Still in her early teens, Samantha Ang Xuan Liu is already a budding entrepreneur.
She decided she did not want to be a financial burden to her unemployed parents and so took matters into her own hands - she started a blog shop.
The teenager, who turned 13 on Monday, started EccentricallyChic (xlin2313.wix.com/eccentricallychic) in June, and is now able to pay for her own daily expenses. She sells clothes, fashion accessories and stationery sourced from a supplier.
Samantha's mother, Madam Toh Lay Tin, was touched by her only child's kind gesture.
"She is really a sweet darling and deserves a gift from The Straits Times," wrote Madam Toh in an e-mail entry she submitted to the ST 12 Days of Christmas Surprises contest.
As the final day winner, Madam Toh, who is in her early 50s, will share the prize - a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone - with her husband, Mr Ang Wee Pheng, and Samantha, a student at CHIJ Katong Convent.
"I did not know that my mother had entered the contest and screamed out loud when I found out," said Samantha.
The family lived in China for 11 years. Mr Ang, also in his early 50s, worked as a bank executive in Chengdu and Shanghai. They moved back to Singapore in 2011. The couple have been unemployed since then.
"We needed time to settle down and re-adjust to life here," said Madam Toh.
Samantha saw that her parents were dipping into their savings and resolved to alleviate their worries. She said her business is doing well, adding that she saves 40 per cent of her earnings.
"She is very helpful. She even offered to give us some of her earnings," said Madam Toh.
Part of The Straits Times Appreciates Readers (Star) series to reach out to readers and the community, ST, together with its presenting partner, Standard Chartered, offered one gift to one reader a day until yesterday.
Tech gadgets and household appliances worth $6,000 in total were given out. Some of the gifts readers won included a MacBook Air laptop, a Philips Avance Juicer and an LG Smart TV. Nearly 2,100 entries were received.
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