A young entrepreneur worth a look; an old scam worth avoiding

Aug 11 2012 - 10:02pm

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Two items for today: A nice story about a young go-getter, and a scam trying to get you:

* My wife said "Here she is!!" and dragged me through the mob at Ogden's Farmers Market to a small table bedecked with brightly colored, but rather small, quilts.

Not just the table. Quilts hung on racks and were layered on stands: Multiple patterns and squares and all the colors of the rainbow but, as I said, doll-sized.

Behind the table stood Abigail Treadway, and I suppose I decided I need to write this because how often do you meet someone named Abigail?

Abigail, 12, is a remarkable young lady. She showed my wife and me her wares and said she got into the quilting game for the most logical of reasons: money.

When she was 10 she went to her mother and said, "I need to find a job to earn money for college."

She will need lots of money. A year at Weber State University (she wants to study engineering) will set her back $4,000 or so, books extra. There aren't a lot of jobs for 10-year-olds that pay that well. Child labor laws come into play and lemonade stands don't generate that sort of return.

Why quilts?

"I don't like dolls but a lot of my friends do," she said, "and some of them spend a lot of money on dolls."

She's got friends who collect American Girl dolls, for example, which run $130 each, clothes extra.

She tapped into that market with her own business called "Sparkle Jane Quilts," complete with a website (www.sparklejane.wordpress.com). Her quilts are all human-baby size and smaller. She does special orders and is branching out into cross-stitch and pin cushions.

This summer she's using a special program for young artists like herself to get cheap access to a table at the Ogden Farmers Market. She and her mom (someone has to drive) will be there through September, or you can order off her website.

If you've ever said, "Where are the young people today working their way through college?" well, here's one. I sound like her PR person, but she's a good kid, she's local and she gave me nothing to write this. My wife did buy one of Abigail's quilts that will be snuggling around our next grandchild, Oliver Irwin Trentelman, after he is born this December.

* SCAM ALERT: Rene Birch, ofWashington Terrace, phoned to say other seniors like her need to be warned about a telephone scammer who called her.

The caller told her that Social Security and Medicare were going to be issuing her new cards and she needed to verify her information. The voice sounded official, although with a foreign accent, and knew her address.

"I said, 'Medicare has all that'," she said, "and then he said 'Would you get your bank statement so we can make sure we have your numbers right?'

"He had me going, too, and then I thought 'No, Medicare wouldn't do that.'

"He kept saying 'You don't tell your Social Security number to anyone,' but what he wanted me to do is get my account number."

She did the right thing by hanging up on the guy.

People who are really from Social Security and Medicare will never, ever, ask you for your identifying information over the phone. Neither will your bank or anyone else who is legitimate.

The number the caller was using is 409-291-5191. The Internet informs me that scam calls from that number are going all over the country.

If they call you, hang up.

The Wasatch Rambler is the opinion of Charles Trentelman. He can be reached at 801-625-4232, or ctrentelman@standard.net. He also blogs at www.standard.net.

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