There have been small changes on the blog here, dear readers. I’m sure some of you have noticed the new buttons in the sidebar and the updated picture taken by the super talented Rebecca Gutwin. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, maybe you’ve noticed these pictures. One observant friend PM’d me wondering if I was about to announce something big on the blog. Not wanting to give anything away yet, I just shrugged and wrote back, ‘Maybe”.
Well, the time’s come to share, after lots of prayer, asking my girlfriends if I’m crazy, and reading Nish Weiseth’s ground-breaking book,“Speak:How Your Story Can Change the World”, I’ve decided to become an Ambassador for Noonday Collections!!!!!
Noonday Collection is a unique company that uses fashion and design to create economic opportunity for the vulnerable in developing countries. For over a year, I’ve loved Noonday Collection. I’ve
wasted spent hours drooling over their website and dreamed about becoming a voice for the artisans through the Ambassador opportunity, but I’m a home based business failure so I resigned myself to praying and shopping. I know, I know, suffering (stylishly) for Jesus. After reading Nish’s book, I had a restlessness about my Noonday decision, though. I think God opened my eyes to see that Noonday is different from most jewelry or for-profit philanthropic businesses because it’s story-driven. Every piece is made by an artisan group that has a unique story of brokenness made whole by their partnership with Noonday. Every artisan group offers dignified work and livable wages to their community. Where there is oppression, Noonday uses mediums that are so universal and creative to break those bonds-fashion, beauty, and stories.
Today’s my turn to share why I love Noonday on the Ambassador Blog Train and I’m so excited to introduce you to this company. At the end of this post, I’ll offer a giveaway of one of my favorite Noonday pieces from the fall line to you my readers. For more opportunities to learn about and win some Noonday swag visit one of my fellow ambassadors Shelley Perry’s corner of the internet tomorrow morning.
This morning I listened to TED talk radio hour while doing my chores and the episode on giving eerily matched all of the reasons I love Noonday. So I’ll use it as the framework for sharing
From four very different perspectives offered insights on giving and alleviating poverty:
Mark Bezos–firefighter who perspective of “hero” changed when his simple act of kindness made a big impact.
Ron Finley–A “Gangsta gardener” created sustainable health and growth for his inner-city neighborhood with his urban garden. He transformed his community by offering dignified work, education, and a mission to his neighbors.
Dan Pallotta–A Harvard-educated business man/humanitarian activist who suggests we’d see more change in the world if we responded to savvy charity organizations with generosity and partnership
Amanda Palmer–A musician who had the courage to see her fans as people, honor that in them, and invite them as more than consumers but partners in her passion to make the world more beautiful through music.
While listening, I thought about Shalom and how each speaker’s thoughts on giving and affecting change in the world revealed something profound about it. I believe Noonday is doing amazing Shalom work and I’m excited to be a part of it as an Ambassador.
From the TED Talk radio hour I realized that:
Shalom is simple
Shalom is sustainable
Shalom is Savvy
Shalom starts by seeing
Noonday is simple
We have incredible purchasing power to harness. What If we made small adjustments to our shopping habits? We could create a lovely ripple effect of wholeness for the economically vulnerable. Even I, a housekeeper, nanny, and stay at home mom, have more resources available to me than most of the women in the world. If I take the money I earn at my little housekeeping side-job and put it towards a lovely piece of jewelry made by a woman who has no other opportunity for work but what Noonday’s partnership provides– I can make a lasting impact on a family in need. A couple of months ago, I missed an opportunity to empower with my purchases. When a girlfriend posted on Facebook that she was outside our favorite jewelry store, I texted her ‘Grab me a few necklaces you think I’ll like and I’ll send you a check later this week.’ This type of transactions happens all the time for me, but when I got those necklaces I had a sobering thought, ‘what if I didn’t text her? What if I took that money I would have spent at the store and bought one really spectacular piece from Noonday? What if I had a necklace that I could wear that would prompt me to pray for peace in Uganda, Guatemala, Peru or Ethiopia?’ I’m passionate about the Shalom of Noonday Collections because it’s as simple as opening my eyes to my purchasing power and being willing to interrupt my shopping habits. Shalom for the globally oppressed isn’t easy, but it is simple.
Noonday is Sustainable
Noonday not only creates economic opportunity by purchasing from the artisans at a far and equitable rate, but they offer scholarships, no-interest loans, and emergency help. Following Jesus’ lead to help the hurting then empowering them change their community, Noonday’s mission is effect long-lasting change in developing countries. Working with the artisans to make products we buy so often–earrings for date night, a bracelet for the babysitter, a roomy tote for back to school, scarfs for warmth in the winter–is creates a lovely long-term partnership.
Noonday is Savvy
From hiring designers who worked with Free People and have their thumbs on the pulse of what’s trendy, reads well with the Western market, and what’s economical to make, to visiting the communities where the artisans live to find out what natural resources are available to make their jewelry, I’m impressed with the business acumen of Noonday. Their look-books are stunning, the website is so easy to navigate, and the products–all handmade–are wonderful quality. To be honest, when I first learned about Noonday, I balked at some of the prices. I’m used to catching deals at the mall and buying on clearance at target, but when I allowed myself to see the people behind the pieces it all changed for me because…
Noonday is story-driven. It’s relational. After making a wish list of items I thought too pricey for my budget, I spent some time on the impact page to learn their stories. Taking Nish’s words to heart:
The problem of poverty fatigue isn’t with the organizations doing the work. Rather, the problem is with our inability to connect on a deeper level with those in need. How can we actually work to eradicate the crippling effects of poverty on children, adults, and communities around the world? Stories.
After reading the artisan’s stories, I learned that people are worth the cost, hearing and sharing is priceless exchange, and this, creating shalom by seeing people the way God sees them is the cost of discipleship.
So, can you see why I’m such a big fan and thrilled to be a Noonday ambassador? I love Noonday and I know you will too, not just because they are an amazing company, but because their pieces are gorgeous. Here are my favorites from the fall line…
Today I’m giving away another favorite, feathered fringe earrings to one of you, my lovely readers.
Then coming back here to tell me which story and or piece really spoke to you.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting a weekly V-blog tentatively called, “Osheta’s Noonday Journey” where I’ll share my favorite stories and pieces. This will be new, but a fun way I want to connect with you all. So, one entry for the earrings if you comment. If you purchase any of the items you see in this post from my Ambassador site–you’ll get five entries in the giveaway. If you’re local (within 1 hour of Boston) and you host a trunk show with me where I’ll share our artisan’s work and stories— you get ten entries and ten percent of the sales of your show.
So, have fun shopping the Noonday site this weekend and on Tuesday I’ll reveal the winner on the first on the vlog.