Henrietta Crumpton (aka Hanke) runs the Hankabee Button Company. She makes customized buttons, magnets, and nametags for clients as diverse as Montgomery Bell Academy, Greenbrier Distillery, the Junior Roller Derby, Bang Candy and the Fox For Mayor campaign. She’s involved in both manufacturing and sales, visiting local businesses, pressing the flesh and handing out business cards. She has four orders in queue to fulfill by next weekend. She’s also 7 years old and a first-grader at University School of Nashville.
Hanke fell in love with a button-making machine last December when her mother, Sunny Becks-Crumpton, bought one for use in her hula-hoop and jump rope shop. A feisty little girl with a spray of freckles and a boyish haircut, Hanke was in the car when her mother mentioned to her older sister, Madeline, “You know, you should start a button-making business. No one in town is doing it and there are lots of bands.” When Madeline showed no interest, Hanke shot her hand up.
“She’s very much in charge of the business,” Becks-Crumpton says. “She’s an extremely serious-minded child, one of those kids who does everything 100 percent. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t take breaks to jump rope, but she’s hungry. She has the entrepreneur’s spirit.”
Hanke comes in to the Hoop Factory after school to manufacture the buttons (leaving it for an adult to put the pins in). She doesn’t work every day, though. After all, she’s 7 years old. “I like to ride my bike with my dad,” she says, “and play with my dog!”
Her financial goal is serious and focused. “I want to buy a Tesla because it doesn’t use gas.” That’s a lot of buttons, but she does have nine years before she gets her license, so there’s time.