Noonday Collection: Jewelry Creating Meaningful Impact

Noonday Collection: Jewelry Creating Meaningful Impact

There was a time when we would blindly purchase clothing, jewelry, and accessories without giving it a thought as to where, how, or who makes them. Times are definitely changing and consumers are now questioning the fairness, sustainability, and impact the production of what we wear has on the communities they come from. In comes, Noonday Collection, Austin-based jewelry, and accessories company with a mission to create a global impact, one beautifully crafted piece at a time.


Photo sourced via Noonday Collection

SLTV: Tell us about Noonday Collection. What was the inspiration behind starting the company?
NDC:
Jessica Honegger launched Noonday Collection in 2010 after she connected with Jalia and Daniel, talented jewelry designers in Uganda who dreamed of using fashion to create dignified jobs in their community. Jessica hosted the first Noonday Trunk Show, selling Jalia and Daniel’s jewelry in her home to raise funds to adopt from Rwanda. Women fell in love with the style and story – and Jessica began to dream bigger than a fundraiser.

Jessica soon partnered with Travis Wilson, a friend passionate about social entrepreneurship and experienced in building businesses. Both Travis and Jessica had spent years working in Africa and Latin America. Together they dreamed of starting a business that would alleviate poverty through entrepreneurship. This dream became Noonday Collection – a business that uses fashion to create meaningful opportunities around the world.


Founder & Co-CEO, Jessica Honegger. Photo sourced via Noonday Collection


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SLTV: How many countries do you source from?
NDC: We partner with 33 Artisan Businesses in 15 countries around the world. Many of the Artisan Business Leaders focus on hiring people in their communities who may otherwise be overlooked for jobs, including women, people living with disabilities, and survivors of trafficking.

SLTV: That’s beautiful! Are the products considered Fair Trade?
NDC: Yes! Every Noonday Collection product is fair trade. Noonday Collection is actually both a member of the Fair Trade Federation and a Certified Benefit Corporation. We are fully committed to following the principles of fair trade in how we do business. We also ensure that our Artisan Business Partners follow the principles of fair trade in how they do business. At Noonday, our commitment to fair trade means much more than simply meeting a list of standards – it means building strong relationships with Artisan Businesses so we can make an impact together.


Photo sourced via Noonday Collection

SLTV: Yes, that is so important, especially since we’ve been seeing plenty of unfair treatment now that the true cost of fashion has been revealed. How do you ensure the product is sustainable?
NDC: We require the Artisan Businesses from which we source products to follow the principles of fair trade in how they do business. Many of our suppliers are members of the Fair Trade Federation, World Fair Trade Organization, or other fair trade membership organizations. We have a dedicated production team that regularly interact and visit these businesses to ensure they are meeting these standards, responsible sourcing.

Many of our products are made by hand without the use of electricity or fuel. Hand skills like weaving, embroidery, and knitting are eco-friendly. Some of our products are made with natural materials including wood, stones, seeds, alpaca wool, and cotton. Where possible, we use natural dyes, vegetable-tanned leather, and ethically sourced silk, horn, and bone.


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SLTV: That is excellent! How do you select the Artisan Partners?
NDC: We travel the world to identify Artisan Entrepreneurs who are passionate about making a difference in their communities. We intentionally look for partners with whom we can make an impact in communities where people face poverty or injustice. Our Founder and co-CEO Jessica Honegger spends a larger percentage of her time seeking out future partnerships around the globe.

We design jewelry and accessories in collaboration with talented Artisans, using unique materials and traditional skills to create beautiful, unique jewelry. We develop Artisan Businesses through fair trade, empowering them to grow sustainably. By connecting Artisan Businesses to a growing market for their goods, we enable them to create more jobs for people in their communities who need them.


Photo sourced via Noonday Collection

SLTV: You mentioned passion about making a difference. How are you creating change and a significant impact with Noonday?
NDC: We have learned that what people want most in the world is the opportunity to flourish – not with a handout, but by dignified work. While everybody wants a good job, few people in the developing world have opportunities for dignified work. We believe that creating dignified jobs in vulnerable communities is a powerful way to alleviate poverty and ultimately create social change.

Additionally, while we believe that dignified job creation is the most effective way to alleviate poverty— we also know that additional help is often needed to bridge the gap for families in vulnerable communities. That’s why we developed the Flourishing World Initiative, which provides direct financial and in-kind donations to programs that support the well-being of women, children, and families in the Noonday community.


