Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of spending an evening with some of my fellow Portland-area Noonday Ambassadors and…JESSICA HONNEGER, FOUNDER AND CO-CEO OF NOONDAY COLLECTION!
Me with JESSICA HERSELF. You know, know big deal. 😉
I have written before about Noonday, about my journey, and about how it has caused me to grow, to stretch, to believe I could do hard things, and to give myself permission to show up to the things I feel called to be a part of, whether anyone else has invited me or not. You can read more about that journey here, here, here, here, and here.
I was reminded that evening in a BIG WAY why Noonday Collection is pretty much everything to where my heart is at right now, another example of how God’s purpose for this Noonday journey of mine keeps unfolding.
During their talks with us, Jessica and Noonday’s VP of Sales and Ambassador Development, Allison Lime, spoke to something that is pretty much entirely all of what I’m here for right now, and that is MOMS. Jessica told stories of how Noonday has impacted the lives of families around the world. Allison asked us in the room to share our “why” for signing up with Noonday, and so many of the stories of the women in the room centered around motherhood. Here are my three biggest takeaways from listening to those stories.
- Noonday Collection is empowering moms around the world to be able to provide for their children. Extreme poverty around the world puts moms in positions that no parent should have to be in: Considering whether she should give her child up for adoption because she can’t afford to feed her, debating whether to sell one child into slavery to afford to feed the others, leaving her babies alone at night while she goes work the streets as a prostitute to earn the money her family needs. I have a physical reaction to hearing these scenarios. My mama’s heart aches DEEPLY at the prospect. But these are the stories of some of the moms and dads who work for Noonday’s artisan partners around the world- moms and dads who ended up NOT having to take desperate measures because of their dignified jobs with Noonday’s artisan partners. When we partner with Noonday Collection, either as Ambassadors, Hostesses, or Customers, the sales we generate translate directly into orders or our artisan partners, which means MORE JOBS for people who need it. Dignified employment and a sustainable income means POWER for moms to make choices out of what’s best for them and their kids, not out of desperation.
- Noonday is enabling moms (and dads) to adopt and bring kids home to their forever families. Noonday Collection was founded out of Jessica’s own journey of adoption and it has maintained strong ties to adoption as it has grown over the past six years. Noonday allows hostesses to turn their trunk shows into benefits for adopting families to help offset the astronomical cost of adoption. Because of its ties to the adoption community, many of our ambassadors are also adoptive mamas. All of that combines together to make Noonday such a force of light and strength and support for adopting families. So far, I’ve been able to partner with three adopting families to help raise funds to bring their kids home and I’ve cheered countless other families on through the Ambassador Community. It’s a privilege to be a part of connecting kids with their forever families and mamas with the little ones their hearts are longing for and to be a part of a community that gives so much support to adopting families.
- Noonday is connecting moms around the world to PURPOSE. Sometimes as a mom, my heart aches to MATTER to someone outside of the borders of my home. I mean heck, why else would I have even started this blog, right? And I know I’m not alone in that ache on my heart- we are built for connection. The desire to matter to others and to help others is innate in all of us. Noonday Collection provides Ambassadors, Hostesses, and Customers with the chance to do that. We are also providing opportunities for women around the world to step into purpose as well- and to know that they are enabling OUR purpose as well. That mutual connection, the symbiosis of Noonday Collection here in America and our artisan partners around the world just feels sacred to me. We couldn’t do what we do without them and they couldn’t do what they do without us- we all know we matter to one another, to other moms and other families, and that is beautiful and powerful stuff.
I had to leave early that night to get home to an extremely sick Kenzie. I said goodnight to Jessica, who took the time to talk to me for a minute right before I left (that woman makes you feel like you’re the only person in the room) and I ached to stay longer and chat with everyone.
But as I lay in bed that night, brushing the hair off of Kenzie’s burning forehead, I knew that that moment was just as important to connecting me to my purpose with Noonday as it was sitting in that room with our founder and other Ambassadors. The compulsion on a mama’s heart to provide for her children is one of the deepest things I have ever experienced. The idea that, through partnering with Noonday collection, I help enable moms around the world to provide the food, shelter, and medical care that their kids need is EVERYTHING to me right now.
I’ve set a goal for myself to sell enough Noonday this Fall to earn a trip to meet some of our artisan partners this summer. So far, the going has been rough, but I am encouraged to keep fighting to reach that goal so that I can sit across from these women and thank them in person for breathing such purpose into my life. It’s such a beautiful thing when women come together to support, encourage, and enable one another to be all we can be for ourselves and our families. I’m so glad I took the risk a year ago and I can’t wait to see what the next year brings!