Today’s guest is Jessica Honegger Founder and Co-CEO of the Noonday Collection. Noonday Collection partners with talented artisan entrepreneurs to make a difference in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. By developing artisan businesses through fair trade, they empower them to grow sustainably and to create dignified jobs for people who need them. So, how cool is that? Most little girls had lemonade stands. Jessica, on the other hand, had jewelry stands. Jessica grew up in San Antonio, Texas as the daughter and granddaughter of women who loved style and fashion. Some of Jessica's earliest memories are of digging through her grandmother's treasure of jewelry curated from adventures around the world.
At age 16, Jessica traveled to Kenya and witnessed what life was like for children growing up without clean water, safe housing or loving families – and something began stirring in her heart. She knew then she wanted to spend her life creating opportunity for the poor.
She came home from the trip a bit of an activist. The girl who was once interested in jewelry and makeup held rallies at school to raise money for children in Kenya. After college, Jessica volunteered in Bolivia and Guatemala with Food for the Hungry. As she spent her days working with Bolivian Artisans discovering the vibrant markets of Guatemala, she saw what people could do for themselves with just a little bit of opportunity. She realized that entrepreneurship was a sustainable solution to poverty. Somewhere along the way, Jessica rediscovered her joy in fashion and style. She began to dream of using fashion and design to create economic opportunity for vulnerable communities. In 2010, Jessica and her husband Joe went on a trip to Uganda to visit friends who were serving at an orphanage. It was then that Jessica and her husband decided to grow their family through adoption. She hosted the first Noonday Collection Trunk Show as a fundraiser for her adoption from Rwanda – and the rest is history. Today as Co-CEO of Noonday Collection, Jessica spends her days inspiring others to live lives of purpose. She travels across the United States and around the world, training Ambassadors to be stylists and storytellers and visiting Artisans to encourage them in their work. When she's off-duty, Jessica loves spending time with her husband Joe and their three kids, Amelie, Holden and Jack.
Insight and Notable Quotes from Jessica
“I think my standard of parenting then was..Perfect parenting IN = Perfect kids OUTwhen in reality we are not in complete control and we can do so many things but at the end of the day there are a lot of things that aren’t in our control.”
“When you are cornered it can actually be a beautiful place to be.”
“I was scared, but I went afraid.”
“Your kids are going to learn so much more from you by going to and answering 3rd world problems than by you being there to answer their every 1st world problem.”
“My kids can flourish not in spite of my work but because of my work!”
- When you are truly passionate about the purpose behind what you are doing, you won’t be afraid to ask for help.
- If you are living outside of your purpose then you are going to by an angsty mom for your kids.
- When women say yes to other women… that’s what changes the world.
- Women can move mountains and we are!
- Entrepreneurship is a beautiful way to create opportunity for people.
- Entrepreneurship is not limited to the American dream.
- Don’t let perfect be your standard
- Done is better than perfect
So, if you are wanting to start something definitely do research figure out as much as you but don’t strive for perfection before making the jump. Remember why you are wanting to do something and the how will figure itself out
On being authentic to who you are and what your purpose is - “We keep crying out to know the will of God without realizing his will is knitted into the fabric of our being.”
Parenting Hack - Jessica was part of a meal coop for years with two other couples. You would cook one night of the week and deliver to the other parents and then they would deliver meals to your house the other nights
WOW factors of the Noonday Collection business
- They donate 10% of any total sales from adoption parties to help bring them home. They’ve helped bring home 3,000 kids
- Started with 2 artisans in Uganda and they now employ 400 artisans
- Noonday now globally partners with 30 business which employ 4,000 artisans and that impacts 20,000 family members
- Now have 1500 Ambassadors selling Noonday Collection in the USA
Ways you can help
Visit Noonday Collection to find a local ambassador to host a show or to join the team!