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SLTV: Tell us about your Ambassador program? Do customers only purchase via Direct Sales or can they shop online?
NDC:
Customers can purchase through www.noondaycollection.com or through their local Noonday Ambassador. The Ambassador community is a sisterhood of passionate, purposeful women who seek to make a difference in the world while earning an income that makes an impact. We often hear from our Ambassadors that our community is a gift and many have found lifelong friendships. We welcome anyone seeking an income that creates meaningful impact and enjoys gathering women to shop for good.

Ambassadors create a marketplace for Artisans around the world by partnering with women who gather their friends. By styling their friends and sharing the stories of transformation behind our collection, Ambassadors earn an income with an impact and change the world. Ambassadors can also earn trips to visit Artisans around the world and grow as leaders through our coaching program.


Photo sourced via Noonday Collection

SLTV: I’m sure in-person visits and styling have been limited these days. How has the Pandemic impacted the current market? Have you had to pivot with the Artisans and/or the Ambassadors?
NDC:
The arrival of the global pandemic has given our Noonday community even more of a reason to band together. As a company, we pivoted to focus on virtual gatherings, whereas before the majority of our gatherings were in person. Starting in mid-March of 2020 we announced the Gather for Good campaign, where Noonday donated 10% of sales from a virtual gathering to anyone in need during these trying times. This initiative empowered Ambassadors to partner with Hostesses and determine who was in need of financial assistance. Noonday Ambassadors pivoted and began partnering with their Hostesses for virtual Trunk Shows via Facebook, Zoom, Google Hangouts, and more.

The Gather for Good campaign concluded at the end of May, and as a result, $120,066 was donated to local communities here in the U.S. Noonday Ambassadors led virtual gatherings that benefited 1,009 small businesses, individuals, and non-profit organizations up against economic challenges due to COVID-19. One week in May we selected No Kid Hungry as our common fundraising focus, and together we raised $20,883 for this important cause.

Additionally, in June we set our sights towards our global Artisan Business Partners and launched the Gather for Global Good campaign – part of our annual Impact Giveback program meant to raise funds for a specific country, partner, or cause. This year 10% of all Trunk Show sales in June were designated to increase emergency funding for Artisan Businesses facing the global pandemic. You can see where these donations have been made here.

Our Home Office team also began working remotely whenever possible, and multiple safety and social-distancing protocols were put into place in order to keep our team safe as we continued to fulfill orders.

SLTV: That makes perfect sense. So, what are the plans/hopes for the future?
NDC:
We are focused on amplifying our impact in communities across the globe by welcoming more Ambassadors into our Noonday community! When you shop our collectionhost a Trunk Show, or become an Ambassador, you join us in creating meaningful opportunities for people around the world. The end result we seek, our mission, is that together we are building a flourishing world where children are cherished, women are empowered, people have jobs and we are connected.


Photo sourced via Noonday Collection

SLTV: As a Texas-based company, how do you plan to create positive growth in the Texas Fashion Industry?
NDC:
Though we are a national brand, we are proud to be Texas founded and based! You can typically find our team or Founder, Jessica Honegger, at several events throughout the state from SXSW to the Texas Conference for Women. We proudly share our story and how a Texas-based company can make a global difference through fashion. We also have a strong base of Noonday Ambassadors across the state who are changing the world and making their own communities more stylish at the same time.

SLTV: Wonderful! What’s next for Noonday Collection?
NDC: We just launched our Fall 2020 Collection! This is actually one of the pivots we recently made and have published a digital, shoppable lookbook. You can explore hundreds of handcrafted accessories, learn how you can earn your favorites for free by hosting a Trunk Show, or read more about making an income with impact as a Noonday Ambassador at www.noondaycollection.com/lookbook


Photo sourced via Noonday Collection


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Jeanelly Concepcion
[email protected]

Originally from New York City, Jeanelly is of Dominican roots. Having lived in Puerto Rico for over 22 years, she now enjoys a highly successful fashion blogging career at TheFashionLotus.com. She is a Texas influencer and has been a freelance fashion contributor for Style Lush TV for several years. She believes in empowering women through fashion and helping them feel beautiful no matter what their financial situation, body shape, age or where they live or work.