Mommy + Me Dresses: Q & A with Hickory Hills Clothing Co. Founder Kortney Craft-Leet

The upscale, modern fashion brand Hickory Hills Clothing Co. is specially created for mother and daughter styles and has a beautiful line to dress you and your mini-me in something special for every occasion. Beauty News NYC sat down with the one-of-kind designer Kortney Craft-Leet to hear more about her fabulous company.

What was your inspiration to start Hickory Hills Clothing Co. and what is the significance of the brand’s name?
It’s difficult to say that anything positive came from a global pandemic but if it wasn’t for COVID, I probably never would have started my business. I was working as a speech language pathologist and treating around 100 children a week. When the world shut down, I had no patients to see. Everything was put on hold and no one knew what was going to happen. I was home every day with my one-year-old daughter and she became my shadow. Watching my every move and imitating my every word. It was evident that she wanted to be just like me. My hope for her has always been that she would find her passion in life, take the risk and pursue it relentlessly. That she would never apologize for who she is and what she wants. I knew that the example started with me, and I had two very important eyes watching. So I took the leap, dove in head first to an uncharted territory and began teaching myself how to design. Hickory Hills is the name of the street that I grew up on in a small town in Kentucky. It’s where my love for fashion began and also where I had my favorite childhood memories so it felt like the perfect name for a fashion brand that is centered around motherhood and family. 

Can you give our readers some background on the type of apparel you make?
I make original dresses for girls and women with hopes that they inspire the wearers to pause, live in the moment, and make precious memories with the people who matter most… family. All of my dresses are designed by me and I am completely self-taught. I never took a design class and it wasn’t long ago that I couldn’t sketch or sew. I had absolutely no clue how to make a dress pattern or even source fabric. Everything seemed impossible at first but I was determined and within a few months I had my first dress sample. The armhole depth was wrong and the shoulder width was off but I had created something that I could actually fit on my body and adjust, based on the fit. From there, I learned that anything was possible.

Where do you see the future of Hickory Hills? Will you design other pieces of clothing or just dresses?
I hope to be able to offer more sizes. I believe all women are queens and deserve beautiful dresses that make them feel confident, so I hope to expand into plus sizes. I also have some things in the works for boy moms. I had a little boy five months ago so I know how hard it is to find cute matching clothes for boys. 

Anything else we should know?
My very first design was the Betty dress and the inspiration came from my grandmother’s wedding dress. A black and white picture of her and my grandfather on their wedding day in 1954 has sat on my mantle for years. I’ve stared at that picture for as long as I can remember. My beautiful grandmother, the leader of my family, looked so radiant in this timeless A-line, tea length dress. If you ask my grandmother, Betty, where she bought that dress? She can tell you the exact store on the exact day. She can recite every last detail about the fabric, the fit, the delicate little details. I’ve always felt that fashion is deeply tied to emotion and memory, I wanted to create something that women could make beautiful memories in. 

To view Kortney’s exclusive collection and to learn more go to