It’s not about your age, Girl Scout experience, or familiarity with Kansas City when it comes to a successful cookie season, just ask Daisy Girl Scout Mackenzie Barrera.
For more than 6 weeks, Mackenzie lived and breathed Girl Scout Cookies. It was her vision, passion and determination that earned her the prestigious title of Top Cookie Seller.
Her original goal was to sell just 150 packages of Cookies and earn the adorable stuffed polar bear in her first year as a Girl Scout and participating in the Cookie Program. When Mackenzie achieved that recognition level early in the season, she reevaluated her goal and set her sights a little higher – sell 2,000 packages and earn the night at Great Wolf Lodge! When she blew that goal out of the water mid-season, she and her family decided that her ultimate goal was to be #1 in Cookie Sales out of the 20,000 Girl Scouts selling this year across our council. Like her goals previously, she achieved it, selling 4,737 packages of Girl Scout Cookies!! Just to be clear, that number doesn’t reflect the several cases of Trios she sold!
Mackenzie and her family moved to Kansas City on August 28, 2014 when her Mother, Mary Barrera was relocated with the Marine Corps. Previously residing in San Diego, the Barrera family had a friend in high school who they saw having awesome Girl Scout experiences. So when they saw the Girl Scout table at Back to School night, it was an easy decision to sign up Mackenzie up! There was one small problem though; the forming troop still needed a leader. Having lived here for about a week and with zero Girl Scout experience, Mary took on the challenge!
As cookie season approached, Daisy Troop 3135 talked about the 5 Skills and Mackenzie really took them to heart. Following a troop meeting, Mary decided to bring out her old economics text book and take the 5 Skills one step further with her daughter to help her see that selling Cookies is a business that she can own and be proud of!
Mackenzie learned about market share and market advantage to help her make a business plan. Even at the age of 6, Mary believed that Mackenzie could grasp the concepts to have a successful run her first year selling cookies. At first, Mackenzie was scared and didn’t think that she could do it because she was “too small” but her family encouraged her to believe that she could do anything but she had to be smarter than the average bear!
Earning the top cookie seller title doesn’t come easy, or without a team to assist. It was a family affair with Mom, Dad and future Girl Scout and sister Natalie. The ideas were her own but her family helped her see them through!
“I told her I would go out with her every day until she got sick of it. I really thought she would get sick of it!” Mary said. But, Mackenzie never did!
When her first shipment of cookies arrived on February 10, she hit the ground running and never looked back. Mackenzie only took off 4 days during Cookie Season – every other day she was working her business. Even on the days she was feeling under the weather, she requested hot tea with honey and lemon for a little pick me up before she got to work!
“In the beginning I helped her set up the booth. By the end I would just take the table out of the car because she couldn’t do that but she would have to move all the cookies, “Mary said.
Mackenzie won’t divulge all her secrets and tactics because she is a smart business woman (and because she has set her goals even higher next year)! However, she does want her Girl Scout sisters to also have successful cookie businesses. “I would tell them to never give up,” was her advice to other Girl Scouts.
Mackenzie wasn’t the only one in her troop that had successful cookie season! Her friend Kaira sold more than 2,000 boxes as well, often working her business alongside Mackenzie’s.
After it’s all said and done, Mackenzie’s work ethic and savvy business practices have earned her every item in the recognition program including $180 in Cookie Dough, tickets to Girl Scout Day at the K, Sporting KC, SeaLife and LEGOLAND passes as well as an overnight stay at Great Wolf Lodge. Additionally, she helped raise more than $3,000 for activities for her troop!
As a troop they have learned about “save a little, give a little and spend a little” and that will impact how they use their cookie money. One thing they have decided is that they will be donating some of their proceeds to five area charities that they voted on.
Lastly, participating in the Cookie Program this year has brought the Barrera’s family Girl Scout experience full circle. Several years ago Mackenzie’s Dad, Boris, was stationed in Afghanistan with the Marines and while there he received packages of Girl Scout Cookies from the USO. Mackenzie is proud to have raised $828 for the Cookie Share Program. 207 packages will be sent to service men and women on her behalf.
We are so proud of Mackenzie’s hard work and commend her on an excellent first Cookie Season! While she hasn’t finalized her goal for 2016, she knows that she wants to top her sales from this year. We have no doubt that Mackenzie can achieve anything she puts her mind to!
Congratulations to these Girl Scouts who sold 2,000+ packages of Girl Scout Cookies:
Emma M. – Troop 3595 – 2,025 Girl Scout Cookies
Kaira L. – Troop 3135 – 2,010 Girl Scout Cookies
Rebecca M. – Troop 27 – 2,248 Girl Scout Cookies
Tehya F. – Troop 1945 – 3,172 Girl Scout Cookies