Interview by Steph Greegor
Name: Bianca Crank
Profession: Student / Entrepreneur, Best Buddy Earth
One-word description: Ambitious
Quote: “I wondered, what if I could help the planet AND the people on it?” — on starting her business, Best Buddy Earth
Connect: LinkedIn | Instagram (Best Buddy Earth) | Instagram (personal) | Twitter
At just 17 years old, Bianca Crank is already making an impact on the world through recycling and helping those affected with the AIDS virus through a clinic in Kenya, Africa.
“In third grade one of my preschool best friends said when he turned 16 he was going to go spend the summer helping in the AIDS clinic his grandparents started over 30 years ago in Kenya,” said the Thomas Worthington High School senior who plays on the school’s water polo team. “About the same time, I started making some of my pop tab bracelets. Everyone in my class thought they were the coolest and wanted one so I started selling them.
“I wondered, ‘What if I could help the planet AND the people on it?’ so 20 percent of the profits of every bracelet went into a special piggy bank that I would give my friend’s grandmother every May when she came to visit.”
Crank, who spent time as a foreign exchange student in Germany her sophomore year, has been able to raise more than $1,000 for the cause since 2009.
“As time went on I found various little stores where I would sell my bracelets and I would take part in some art and eco festivals,” said Crank. “Over the years, Best Buddy Earth slowly evolved from a small feature at one of my lemonade stands to where it is today selling online and a hit at Glean in the Short North.”
“If you are free on the first Saturday of the month, go to the Gallery Hop; many of the small shops, restaurants, and galleries stay open late and it is nice to walk along High street and just pop into some of the stores to just look around a little,” she said. “Sometimes there are even special sales just for the Gallery Hop.”
She also loves to head south and take in the culinary delights of the North Market.
“In the last several years has shifted more towards restaurants from different countries and of all different cultures,” she said.
Crank also spends time volunteering through her Girl Scout troop.
“In the winter, we like to do things like make tie blankets for homeless children or orphans. We create Care Kits to give to friends and family to keep in their cars to give to homeless people they may come across, make goodie bags for children in less fortunate school districts,” she said. “We also enjoy scarf-bombing, where we take the scarves we knit year-round and we tie them around trees or posts with tags saying ‘If you are cold or need me, take me!’”
Bianca was named to our annual list of 52 Young Professionals You Should Know in Columbus – one for every week in the year!
Meet the entire “Class of 2018” »