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Young entrepreneur following in parents’ footsteps

Twelve-year-old Jennalee Meck stands on the porch of one of the buildings she is in charge of selling for Wagler Enterprises of Beverly. With the help of Meck, the business began selling buildings in Green Bank, utilizing the former Sheets GMC parking lot. S. Stewart photo
Twelve-year-old Jennalee Meck stands on the porch of one of the buildings she is in charge of selling for Wagler Enterprises of Beverly. With the help of Meck, the business began selling buildings in Green Bank, utilizing the former Sheets GMC parking lot. S. Stewart photo

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

If you drive through Green Bank, you will see a brightly colored sign at the entrance to the former Sheets GMC parking lot. The sign points visitors to the office of Jacob Meck Construction, but it isn’t advertising the business of the elder Meck, but that of a younger Meck, 12-year-old Jennalee.

The business is actually Wagler Enterprises of Beverly, which sells storage units. The business expanded into Pocahontas County this year, and the Waglers hired Meck as their newest, and youngest, sales representative.

“Ervin and Mary Wagler came over here and asked Dad if they could put units across the street just for this area,” Meck said. “They asked if Mom and Dad would sell them, but Dad and Mom figured it would be a good job for me, so I’ve been working on that.”

Meck isn’t a stranger to working. She learned at a young age to answer the phones at her parents’ business and helps place orders from time to time. Although she still sounds like a young girl, when she speaks, she sounds professional and knows a thing or two about business.

“People are normally surprised that I’m twelve, especially when I order pop or something,” she said. “The first couple times I did, the man was like, ‘okay, sounds a little young,’ but it’s not that bad.”
Before she could become an official sales person, Meck had to go through training and learn the ins and outs of small storage buildings.

“I spent a day over at their site in Elkins and we went through the paperwork,” Meck said. “The rent-to-owns are the hardest because you have to fill out what they’re going to have each month, but they aren’t terrible, once you get used to them.”

Meck makes sure each building is stocked with pamphlets, price estimates and lists of customization that can be done to the buildings.

“They have a list of varieties depending on what you want,” Meck said. “You can get house doors in them. You can get windows – three by twos or three by threes, so you can get different sized windows. You can also alter – if you get a lofted barn, you can have so much on one side and so much on the other, or you can have it all on one side. You can get them painted. You can get the trim painted or the whole building. You can get shingles or a metal roof.”

With a good head on her shoulders and the business savvy of her parents, Meck seems to be ready to conquer the business world, just as soon as she graduates, that is.

“I’ve thought about going to college for accounting – maybe figure out how to do more of the tax part, and I could come back and work here or work somewhere else.”

For now, Meck is happy to have something to do in her spare time when she isn’t getting ready for the seventh grade or taking piano lessons.

“It’s fun,” she said. “It’s something more to do.”

Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at sastewart@pocahontastimes.com

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