Meet Kristen Hess: a Girl Scout Entrepreneur Building Beyond Tomorrow

Our Building Beyond Tomorrow campaign was a huge success thanks to 23 dedicated fundraisers. Collectively, these individuals raised over $42,000 from 191 donors. Kristen Hess led the pack, raising over $5,000 for this initiative.

Kristen is the founding Principal and CEO of HH Architecture, which she launched in Raleigh in 2005. These days, Kristen’s primary role is leading business development for the firm and building relationships in the community. She also spends time mentoring students and aspiring community leaders throughout the state, and volunteers her time to the Governor’s Council on Historically Underutilized Businesses and the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of North Carolina Coastal Pines.

Before Kristen started HH Architecture, she was a Girl Scout. She comes from a four-generation Girl Scout family – her grandmother, mother, and daughter are Girl Scouts too! Kristen proudly went on to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award and was even a troop leader after she graduated college.

Through her involvement, she made friends when she moved to North Carolina from out of state as an adolescent, an experience she continues to be grateful for, “my closest, closest, dearest friends still today are from Girl Scouts,” Kristen said in a Girl Talk Tuesday interview. But lifelong friends aren’t the only things Kristen got from Girl Scouts, “everything in my life that has made me the strong leader that I am, I can point to Girl Scouting,” she told us.

Kristen is reminded of the valuable skills she gained while a Girl Scout, “selling cookies, fundraising, service work, running meetings, having to collect dues, all those things- I look back on it and say, those leaders made us do it all.” The groundwork for her future career was laid, in part, by what she learned while a Girl Scout and, as she puts it, “Girl Scouts teaches us that we can do anything.” 

That can-do attitude and entrepreneurial spirit is what led her to start her own business. Kristen was met with many obstacles, like being told getting into architecture school would be too difficult and that architecture was a man’s profession. Despite what others said, Kristen was undeterred and started HH Architecture independently while she was new mom. She believed in herself, worked hard, and now owns a successful business that has designed science labs, schools, museums, park buildings, and more. 

So, with work, motherhood, and volunteering on her plate, why did she fundraise for Building Beyond Tomorrow? She told her supporters, “I am so grateful for what #GirlScouts has done for me. I am giving back.” 

Thank you, Kristen, for giving back to the next generation of Girl Scouts and making our communities and world a better place. 

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