Using Jewelry to Change Women’s Lives with Jessica Honegger of Noonday Collection
Each day, women across the US put on jewelry to accessorize their outfits. In 2009, Americans spent $27.5 billion on jewelry alone. For Jessica Honegger of Noonday Collection, she wanted to provide opportunities for artisans. Artisans in countries including Peru, Ethiopia, Ecuador, Uganda and more, create handmade pieces of jewelry from local materials and many of the women are able to thrive with sustainable incomes for their families. We talked with Honegger last year, and talked with her about what the catalyst was for her company and how Noonday Collection supports adoptions.
“The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk.” Luke 12:42-45
Honegger opens up on how her love for jewelry and a mission trip combined into helping others in need.
“As a little girl I loved jewelry. I remember playing with my grandma’s jewelry. What I didn’t realize at the time, was that I was growing up in a family of women who enjoyed the unique style that accessories can bring [to their self]. When I was 15 years old, I visited Kenya with my church for the first time. I had never seen such poverty. As I was walking through the marketplace, I saw a colorful, vibrant fruit stand. One of the men from the local church who was guiding us around, pointed to it and said that the women selling there was give a little money from the church to start the fruit stand. He explained that the men in her family had been drinking away their money and with a micro loan from the church, she was able to buy a few bananas, oranges and now she has a thriving fruit stand in the middle of [Kibera] slums. That was my first exposure to idea of entrepreneurship and creating an opportunity for others. I didn’t necessarily know that this is what I wanted to do with my life, but it was definitely one of those moments that God used [for me]. If God writes our stories, when we get older we oftentimes look back and see how things are woven together. So being in Kenya and then later working for the organization of Hunger International, I really valued the idea that God calls us to create opportunity for others. Being born in America and with a certain amount of privilege, we all need to create opportunity for others. From that church missions trip I had a calling. I was in Latin American studies in college because I knew I wanted to do something to use the opportunities I have been given to create that for others.”
“The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:46-48
Honegger explains how Noonday Collection supports adoption and orphan care.
“When I first started [selling jewelry] with the idea of helping fund my adoption, I realized that if I carried this out in a bigger business, I wanted to build that support into our program. As such, a person can host a trunk show with a portion of the proceeds going to help a family bring a child home. Noonday has now given away almost a half a million dollars in support of adoption and helped more than 1,600 adoptive families.”
Empower people. Whether it is a mission trip or community outreach, it is often easier to give people a hand out than empowering them for long-term sustainability. If your church or small group is planning an outreach to give away food, clothing or other items, consider if there are things that you can do to help the group long term. It might involve partnering with other groups or organizations to offer resources like job training, medical screenings, or other assistance.
Much is required. Take time this week to reflect on the gifts, talents and treasure that God has entrusted you with. Pray and ask God if you are being a good steward of those things and how you bless others with your gifts and treasures. Read through Luke 12 and write down a prayer of response.
Support adoption. Consider hosting a jewelry party or other fundraiser to help a friend or member of your church in their adoption process. Prayerfully consider adopting or fostering a child. Pray for the children in the foster and adoption system that they would be connected with loving families and that God would consider to raise up families to answer the growing need.
To read our entire interview with Jessica Honegger, click here.
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