelby’s travel calendar is Europe! She and Michael plan to visit Dublin, Prague and Manchester in 2016.

Faith-driven art: Some of Shelby’s journeys have been art-related mission trips. “I really love using art as an avenue for creating relationships,” she says. “In India, we were teaching the color wheel to kids who literally had never held a paintbrush before. You now have this credibility to share the Gospel with them.”

What drives Shelby up a wall: “If I never had to meal plan or grocery shop again, that would be amazing,” she says. “I think if someone else grocery shopped for me, I might enjoy cooking more.”

Favorite KC restaurant: Shelby’s go-to is Harry’s Country Club — “it’s cheap, they have a long happy hour and the patio is gorgeous.” And for special occasions, she loves dinner at Gram & Dun.

Favorite place for a cup of coffee: Again, a tie — between PT’s Coffee and Thou Mayest.

TV favorites: “The Walking Dead . . . My husband is so over it and I’m still wholly invested!” Also topping Shelby’s list is Lie To Me and Peaky Blinders; her all-time favorite is Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

Fervor wouldn’t be Fervor without . . . Shelby’s conceptual design thinking: “I love graphic design most when it’s part of a larger concept and strategy,” she says. She helps the team by threading visual elements into our overall work, unifying the brand by communicating with imagery.

Discover if we are the right partner for you Reach Out