By Casey Lewis
What was Karlie Kloss up to on February 8th? Other than walking in countless runway shows at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, the twenty-year-old supermodel was celebrating the first-ever National Girl Scout Cookie Day — a brand-new holiday that definitely deserves to be celebrated, even if you're not strutting your stuff down a catwalk in New York City.
We chatted with the fashion industry darling and cookie entrepreneur about her memories of selling Thin Mints door-to-door, her for-a-good-cause sweets business, and her best advice for body confidence.
National Girl Scout Cookie Day falls during fashion week, so will you be able to celebrate?
"It's very exciting that it falls during fashion week! Hopefully I'll be able to get my hands on a Girl Scout cookie or two."
What was your experience as a Girl Scout like?
"I have so many fond memories of growing up with my sisters and my best friends, and selling cookies was such a big part of our year. That was the exciting part of the spring. You plan for it all year. It's such an incredible memory that I'll always have. My oldest sister is just a few years older, and my youngest sisters are twins, so all of us were in Girl Scouts at the same time. I was in my troop with my absolute best friends growing up. In my community, the Girl Scout troops were very close. It was amazing to be a part of something that was big—it was very special organization. It still is!"
What did you learn from being a Girl Scout?
"I learned life lessons that I still use today. There's a project that I started—Karlies Kookies—and it's a perfect example of lessons that I learned then. Goal setting, managing money, all of that comes into running a business. When you're selling cookies as a seven-year-old girl, you learn that in a fun way. I think the same can be said for my sisters, I think that's why we're all hard-working girls."
You're quite the cookie entrepreneur. Did your history as a Girl Scout have anything to do with that?
"Absolutely. Everybody enjoys a cookie. Everybody is very happy to support Girl Scouts in America. The cookies are delicious, and it's just a great way to support young girls. For me, the influence that the cookies have had on my own small business is that selling cookies are a great way to give back. I'm using the same concept with FEED. It's a way for me to continue the lessons that I started in Girl Scouts. I've turned it into a real business."
What's your favorite kind of Girl Scout cookie?
"You can't ask me to choose one! Thin Mints are always in the freezer; I have a box in there at all times. A home is not complete without Thin Mints in the freezer. But I also love Tagalongs, too. Peanut butter and chocolate—what more could you want?"
What's the latest with your Momofuku Milk Bar for FEED cookies — should we expect any new additions?
"Definitely. Our variety isn't as big, but we'll get there eventually. Right now, we have two flavors, but we're always brainstorming. By next fashion week, we'll have a few more kinds. Maybe I would sell more cookies if I wore a Girl Scout vest. I just had a thought. What if I had the Girl Scouts sell Karlie's Kookies? They seem to have it down."
One of the Girl Scout's big initiatives is body image. What's your advice for body confidence?
"I think that because I'm not too far out of my teens, I can definitely relate to body issues. Every young woman struggles with that at one point or another. I don't know if you ever truly outgrow that insecurity. You have to find the beauty within yourself. Everybody is unique in their own way. You have to build that confidence over time and that's not easy, especially when you're a teenager and life is overwhelming. The best thing you can do, and why I feel like I've been so fortunate, is having a strong supportive group. When you're in a supportive encouraging environment, you can find that confidence and feel good in your own skin and celebrate each other."
You're a role model for millions of girls. What's your advice for those who want to follow in your footsteps?
"I feel very fortunate that I have been given a platform that I can have a voice to other girls. My advice is, first of all, to follow your dreams and find what you're passionate about and what you do enjoy. Anything is possible. I'm quite young — I'm only 20 — but I'm learning at an early age that if you work hard, it's unbelievable what one person can do. You just have to identify what you're passionate about."