Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Kid of the Month – Henry Burner – June 2018

By Victoria Feng, Editor-in-Chief
Henry Burner, 15-year-old founder of Buttonsmith


Quote of the Month

“What really matters is your commitment and willingness to work hard at whatever you undertake.”
-Henry Burner, 15-year-old founder of Buttonsmith

June Amazing Kid! of the Month

For many students, June marks the end of the school year, a time to relax and enjoy summer.  They look forward to long days at the pool and playing outside.  Some students may look to earn some extra money by selling lemonade at their lemonade stand, babysit, or wash cars for neighbors.  But there are ways to earn money and explore your passions at the same time.

Henry Burner is busy working on orders for his company, Buttonsmith.  Buttonsmith sells a variety of personalized business and office supplies.  Henry’s company has fulfilled tens of thousands of orders in the few years the company has been in existence, and is still looking to expand its market and designs.

Keep reading to find out more about Henry and his business!

From a Class Project to Walmart

The idea for Buttonsmith was born after Henry and his mom were looking for something to sell at the school fair.  Henry wanted to do something unique, not just sell cupcakes like all the other students.  The buttons were very popular at the fair, as it was the only durable item sold. This project gave Henry a newfound sense of confidence because he had struggling that year because of dyslexia.

Soon, Henry began selling his items for money and started building a local consumer base through selling buttons at the local farmers’ market that summer.  It was through this farmers’ market experience that Henry learned that people wanted items that are personalized.

Henry had sold his products in a variety of marketplaces to reach consumers.  Buttonsmith’s products on Amazon have also been popular and have hundreds of reviews on them.  Henry explains that “Amazon offers both a huge shopping community and the expectation of quality that we consistently deliver on”, which is a big reason for Buttonsmith’s success.  For extra personalization, Buttonsmith’s own website offers consumers the chance to add their own text and choose from a variety of creative designs.  Tinker Reel® badge reels exist beyond the online realm: Walmart carries Buttonsmith products.

The effort has not just been by Henry alone: in 2015, he started a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised thousands of dollars.  In addition, he has hired full-time employees to help manage his booming business.

Focusing on the Product

One of Buttonsmith’s biggest selling points is that all of its products are from high-quality, durable material.  If a product does break, most of the time it will have a full-year warranty.  Buttonsmith only uses American parts to make their products, and is an American manufacturer itself. Nine full-time employees help Henry with his company.

Even though many of their products are personalized, Buttonsmith focuses on quick delivery.  Most personalized items even ship the same day.  Buttonsmith even has Amazon Prime (2 day) delivery.  According to Henry, Amazon has been the right marketplace for Buttonsmith and he says that choosing the right marketplace for your business is one of the keys to success.

Costumers see Buttonsmith’s dedication to quality: on Amazon, there are reviews saying “insert what they said that even after using the products for many hours, “it shows no sign of wear” and that it is “reliable and so sturdy”.

Henry makes buttons for his customers.

Continuing to Think Creatively

Henry has even earned a patent for his Tinker Reel® badge reels, due to their unique design.  The badge reels allows the wearer to clip the reel onto an item of clothing and even change the circular top while keeping the same badge.  While his company already sells buttons, magnets, and fixed and changeable badge reels, Henry is determined to add more products and is working on new designs.  He says that coming up with new designs is one of the hardest parts of his company.

This summer, put a creative spin on old ideas.  If you’re thinking about selling at a lemonade stand, think of selling a variety of different drinks or bottling up your drinks to reach a larger market.  There are so many creative ideas waiting for you to explore.  Focus on your own passions: like Henry says, “everyone really has something unique to offer”.