Meet The Makers

Brand Identity Specialist

De Ingles

My design focus is brand development + eco-friendly package design.


Building a brand means research, user behavior personas, brainstorming + yes, a logo. When a business approaches us in need of a visual identity, we work with them to plant a strong foundation first. This way, when the “brand” launches … the “voice” in messaging matches who they’re trying to attract as a customer.


In addition, I run my own Shopify store called SGS Merch + have experience managing inventory. This business allows us to give 10% back to our National Park Service.

Frontend Developer

John Ingles

The other (bearded) half of Smiley Graphix Studio, co-founder John is the technical mind behind SG Studio’s IT and services industry projects.


His resume includes hybrid app creation + maintenance for Illinois Prep Scores, Intellihot, and Kwikee. John can make things look pretty, too—he has keen digital + traditional illustration skills—but he mainly focuses on hybrid mobile/web app development.


John’s leisure activities transcend tech platforms to more organic activities: he’s a Walldog muralist and a self-described National Park adventurer, family man, and guitarist in-progress.

Backend Developer

Scott Leathers

Scott Leathers is an experienced, hands-on software developer involved in the architecture, design, and implementation of many software systems. He has been in the software industry for 20 plus years and has significant development and architecture experience.


He lives in Peoria, IL where he works with clients to help define technology roadmaps for critical initiatives in their organizations. Scott also helps clients define requirements, design user experience, and execute technical initiatives.


Scott enjoys spending time with his family going boating, biking, and anything outdoors.


Cassie Hart

A lifelong affinity for words has led Cassie to pursue her verbal passions, and today she helps businesses enhance their image and gain visibility by writing targeted marketing materials + telling their success stories.


In addition to a decade-long partnership with Smiley Graphix Studios, Cassie has created content for March of Dimes, Glencoe-McGraw Hill, Dynamic Graphics + Midwestern Family magazines, and a host of other businesses. Her specialties include case studies, blog posts, feature articles, + press releases.


Cassie spends her free time chauffeuring her kids around, weeding the family garden, and championing the Oxford comma. When you have a minute, she’d love for you to visit

Designer / Fabricator

Brennen Ingles

Brennen is an artist and entrepreneur. His work in art-related fields spans more than a decade.


As a self-taught artist, he has gained a broad knowledge base from trial by fire. Following his passions and curiosity, his endeavors include making jewelry, leather crafts, restoring all things analog, writing, and art. As a student, he is following his passion for storytelling and writing.


In 2019, he joined Smiley Graphix Studio as a constituting artist of the Merch Store where he collaborates with John + De. The studio is located in the Warehouse District, Peoria, IL.

SEO / Marketing Strategist

Francie Hinrichsen

Francie Hinrichsen is a marketing consultant based out of Morton, Illinois. She specializes in SEO and marketing strategy that gets ROI-focused results. She has an MBA, a bachelor’s in Communication, corporate experience, and five years’ experience running her own business, which she pulls from to guide entrepreneurs in making smart decisions for their businesses.


Francie is passionate about helping small businesses succeed because she grew up as the daughter of an entrepreneur and has a deep understanding of just how many ‘hats’ entrepreneurs must wear. Francie sits on the board of directors for Peoria Innovation Alliance, runs a monthly mastermind meeting for small businesses, and organizes a monthly local meetup for women business owners in the central Illinois area called Lipstick and Lattes.


In her free time, Francie enjoys jogging, hiking, and pouring into books at a local coffee shop.

Inventory Ninja


New to the crew… Addie is our right-hand woman. From fulfilling merch orders + updating our Shopify store to setting up photoshoots.


She brings an amazing work ethic + strong devotion to creativity to our studio.

UX/UI Designer

Stephen Erke

Stephen believes a user’s experience should be driven by purpose and described by beauty.


Complex ideas should be presented in such a way as to be easily understood. The approach should not be concerned with making something dead simple, but to give the user appropriate context and clues.


He loves art and design. His favorite artist is Anselm Kiefer and favorite designer is Dieter Rams.

Backend Developer

Nate Smith

Nate is a self-taught programmer who enjoys creating simple solutions to complex problems.


Technology is meant to make things easier but is often hampered by superfluous complexity. He developed Readable Report to bring clarity and simplicity to people and businesses swimming in an ocean of data.


Above all, he wants to build great products, work with great people, and cultivate a culture of transparency and discovery.