Product excellence, superb customer service, and loyalty to our work family are synonymous with Hickory Brands (HBI). As a privately owned business, all who are employed by HBI are treated as part of our extended family.  We understand that manufacturing in the USA is very important and are committed to keeping these jobs in Hickory, NC. We are excited for the opportunity to introduce our company and tell the HBI story.

For Up To Date News From Hickory Brands Inc. Click Here:

Meet Our Team & Reach Out! 



Julie K. Huffman / Sr. Vice President


Julie moved to Hickory, NC from Virginia to attend Lenoir-Rhyne University.  She has a BA in Business Administration.

She began employment with HBI in September of 1994. She has spent time in all aspects of accounting, sales, purchasing and HR.

Julie is a Senior Vice President with duties primarily focusing on purchasing and HR.

Purchasing has become much more global so HBI strives to offer quality products to customers at the best price knowing that the commitment to “Made In USA” is one of our top goals as well as promoting our Hickory, NC factory.  We also have to be committed to ensuring that we are using factories and suppliers that adhere to social and environmental issues.

We are happy to employ about 75 of the area’s best talent both in the office and in the factory.  HBI employees are considered by the management team as family.  We constantly strive to keep the family atmosphere among all who work here.

 Link to: About Us Here



Mark Leagon / SVP OEM Operations


 With 30 years experience in textile sales, Mark has been involved in product development throughout multiple industries. Bringing together function, color and texture that offers value to the customer.

 As part of a family owned business for many years, He appreciates the family atmosphere with HBI. Mark has a passion for golf and spent many years following 2 daughters travel & Highschool and College softball careers. His undergrad in business is with Gardner Webb College with an honorary Masters from the ”University of Life.” Not to be confused with the University of hard knocks.

At HBI Mark works with apparel, accessories, pet, military and footwear manufacturers to develop new innovative product options and expand the specialty braid, bulk capabilities and assortment for our OEM partners.

Mark has been key to HBi’s new relationships evolving from the push for global brands to re-shore in the current speed to consumer business climate. This is an area Hbi expects to see more growth and additional capabilities integrated, as we build more direct partnerships.

Link to: OEM Webbing Collection Here




Ty Wetz / Graphic Design HBi


 A member of the HBi design team with 9 Years of experience in Graphic Design as well as a former U.S. Infantry Paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division. Ty is proud to work in a company that puts their emphasis on American Made Products.

 Ty has been with HBI for 2 years and his talents include supporting and creating Graphic Elements, Packaging Design and Mock-Ups, Advertising, and Trade Show Communications. He works diligently to provide packaging and advertising that complements our products and appeals to the variety of our consumers and brands.

 Ty is excited to work on the latest line of American Legacy™ products, which applies both his design and infantry know how.

 Link to American Legacy™  Collection Here


Sherry Fry / ShoeFly™ Custom Products  


A North Carolina native with a BA in Business Administration & Marketing.  She came to Hickory Brands in 2011 with promotional sales experience.  Sherry is in charge of the Print & Specialty Braid Department.

Her primary duties deal with Custom Imprinted Lanyards & Shoelaces and oversee and monitors the order process from taking the order, assisting with the design if needed, obtaining art approval, communicating with production and shipping departments to verify a top-quality finished product for the customer.

Sherry enjoys developing relationships with customers in order to gain their confidence as well as to retain repeat business.

“Our highest priority at Hbi is Superior Customer Service at every level.  My department takes pride in offering the customer a Solution in a quick and effective way which leaves customers confident in their decision to work with us.” Sherry Fry

 Sherry has been instrumental in the push towards online Custom Imprinted Lanyards & Shoelaces. “We are excited to venture into the e-commerce area of a Virtual Website and hopeful that by using this do-it-yourself technology, it will allow our customer to see a visual example and create new ideas for their finished product.” Sherry Fry

Link to ShoeFly™ Collection Here


 Bryan A. Hickory Brands 2019

Bryan D. Acheson | Brand Development Manager | West Coast


Bryan has immense knowledge in the footwear and sporting accessory sectors, having worked on all sides of the industry. Bryan began his retail management career at Walgreens, spending 6 years working with wellness consumers. Following Walgreens, Bryan moved to Sports Authority as their Colorado Store Manager.  

After over 12 years working both sides of the Sporting Goods and Footwear iIndustries, Bryan's focus is simple and specific.... the consumer is his passion and both offering quality products and the ability to improve the quality of their life through proper-fit and pain free performance  are what drives him.

 Link to FootBalance™ Collection Here


 Ryan Lampe | Hickory Brands 2019

Ryan Lampe | Business Development Representative | North East


Born and raised in Catawba County at the base of the Blueridge mountains, Ryan Lampe racked up (Four NC State Tennis Championships), in addition to Tennis; his hobbies and passions include golf and hanging out with family, friends, and his dog, Stella. He graduated from Appalachian State University with a BSBA in Marketing in 2016.

While In college, Ryan worked at one of the lead Jeep/Truck Customization Shops in the country. Ryan then joined Hickory Brands, Inc.. where he utilizes the skills learned in his role as a Business Development Representative in a highly competitive and ever-changing OEM aftermarket business, to his advantage.

His territory spans the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and Canada. Ryan works diligently to meet his customer's needs and introduce them to new and innovative products HBI has to offer. He enjoys interacting with our retail owners and creating long-lasting relationships based on identifying new methods to reach and identify customer needs; while increasing product sell-through and visibility.

 Link to American Legacy™ Collection Here


John Tate | HBI Business Development Representative | Southeast


A North Carolina Native, John graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University. He looks forward to expanding Hickory Brands business through the new brands and products coming this season.

 His territory includes the Southeast as well as Arkansas, Louisiana, and Canada.  John’s favorite aspect of the job is hitting the road and building relationships with accounts and teams firsthand  that build value in the collective brands and increases technical knowledge. This knowledge can be shared with the staff and then the customer.

John resides in Charlotte, NC and is an outdoorsman. His hobbies include golf, tennis, and trail running as well as rooting on the Panthers and Hornets.

On the weekends, you can find John at the U.S. National Whitewater Center or at one of the many microbreweries the Charlotte area has to offer.

Link to 2WiN™ Collection Here


Grace Silva

Grace Silva | HBI Customer Service and Sales Support Lead


Grace Silva has been with Hickory Brands for over 10 years. During this time she has taken on many roles from manufacturing, production scheduling and transitioning to Customer Service in early 2014. In Early 2019 she was promoted to Customer Service and Sales Support Lead. Grace is very dedicated and truly believes in providing great service to our Customers. 

Link to 10 Seconds™ Collection Here


Hickory Brands Inc. | Board of Directors:


Robert Bell Owner / Chairman 


Rob Bell’s dedication to customer service stems from his first profession in public service.  He was a police officer for 11 years before joining the team at HBI.  He believes that the true value of the business, which he tirelessly works for, are his employees.  Rob is currently the chairman of the board and has a supportive staff to help him tackle any obstacle and grow HBI’s next-generation business. 

Link to: Our Full Range of Collections and Brands Here 


Ginger Bell

Ginger Bell  Owner / Board Member 


Link to: Our Full Range of Collections and Brands Here