Sultan Library lover learns life lesson from spontaneous business venture

Otilia Klett was enjoying a nice spring day in Sultan, probably reading about unicorns or the world’s weirdest animals in her outside reading nook.

Suddenly, she had a thought.

“The idea just popped in my head out of nothing!” the enthusiastic 8-year-old said.

Otilia grabbed a folding card table and set it up on the sidewalk in front of her house. She made some juice. She raided the kitchen cupboard for snacks. Then she laid out the goodies and started selling to the neighborhood kids.

Problem was, Otilia didn’t get permission for her unplanned entrepreneurial endeavor.

Parents Eliza and Dan Klett look back on that day now and laugh.

“Oh, she’s very generous,” Eliza said. “She was very firm on price,” so firm that Otilia “would give stuff away if someone didn’t have the right amount of money.”

Once Eliza and Dan realized what Otilia was up to, and that the family’s snack cupboard was bare, they felt they needed to teach Otilia a life lesson about consequences. Since they wouldn’t let Otilia keep the money, Eliza and Dan asked her what she should do with it.

“She said, ‘What if we give it back to the community?’ ” Eliza said. “I suggested we give it to the library, since we use it so much. She said, ‘Oh, that’s perfect, Mom!’ ”

So, Eliza brought Otilia and her plastic baggie of cash to the Sultan Library. It wasn’t a big donation.

“It was maybe $10,” said Dan, emphasizing the “maybe.”

Sultan Friends of the Library President Angela Olson said the size of the donation didn’t matter to the Friends. All donations support library programs, Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation Explore Summer prize books, National Night Out and school events, she said.

Sultan Library staff member Dawn Kaestner said she met the Kletts at a Sultan Elementary School open house about two years ago after the family moved to Sultan from Everett.

“I invited them to check out the programs at the library and Eliza began bringing her younger daughter, Kylara, regularly to preschool storytimes, although Otilia was already school age,” Kaestner said.

When Otilia came to the library, she fell in love with reading. The Kletts come often enough that they’re on a first-name basis with the staff.

As Otilia and Kylara made “magic potions” out of chalk on the front sidewalk, Otilia was a reserved when asked if she plans to do another snack stand. “Maybe,” she said, but Eliza said she’ll get permission first.

However, she’s very sure about why she loves reading and the Sultan Library: “Awesome books!”

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