Five years ago I was a new mom, living in my husband’s hometown, and really pretty lonely. I was invited to a Noonday trunk show where I was introduced to this company and its mission and fell in love with both the products and the purpose. That night I bought two pieces of jewelry made in Uganda. I chose Ugandan pieces because A. they’re incredible, and B. 18 years ago my parents followed God’s call and did something pretty crazy and we moved to Uganda for a year! I was 14 and not one little bit happy about it, but it ended up being such an incredible and life-changing year for me. We lived and worked at an orphanage a few hours from the capital city of Kampala; we were “out in the bush.” My dad was the construction manager filling in while that family took a year-long furlough in the U.S. My mom and I were also able to serve in different ways. I made so many friends and had such an unforgettable experience living in a third-world country and really connecting with the people there. I went back for three weeks when I was 18, visiting the orphanage again and spending time with a single missionary woman in the capital city. It was amazing to be back in the country that I fell in love with, to reconnect with the friends I had made, and see what city life was like.
Both of the times I traveled to Uganda, I came back with amazing jewelry, handmade beaded leather sandals, gorgeous batiks, stunning fabric and more. The artisans in Uganda are so skilled and creative. So when I went to that first Noonday party I was instantly drawn to the Ugandan jewelry and the story of Noonday providing jobs to artisans around the world. That night I bought a bracelet and a necklace!
Since then I have added to my Noonday collection every year and it has absolutely been my most worn and treasured jewelry.
Over the years of going to Noonday trunk shows I learned more and more about the business model and what they are doing globally and I’ve always felt that tug to get involved more. When I listened to Jen Hatmaker interview Noonday founder Jessica Honegger it pushed me over the edge and before the podcast was even over I had texted my ambassador Jolene and told her we needed to meet. We met for coffee, I asked a bunch of questions, and then I went for it with no hesitation. I believe in what Noonday is doing on so many levels. Providing stable income to talented artisans around the world. This is truly orphan prevention, as the leading cause of orphans is poverty and there are stories of Noonday artisans being able to get their children back from the orphanage because they could now afford to care for them. I love how Noonday’s roots in adoption fundraising have continued and so many ambassadors are doing what they do to raise money for their own adoptions, and I love that there are special adoption fundraiser trunk shows that anyone can host.
When I became an ambassador I joined arms with the artisans. I advocate for them and sell their amazing products so they have an income. They make these beautiful products and in selling them I make an income! It’s a partnership. Everyone who shops, hosts, or becomes an ambassador has a different “why” and here are some of mine:
1. Sponsor a student at New Hope Uganda: I knew right away the first I wanted to do with some of the income I make from Noonday is sponsor a girl at the orphanage where my family lived and worked. I was so thrilled to find out the girl I am sponsoring is the niece of two friends I made when I lived in Uganda!
2. Be a brand ambassador: one of my personal reasons for becoming an ambassador had to do with the fact that I had an established blog and social media following. I want to use those things for good and promoting a company that is doing such incredible things around the world is a perfect fit. Sometimes I do giveaways, so make sure you’re signed up for my email newsletter!
3. TRAVEL: it is a dream of mine to go back to Uganda and I could have that opportunity through Noonday! Every year ambassadors who earn trips get to travel to the countries where we have artisan partners and meet them. I have met Jalia and Daniel before in the U.S. but I would LOVE to travel to Uganda and see their workshop, meet the artisans, see the daycare they started, the library they built, and so much more!
Ok, now that you know a few of my “Why’s”, here are the three ways you can get involved!
1. Buy gorgeous jewelry! Every purchase you make matters and creates impact.
2. Host a trunk show with me! You have the opportunity to create a marketplace for the artisans with your circle of friends, AND you will earn free jewelry when you do that! If you are local to me (Las Vegas) we can do an in-person trunk show where I bring the jewelry and you bring your circle of girlfriends. If you don’t live local to me we can do an online trunk show or I can connect you with your local ambassador!
3. Become an ambassador! If all of this resonates with you, let’s chat about the ambassador opportunity! I won’t be pushing this on anyone ever, but it is absolutely an option and here’s the deal, I only have so much influence and only know so many people, but when others join in, that reach just grows and grows.