We recently had the pleasure of collaborating with the company, Noonday Collection! They like us are also a fair trade, sustainable and cruelty free company!
I had the opportunity to interview one of the founders, Jaclyn Bell. I asked her about their company, why and how they got started as well as what keeps their drive and passion up to continue on with their company! It was so nice seeing another company share the same passion and values as we do here at Consume with Love!
Below are a couple of the questions I asked her!
- What made you want to start your company
Our family was in the process of adopting our son from Rwanda. I hosted the first Noonday Trunk Show as a fundraiser for our adoption. As my friends fell in love with the style and story, I began to dream bigger than a fundraiser. I believed in the power of business to create lasting change for people.
- How did you get started
It all started when a friend introduced me to Jalia and Daniel, talented jewelry designers in Uganda with a passion for creating opportunity for others in their community. I agreed to purchase their paper-bead creations and sold them at the very first Noonday Trunk Show in my home to raise money for my family’s adoption from Rwanda. The response to Jalia and Daniel’s handmade accessories was overwhelming, and what started as a fundraiser quickly grew into a business bent on changing the world. We now partner with 28 artisan businesses in 12 countries, creating jobs for over 4,000 Artisans.
- What made you want to create a company that was fair trade and sustainable
Because I believed in the mission so much and in the power of business to create lasting change for people, I really wanted Noonday to be sustainable. It needed to grow in order to survive. And I knew that so many peoples’ successes all over the world were linked to mine –Jalia and Daniel in Uganda, Carlos in Ecuador, Sham in India – and that inspired me to make this thing work!
- How do you find products you want to sell
Well, we collaborate with our Artisan Partners to create unique, one of a kind pieces. Working with artisan entrepreneurs is a truly unique experience, one that has been so illuminating and at times challenging! We identify some of our partners at trade shows and through mutual contacts, but we also travel the globe on scouting trips to find new partnerships. We spend time in the markets and in the heart of local craft districts to identify groups that would be a good fit. What we are looking for is artisan entrepreneurs who share our passion for creating jobs for people in their communities, are committed to following fair trade standards, and have the capacity to produce on a larger scale than they would in the market.
- Have you traveled to any of the places to see where the products are made
Yes – almost all of them! I find so much inspiration on my travels to visit our artisan partners across the globe. Each artisan business we partner with brings their unique skills, craft techniques, and local materials to their pieces. Our design team in Austin collaborates with artisan designers to create pieces that feel modern and relevant, while also carrying a unique story of the place they were crafted. For example, many of our pieces from Vietnam use water buffalo horn, a material that has been used for hundreds of years in that region. By incorporating new design ideas and materials with that traditional material, we are able to create something new and fresh with an authentic feel.
- How did you establish a name for yourself
I don’t really know what “established” means in this context, but I’m a believer in hard work. I hustle and chase after my dreams and the dreams of our Artisan Partners and I think that shows.
- What made you come up with the name for your company
The name “Noonday” Collection comes from Isaiah 58:10 which says “If you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” My desire to create a marketplace for artisan business really comes from this place of wanting to bring these words from Isaiah to life.
- Where do you see the company in five years
In five years I hope we will be continuing to grow and expand Noonday to impact more and more communities across the globe. Every time I travel to a new country or region, I’m reminded that there are driven, talented artisan entrepreneurs all over the world who, if given the chance, could transform their communities for the better. We want to be that chance for them.
At Noonday we are all about empowering women—both across the globe and right in our own backyards. In five years, I would love to see our Ambassador community continuing to grow and thrive. By styling their friends in our handmade collection, our 1400+ Noonday Ambassadors are creating meaningful opportunities for thousands of Artisans across the globe. And that’s not all—they’re also creating meaningful opportunities for themselves and other women in their communities. They’re finding strength they never knew they had as business owners, advocates, and stylish girlbosses. And seeing those transformations fills me with so much pride!
- How do you establish connections to get your name out there
I just try to be me and not get up in the game of comparison that is so easy to fall into. Also, I have a team now who is devoted to ensuring we partner with influencers and brands that like-minded. They get my name out there!
- What is your favorite part of running this business
Over the years, one of my favorite things has been getting to witness what happens when women from across the globe realize that they aren’t so different after all. We invite Ambassadors to travel with us to meet the Artisans who make our jewelry. On these trips, women realize that no matter how different their lives may appear, they share the same dreams! They want the opportunity to use their gifts, to support their families, and to make a difference in their communities.
Thank you so much Jaclyn and the rest of the Noonday Collection staff for working with us!
As always, happy shopping!
Jordan Miller-Mandel, Digital/Social Media Intern