Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Kids! Interview with Henry Burner

By Victoria Feng, Editor-in-Chief

 

At only 14 years old, Henry Burner has started his own company, Buttonsmith, and hired employees to help with his growing business. Buttonsmith primarily sells their products on Amazon, but extra personalization is available on the Buttonsmith website as well. Customers are able to choose from a wide variety of designs and customize the text.

Amazing Kids (AK): What inspired you to create Buttonsmith?

Henry Burner (HB): In fourth grade I was really struggling in school because of my dyslexia. That year there was a school trading post where all the kids brought in goods they made at home. My mom asked me if I wanted to make cupcakes. I said “Mom, the baked goods market is going to be totally over-saturated. We need to make something durable.” So, I pulled out my Mom’s button machine and made buttons. Sure enough, there was table after table of baked goods. Because I was the only kid selling something durable, I ended up with the most beads in school. It was the first time I felt really good about how I was doing in school. That day I asked my Mom if I could make real money doing this.

AK: What was the most challenging part of starting Buttonsmith?

HB: The hardest thing is coming up with compelling designs for products. But doing farmers’ markets, we got to really talk to a lot of different people. I realized that people what products that are personalized to them.

AK: How are Buttonsmith’s products different than similar products?

HB: We are a unionized American manufacturer that uses all US-made parts and materials. We care a lot about quality and have a full-year warranty on most of our products.

AK: What are some secrets to your rapid success?

HB: The first key is finding the right marketplace. For what we make, Amazon offers both a huge shopping community and the expectation of quality that we consistently deliver on. Our second key is fast-turn customization. We make personalized products for people that ships the same day in most cases.

AK: What are your goals for the future?

HB: I want to learn more and help my company succeed.

AK: What do you regard as your greatest accomplishment?

HB: Making the Forbes 2018 30 under 30 list.

AK: What advice would you give to our readers about following their dreams and making a difference?

HB: What really matters is your commitment and willingness to work hard at whatever you undertake.

AK: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

HB: One of the surprises for me has been working with a variety of different people. I’ve come to appreciate that everyone really has something unique to offer. Buttonsmith tries to be a very inclusive workplace, where each employee is encouraged to think about the job they are doing and how improve it.

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