Leigh Hearne Hillenmeyer: Owner & Designer
Leigh Hearne Hillenmeyer is a wife, mother, designer and small business owner who has dedicated her handcrafted jewelry business to giving back -- not only to those who wear her pieces but to those who live thousands of miles away. Earning her degree in French with no background in fashion, this Louisiana native settled in Nashville, Tennessee. With the support of her husband and two children, she set off to pursue her goal to be successful in both life and business, which for her means happiness and love plus support from friends and family.
Family has always been the center of her business. Hillenmeyer was inspired to create her first line of jewelry by her aunt who made a sailing bag for Leigh with an old sail from her dad’s sailing boat. Leigh wanted to be creative, too, and thought “I can do something like this if she can!” Hillenmeyer started making necklaces with nylon straps and wearing them. People liked them and asked where she bought them … and her business took off from there. She decided to name her business “Hearne Dry Goods Company” after her great-great-grandfather’s family business, which opened in 1902. Hillenmeyer’s great grandfather operated the store continuously and employed four generations of the Hearne family until the store closed in 1995.
Leigh’s businesses' core values embody trust, reliability, loyalty, kindness, and responsive and helpful customer service. Not only does she design beautiful and unique pieces, her jewelry line is also mission-driven. With each piece sold, a portion of the proceeds supports a community health clinic in Lwala, Kenya. Leigh wants her customers to feel confident knowing that they are helping to do good while looking good. Her customers mean the most to her, so she incorporates many aesthetics in each new line of jewelry. Her items remain fun, hip and unique and cater to many women with different tastes in jewelry.
When she’s not busy working on the next season, Hillenmeyer loves to relax with a round of golf or a yoga class! If she’s not at home running her small business and taking care of her two kids, you might find in vacationing the Bahamas or back home with family in Louisiana.
With this unique vision, Leigh is connecting Louisiana’s past with Lwala’s future, one necklace at a time.