Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Yours, Mine, and Ours

About two years ago, Cheryl and I went to our first (and one of the first I'm pretty sure) Noonday trunk show which was being held to raise funds for the adoption of Missy's daughter from Ethiopia.  We were really excited to find out what Noonday Collection was all about and for the chance to support two great causes--the artisans in developing countries and adoption.

I don't remember when I began learning more about the concept of "fair trade" and the impact that our dollars can make, for better or worse.  I knew Noonday Collection would be something I would love because I was (and still am!) in love with the "not-just-for-profit" business model.  I have no background in business but this merger of capitalism and compassion excite me to no end.  The idea that a company will just say, "Yes, we want to make money, preferably a lot of it.  But we will only be as successful as we are responsible" is just so inspiring.

I toyed with the idea of becoming an ambassador for Noonday from the beginning.  But I had three kids three and under and launching a business just didn't seem feasible.  About a year later, I explored the possibility again.  I hosted a trunk show (and I used my hostess rewards to buy this little beauty)

This necklace will change your life.  I kid you not.

I decided I still wasn't in a place to commit to being an ambassador.  The boys were a little older but it still felt like too much to take on.

Fast-forward one more year.  Our family was going through a lot of personal and professional changes.  We started homeschooling.  I started teaching a class for our homeschool group.  I had a 5, 4, and 2 year old.  So I picked THEN to become an ambassador.  Makes total sense.  But it has been a great decision.  I absolutely love that I get to combine so many of my interests into one role as an ambassador.  

That's my story.  And it overlaps with their story--the artisans around the world that have found sustainable income because we sell the products they create.  I put on my beautiful salmon-colored Cascading Falls necklace from Ecuador and all of a sudden, it becomes our story.  I wear it--not just on me, but in me.

As the picture above states, when you give a gift from Noonday Collection, you really do give twice.  Your friend, sister, wife, or daughter receives a beautiful piece of jewelry or a fun new accessory, and the artisan who made it receives dignity, hope, and--let's not over-romanticize this--a paycheck!  Do you like pay day? Yeah, me too.  Them, too.  Universal happy dance.

And just in case you need a few suggestions, here are some of my favorites.  The above necklace of course. A little pricey BUT you will wear that thing non-stop.  So divide $138 by a million to arrive at the price-per-wear and you will find that it's practically free.

Also, the Bethe Rope necklace and Organica necklace (both shown here) are lovely and versatile.
The Bethe is made in Ethiopia out of recycled artillery.  What's it called when you take something with a history of pain and sorrow and make something beautiful out of it?...oh yeah--REDEMPTION.  Now available in necklace form.

This one is sort of the quintessential Noonday piece.  It is well-made, well-priced, and goes with everything.

 The Beaded Statement bracelet is made in Uganda.  Oh the amazing stories coming out of Uganda. 

Another favorite, go-to, wear all the time with everything piece is the Angelica Infinity Scarf.

The infinity scarf is my favorite because it is such a no-brainer to wear.  You throw it on and it looks cute with no complicated tying or arranging.  

Ok, just one more.  Tea towels!  The absolute perfect gift.  If you have a kitchen, you need a tea towel. It says, "I'm cute but I don't try too hard."

This is the set of three but you can order them individually.  

I could go on.  But I won't.  You have until Sunday, the 16th to order.  So go ahead--give twice.

PS--There are a LOT of companies out there with the same heart and goals as Noonday.  If this isn't quite your aesthtic or products that fit your needs, I encourage you to look around until you find one that resonates with you.  A few places I can recommend are Trade As One, Ten Thousand Villages, and Krochet Kids

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