Girl Scouts Visit Alayne White!
“Alayne, this is a big ask, but I have always been impressed with your business and customer service, not to mention how you give back to your community," Christina, the Barrington Junior Girl Scout Troop leader wrote in her kind letter to me a few months back. “The girls want to earn their small business badge and I immediately thought of you.”
Frankly, Christina had me at “Junior Girl Scouts.” A chance to speak to adorable and eager 10 and 11 year olds on a random Thursday afternoon was just what the doctor ordered.
A Reminder of My Own Girl Scout Roots
It was a chance to surround myself with little girls-I am the mother of a son, not a daughter, so my mom experiences were all boy, and I got to talk about business, an amazing way to spend my time.
Knowing these little ones were barely 11, I wasn’t there to give them beauty tips. Tik Tok does plenty of that and not in a good way, but more about that in my next blog. These little girls are already beauty, at the precipice of the before of the potentially disruptive world of beauty opens up to them. I fully realize that my profession has its own power to either empower or suck the little perfections right out of them. I was hoping that my influence would show them their own personal inside beauty, a fine line in this business I am in.
They arrived promptly like good little Girl Scouts, along with their delightfully positive troop leader and co- troop leader, Jessalyn. I was in love immediately. Christina has been their troop leader since they were in Kindergarten, pre- Brownies, and her enthusiasm just made me want to offer up my services whenever she asked.
Watching Strong Leadership in Action Made My Heart Sing
In our email exchanges over the past few months, I was impressed with her detailed approach to organizing ways to impress upon the girls not by her voice, but by her actions. I had a brief moment of panic when I had forgotten that my workshop space the girls would be hanging out in was not also covered in wall to wall art, but many pieces of nudes. Though my son (and his friends), had been exposed to this art since they were young boys, I didn’t know these young girls. I surely didn’t want to freak out their parents.
Christina’s answer was delightful.
“Regarding the artwork, I am a big art history lover and my co-leader, Jessalyn, is an artist. I’m sure the paintings are lovely and tasteful. It’s always tough. If the girls go to an art museum, then they would likely be exposed to nudity, but on the other hand, they are 10 year olds. If it’s just a couple pieces of artwork, then it seems like we can just talk them through it (if it comes up).”
And it never once came up. Sigh of relief.
Their little shoes came off, the warm lavender towels were passed around, the positive affirmation cards were chosen and read aloud, the girls sat down on the couches. They had their questions ready on index cards, excited to ask them so they could earn their Girl Scout Business Owner Badge.
“Alayne, how did you get into business,“ they asked with their tiny and smiley makeup-less faces.
I was hoping that question would be one of the first-
“My first Girl Scout cookie order, actually. I loved selling things, interacting with people, satisfying their needs and watching them smile when I delivered the goods. I loved the community of it all. I am sure this is what set me on the path of business owning.” I said to their eager eyes.
“Do you like Taylor Swift?”
I knew my answer was going to make them gasp.
“I love and greatly admire her business and marketing brilliance, but I don’t know any of her songs.” As predicted, the look of horror in their eyes made me laugh.
“What is your favorite Girl Scout Cookie?”
Like a good business owner, I volleyed back at them, “What do you think it is?”
“Thin Mints,” they guessed.
“Frozen,” I added. They smiled knowingly.
I asked all of them my own question and was relieved to here their answer.
“How many of you have access to social media?”
Only one of the twelve girls raised their hands. Bravo, parents! Keep up the good work! I wanted to shout out.
I had many thoughts on this topic I would share later for sure.
As I stood in front of them, I realized the troop leaders could be my daughters and the girls could have been my granddaughters and I laughed again. There was so much joy that evening. I wanted all of them to sleep over in one big slumber party. If there was an opportunity to be like a surrogate Grandmother Junior Girl Scout Leader, sign me up.
Their final question was the one I was waiting for:
“Alayne, what advice would you give us?”
My almost sixty years of experience had lots to say, but I didn’t want their eyes to roll back in their heads so I kept it simple (of course, I had to throw in some skin care advice, too.)
Here is what I said,
• Wash your face when you get home from your day.
• Moisturize your face when you get a little older.
• Send handwritten thank you note whenever you can.
• Don’t let social media tell you who you are or take away your delightful power.
• You know who you are. POWERFUL. STRONG. GOOD ENOUGH.
• Tell people you love them.
We ended the evening over sliced apples and granola bars and I taught them how to address an envelope so I could send them back to them with that handwritten thank you I told them was so important. They presented me with a Girl Scout Swag Bag filled with fun items. I presented them with my own Alayne White Swag, (cleanser and moisturizer included).
My evening proved to be another reminder of why I do what I do.
My business is way more than facials,
- it is the excuse to be of service,
- to be kind
- to be generous
- to share my life experience whenever I am asked.
We must help each other, especially as women, in community, no matter the age.
Teaching our little girls that they not only have power, but to use it wisely was a privilege and I am most humbled and grateful for the opportunity to be of influence. Certainly not Taylor Swift level, but I am ok with that, I am glittery in my own way.
As they walked out my door that evening and we said our fond farewells, I realized I could legitimately say, PEACE OUT, GIRL SCOUT.
Heart elated, I closed the door and smiled.