Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Alumna Spotlight: Sarah Kauss from S’well

When Sarah Kauss, founder and CEO of S’well Bottle, was starting her fashionable, eco-friendly water bottle business, she drew on her Girl Scout experiences for inspiration. “Being outdoors so much at Girl Scouts really gave me an appreciation of the environment. I’m sure that had something to do with starting a stainless steel reusable bottle company that would be better for the earth than plastic bottles! I’m sure if you dug into my psyche and tried to find the base reason for what I do, that early inspiration, a big part of it would be Girl Scouts.”

Now, with S’well bottles available in 35 countries, Sarah relies on the confidence and selling skills she first learned selling Girl Scout Cookies. “Regardless of career, there isn’t a job today where you aren’t selling. How to engage and tell someone about your product and get them to say yes—the confidence you need to sell cookies is the same confidence you need to sell to J. Crew."

Sarah credits Girl Scouts with more than just helping her hone her sales skills. It also inspired a love of travel. “We were always fundraising to take some wild trip to Montreal or to a Girl Scout Jamboree,” she says “I spent four summers traveling with the Wider Opportunities program to different states, and it showed me just what a big world there is out there. I was bit by the travel bug. It gave me so much confidence to get on a plane by myself to travel to Tennessee or North Carolina. I think Girl Scouts inspired my love of the west. I went to Wyoming on a Wider Opportunities program and loved the mountains. I went to college in Colorado and then later moved to California, and that was all inspired by that first trip west from my home in Florida.”

Sarah’s most memorable Girl Scout experience—among many happy memories—was a trip to Wyoming. “I met girls from all over the country. It felt like we were on a great adventure together, transported to some far-away land.”

Looking back at her Girl Scout journey as an adult and successful entrepreneur, Sarah says she is grateful for all of the different experiences she had as a Girl Scout—starting as a Brownie and continuing through high school. “The world can be hard, but there are so many paths at Girl Scouts. I was an intern at a TV station through Girl Scouts. I thought I wanted to be a reporter, but it wasn’t right for me. Girl Scouts lets you dabble in lots of different things and find yourself. I really love Girl Scouts and believe in what Girl Scouts does for girls. If I have any daughters someday, they will also be Girl Scouts!”

Are you a Girl Scout alumna? Register today and reconnect with this great Movement!