Hat Trick: Teen Donates Profits to Charities
Katherine Frye, 13, of Whispering Pines, already has a pretty good business head. The pretty part: Katherine, in tasteful makeup, looks like a teen magazine cover.
The good part: This poised young woman has adopted a cause - Life Care Pregnancy Center (LCPC) in Carthage.
The business part: Katherine makes a product, sells it and donates a portion of her profits to the center.
The head part: Brightly colored, crocheted hats for adults and children are her products.
She calls adult hats Chica ("gal," in Spanish, Frye explains) and smaller ones Happy Hats for Happy Kids. They sell briskly - especially on brisk days - at The Shops on Broad Street, a 20-vendor consignment boutique operated by John Parker.
"I can't believe the generosity," Parker says.
Others wonder at a home-schooled student who, when offered an extra-mural elective, chose a home economics class.
"I learned crocheting and knitting, sewing and cooking - things I'll need as a wife and mother," Katherine says.
Still, she lacked a hobby. "We tried sports but I stunk at soccer," Katherine continues. Instead she took up piano, flute and guitar. By age 9, she was making friendship bracelets.
Crocheting came naturally. Time investment is minimal. She completes a hat in less than two hours.
Katherine's parents, John and Tamala Frye, suggested showing the hats to Parker. He liked them, but even better, he admired Katherine's business plan, which was presented as a learning project.
Frye obtained $100 startup money from family sources, found and adapted a hat pattern - fluffy and loose-weave, more for fashion than warmth. She estimated yarn for each hat at $5.
Her father helped with the stylized logo. Adult hats sell for $20, with a 30-70 percent split between Parker and Katherine.
The fledging milliner did not take the money and run. She knew of LCPC through employee/ church friend Leah Popoca. LCPC is a nonprofit resource for women in unplanned or crisis pregnancies; spiritual support is available.
Katherine, with experience teaching vacation Bible school, volunteered to help with child care at the center while mothers received services.
"Katherine was exposed to a pregnant girl her own age," her mother says. "I discussed that with Katherine. We all need to be honest with our children, to talk about the biology of how things happen."
"I love that they discourage abortion," Katherine adds.
After her initial success with adult hats, Katherine devised Happy Hats for Happy Kids as a means to help the center financially.
Her plan: Buy yarn ($2 per hat) with profits from the adult version. Crochet the smaller hats, price them at $15 and donate her cut, after expenses, to the center. Parker agreed to donate his 30 percent as well. For each Happy Hat sold, $13 goes to LCPC.
Several hundred dollars have been donated already. Katherine and her hats were recognized recently at a luncheon honoring LCPC volunteers.
"(Katherine) is quite a remarkable young woman - a good role model for other young women," center director Suzanne Clendenin says. "Her family supports Life Care. This is a legacy she's carrying on. Our organization is grateful and inspired."
Katherine, while benefiting from the experience, is not ready to make Chica/Happy Hats her career goal.
This holiday season, she branched out into scarves, cowls and mittenettes with an eye to craft shows and, perhaps, other retail outlets. Given her appearance, maturity and poise, modeling has been discussed.
Contact Deborah Salomon at
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