Miss America Title Holder, Heather French Henry, says at the age of four she knew she would end up in the fashion industry. After winning the 2000 Miss America pageant and studying fashion at the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, Heather entered the world of politics. After working alongside her husband, former Lieuteant Governor, Steven Henry, her focus is back on her childhood dream. Her clothing line, the Heather French Henry Collection, sports everything from couture gowns for young women competing in pageants as well as gala gowns and cocktail dresses for special occasions. In December of 2012, Heather turned her warehouse into a showroom where you will find her line as well as sundress and accessories that are part of the “Everyday Wear” collection.
Q: Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Heather: “Architecture, music, poetry. I have so many sources for inspiration that I turn to. Especially because you aren’t always in a mood to create everyday but you have to get yourself there. Everything I see I associate with fabric. I see fireworks and think of beaded gowns.”
Q: Who is your favorite designer?
Heather: “Ellie Saab. The styles are pure elegance and luxurious.”
Q: The dresses in here won’t break the bank. Did you always envision carrying lines that cater to everyone?
Heather: “Yes, I think style should be affordable. No dress in our “Every Daywear” collection is more than $45. There were some tough financial times when I was growing up. We shopped at a lot of yard sales and bought things second hand. Everyone should have a chance to look great. “
Q:You are so friendly and eager to help everyone walking in the doors. Do you view yourself as a personal shopper?
Heather: “Yes absolutely! That’s one of the best parts about opening the showroom. I help people accessorize their outfits as well.. It’s not just about the dress but the whole package. Even if we don’t carry what they need I am on the computer showing them ways they could wear there hair or types of bangles or cuff bracelets that will match. “
Q: Do you think your daughters, Taylor and Harper, will head down the fashion road?
Heather: “Taylor, my nine year old, wants to be a rock star. Harper, my eldest’s (11 years old) wants to be a surgeon but understands style. They both love Forever 21. When we go Taylor picks out clothes for me to try on. “
Q: Do your girls become involved with any of the family businesses?
Heather: “Oh yes. The girls have their own booth at our antique store in Augusta. Right now, I am teaching them the difference between retail and wholesale. We head out and go shopping and they find different things they could sell. You know it’s hard because you want to give them everything you didn’t have but still teach them the value of earning. But they do see Steven and I who are constantly working. I think that shows them the value of hard work.”
Q: If you could live anywhere else where would it be be?
Heather: “When I was younger I would have said New York City. Now I would say Hawaii. The people are phenomenal and the weather is always perfect and there is no snakes!”
Q: If there is one place you would tell people to visit in Kentucky where would it be?
Heather: “People should definitely visit Augusta. It’s one of the remaining small towns, there aren’t even any stoplights. There is original architecture and a lot of charm you have a hard time finding other places. George Clooney is also from there.”
Q: What about in Louisville?
“Bristol is a Louisiana favorite. There are so many places in the Highlands because it’s so walk ble. You can walk to get groceries and out to dinner. We are a Highlands family. “
10.. What question would you ask Heather French Henry? Let us know in the comments below!