HANKERD SPORTSWEAR on Exchange Street in Owosso has officially transitioned ownership from John and Sue Hankerd to Tony and Danica Nash. The somewhat bittersweet change was honored on Tuesday, Nov. 30 with supportive friends stopping by to offer well wishes to both couples as they look toward new life challenges.
Tony Nash, owner of AZee Business Solutions, currently in the Armory on Water Street, is excited to add Hankerd Sportswear into his business fold.
“I had actually told John a few years ago, hey, if you ever think about retiring, let me know,” Nash shared. “Then the opportunity came, so we said yes.”
Nash mentioned he sees the sportswear retail store as an ideal way to expand on his digital and print marketing business. “We work with many small businesses here and this seems like a good fit,” he said.
Nash will continue to use the Hankerd Sportswear name for another six months, which John Hankerd has agreed to, since it is his last name. After that period, the business will likely become AZee Printing Solutions.
“We’re known for good service and good delivery of product,” said Nash. “We want to carry on the tradition John and Sue started. We plan on taking on all existing clients and hopefully adding more. We love Owosso and love being in this town. We want to keep delivering to the community things they can be proud to wear.”
Tony’s sister, Tracy Reath, will be managing the downtown store. Danica will regularly be on hand to assist.
“We are really excited about this opportunity. My family has six kids and they’re all going to be here working at times. We’re grateful to serve the community and look forward to meeting those we haven’t yet met,” Nash stated.
In front of the group gathered in the retail space Tuesday morning, Nash thanked John and Sue, emphasizing that it wasn’t a “good bye” as much as it was a “see you later.”
“So, the question for what’s next for us,” John said, “Seriously, I don’t know. I do kind of let God run my life, so wherever he happens to take me, I’m gonna go. So, I’m just trying to leave my spirit open to accept whatever that is.”
In the immediate future, the Hankerds are leaving for South Carolina to visit Sue’s mother.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed this and I don’t feel like I’m just leaving. I will be here. I will still be around,” John said.
Gathered in the retail space on Tuesday are (from right) Danica and Tony Nash, Tracy Reath and John and Sue Hankerd.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)