Why We’ve Bought 825 Boxes of Girl Scout Cookies

It was a day in early January 2016 that I came across an article about the Girl Scouts Cookies program being the largest “girl-led entrepreneurship program in the world.” Caroline and I were in our fifth year of business and I started reminiscing about our journey as young, female business owners. 

While our agency was still relatively new it felt like we had made it.  We had just opened our second location in Southlake, as two tiny fish in the massive ocean that is the DFW Metroplex. And we were making it happen. We were steadily growing year after year, had begun hiring office staff to help with day-to-day operations and we were giving ourselves a decent paycheck. We were 24 when our agency began with our first location in Tucson and looking back it seems hard to believe that we thought we could pull this off. Truth be told, we had only dreamed up the idea of one small agency. But fate held a much larger objective for our venture – one we still probably haven’t fully realized. 
 

TC best babysitting service - best year!

And as I thought about this article and the girls that had shown up on my doorstep all dressed up in their uniforms or the girls standing outside of grocery stores mustering up the courage to ask if I wanted any cookies…I realized that these little girls and I had something in common. Despite the odds against us as young women entrepreneurs, we were boldly stepping forward with a dream of turning our passions into profits. I knew in that moment that as women business owners, we had an obligation to do our part to inspire and support the next generation of lady leaders. It occurred to me that the reason Caroline and I had the courage to start our business was because of other women (like my own mom) paving the way, who made us believe that it was even possible. And so it was then, that Caroline and I made a promise to buy cookies from every Girl Scout who came to our office. 
 
We wanted to make it educational for the girls, so asked that they come with a sales pitch. It wasn’t just about supporting their cookie sales although that was a big piece of it. We are proud to say that as of today, this event has generated about $8,250 for the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizonaapprox. 1,650 boxes of cookies sold (with the help of other women business’ owners participation the last two years.) Our intention was to also give the girls the experience of meeting a relatively young female entrepreneur and to hopefully inspire the girls to dream about their own possibility of business ownership one day. That first year, the girls also walked away with a bookmark that read, “She believed she could so she did.”
 
They came in droves, Some with signs. Some with songs. And all with stories. That first year girls were spilling out into the lobby and waiting for a chance to speak to Caroline and I. We felt totally honored. And we quickly realized that this offer to buy cookies and inspire girls did something much more than we ever expected. It inspired us

We met a girl who had reached her own cookie box selling goal and gave away some of her extra points to another girl in her troop to help her reach her goal. If only grown up women could more consistently show one another the same support and lift each other up. 

We met a girl who had sold thousands of boxes tirelessly going door to door and even made her own business cards. 
 
We met a Girl Scout in middle school who had aspirations of starting a babysitting business with her best friend. She was the same age Caroline and I were when we became best friends and we offered to take her and her friend out to lunch to talk business and told them that maybe they might be our competitors some day. 
 
We asked one little girl, about 6 years old who had sold quite a few boxes of girl scout cookies, what her best sales technique was. She paused and thought really hard about it before responding definitively and proudly. Her answer? “Begging.” We laughed. 
 
We met a girl who did her entire pitch in sign language. 
 
We met a girl who was trying to get boxes donated to the military in honor of her dad who was deployed.
 
We met troops who had done amazing things with their money, using it to support local charities and causes. Proof that even the littlest people can make a big difference.  
 
One of our favorite moments this year was with an incredible young lady who started a charity project and is sewing pouches that attach to walkers for seniors. She shared with us that she is just donating them and we asked her if she had thought about selling them because we were so impressed with how beautiful they were! Because it wasn’t something she had considered, we talked to her about the cost of materials, the amount of time she spent completing one piece, the value of her time, etc. After doing some number crunching with her, we asked her what she thought a fair price would be. She decided $15 was reasonable and then we asked if we could buy the sample she brought in to show us. She was so surprised! What an honor it is to be this amazing inventors’ first customers! 
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This event has become a beloved annual tradition and one that my business partner and I agree is our favorite event of the year. This was the fifth year that Caroline and I have made that same promise to Girl Scouts and while it’s changing and growing (this year we had three other women business owners who joined us and made the same pledge and we’ve had to move the event to the Girl Scouts offices since ours was no longer big enough to hold the crowds)… the spirit of the event has remained the same. It’s a celebration of the accomplishments and powerful potential of girls and young women. The leaders. The fearless dreamers. We wholeheartedly agree with the Girl Scouts of America’s belief that girls can change the world. 
 
And just like Caroline and I didn’t know the full capacity of what we were destined to accomplish when we first started out, we hope that the girls who attend our event walk away feeling like they, too, can achieve incredible things. They already are. 
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