Welcome to Noonday

by jenna on March 12, 2013

Y’all, I’m bursting at the seams here.

Bursting with joy, anticipation and eager excitement! Why? Because I’ve started another little business (gulp).

Lately, it’s just been on my heart to do more to help others. I want to jump in instead of just sticking my pinkie toe in the warm water.

I want to take risks, connect with more people and be a part of something bigger than just myself. In other words, I’ve just gotten way too comfortable in my little bubble.

I’ve enjoyed the past few years of working at home in the kitchen and behind the computer immensely, and don’t plan to stop any time soon, but over the past few months I’ve just desired something more. Something different and new. There’s been a deep ache in my soul for real life community and global impact. I’ve always had a huge heart for the poor and oppressed but never knew what I could actually do to make a difference. There were just too many options and so much need.  It’s been a huge struggle in my life, as I’ve felt pulled in many different directions all at once. All this leads me to say that…

 

Yep, you’re talking to your new Noonday Collection Ambassador. :)

I first heard about Noonday from my friend Kacia and could not stop thinking about it. Seriously. I obsessed over the cute things in the shop, thought about how to get involved and prayed long and hard about it. I talked it over with Adam because I knew it would be a big commitment to start a new business right now. However, I believe it’s the season for newness in my life and we both agreed that the job was perfect for me.

All of the jewelry and accessories sold through Noonday are handmade with love by artisans all over the world.

By purchasing Noonday products, you are providing economic opportunity and sustainable income for the poor, oppressed and vulnerable. The more products we sell, the more we are able to buy from these amazing artisans — providing them more money to put food on the table and send their kids to school. By buying a necklace, scarf or pair of earrings, you’re helping to give someone a second chance and a better life.

I have started to book trunk shows in Northern California and if you’re interested in possibly hosting one at your home, school, church, event, retreat, boutique… please email me! The incentives for hosting a Noonday trunk show are incredible {ummm free jewelry?!} and what’s better than an evening spent trying on fun jewelery and accessories with your girlfriends all while sipping wine and eating little snacks?

Thanks so much for all your support, friends! I truly appreciate it. I’m so excited to have y’all on this new journey with me!

http://jennaweber.noondaycollection.com/

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{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

elizabeth @ chronic venture March 12, 2013 at 11:24 am

congrats on the new venture!! so exciting!

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judith scott March 12, 2013 at 11:37 am

Jenna, Good for you! As a big volunteer in various charities, I believe in giving back, it always makes me feel great!
Don’t know if I’m up for hosting a party yet, but would love to attend 1. If anyone in the East Bay (or for that matter anywhere in the BAY) is onboard, maybe I could get included in the guest list?
Congrats, judith

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jenna March 12, 2013 at 11:40 am

Judith – I will send you the invite to the launch party! Thanks for asking! :)

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Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health March 12, 2013 at 9:07 pm

This a wonderful thing you are doing Jenna! I also live in the East Bay Area and would be interested in attending one of the parties. I’d love to know more details when you have time!

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jenna March 12, 2013 at 10:17 pm

I’ll email you the invite to my launch party, Sarah! :)

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Ashley March 12, 2013 at 11:39 am

Wonderful new venture… Enjoy! :)

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Melissa March 12, 2013 at 11:43 am

Good for you! The stuff is beautiful AND makes a difference in people’s lives. Love it :)

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Alysa (InspiredRD) March 12, 2013 at 11:44 am

Eeeeee! So happy for you! I’ve been researching the ambassador opportunity this month, it’s such a great organization.

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Abby @ The Frosted Vegan March 12, 2013 at 11:49 am

Congrats! I can’t wait to check it out :)

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Angela March 12, 2013 at 12:10 pm

I love the idea and heart behind the company! If only I were in Northern California!

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Cassy March 12, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Congratulations, Jenna! What an neat and exciting adventure – sure to flower for you and those you’re helping. Keep it up!

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Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy March 12, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Congratulations! This sounds like a fun opportunity — and even better since you get to give back!

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Ksenija @ Health Ninja March 12, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Congrats on the new business and good luck! It sounds amazing. I am searching for an internship in Sustainability Management at the moment to make something good out of my master’s degree in international management. It is hard to find a steady job with respect to your moralities.

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Molly March 12, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Best of luck! Sounds like a great cause to be involved with. Similar to a shop e have in NC called a thousand villages. By the way, it’s spelled ‘jewelry’.

Have a great day!

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Liz @ EatingPlaces March 12, 2013 at 12:57 pm

I’m so glad to know about this company! Beautiful pictures and products. Thanks for sharing!

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Blair @ The Seasoned Mom March 12, 2013 at 1:04 pm

So exciting! Good luck — it’s a great cause!

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julia March 12, 2013 at 1:08 pm

is noonday affiliated with a religious group?

also, are you making money from selling these people’s crafts?

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jenna March 12, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Noonday is not affiliated with a particular religious group.

In terms of the “making money from crafts” question — Noonday Collection is establishing equitable, long-term relationships between our trading partners in order to ensure low-income artisans are truly being helped out of poverty. We are part of a movement to help others in vulnerable situations move towards economic self-sufficiency through dignified job creation. We pay artisans about 6x more for their products than if they were to just sell them at a local market. We also pay them daily and up front. My role is an independent seller in the company so yes, I do make a percentage of each sale. The more we sell, the more we buy directly from the artisans. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. We are not a charity and believe the most sustainable way to help alleviate poverty is job creation.

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Live Love Yum March 13, 2013 at 3:52 am

Good for you! It’s a great cause – and there nothing wrong with profiting from it. There really is such a terrible stigma about money…. But what’d wrong with wanting it and having it?! Nothing. We all do. There is nothing wrong with wanting money and needing it or same with success – as long as your intentions are honest, pure AND you give back. Which is what you are doing Jenna. Don’t let negative Nellies suggest it is bad. Foolishness.

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Ashley March 12, 2013 at 6:41 pm

I was wondering this too…

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Ashley March 12, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Thanks for your clarification on how the company works jenna!

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dixya @ food, pleasure, and health March 12, 2013 at 1:38 pm

what an exciting opportunity and thoughtful thing Jenna :) i will look into it

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Bruna @morgbu.com March 12, 2013 at 1:42 pm

good luck!

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Sharla March 12, 2013 at 1:44 pm

This is a beautiful ministry and so are the pieces featured!! I have a feeling I’ll be finding a lot of good gifts on the site…good luck with your new endeavor!

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Urban Wife March 12, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Congrats on this new venture, Jenna! It’s so wonderful to see your compassion-filled heart being put into action. :) At the very least, I can pray for blessings to come from this to you and also to those amazing artisans.

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Barbara March 12, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Congrats on the new business!

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Makenzie Ann March 12, 2013 at 3:15 pm

CONGRATULATIONS JENNA! The all caps is a little intimidating but man I am EXCITED! I first heard about Noonday from your site and I love the idea of it! You go girl!!

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John March 12, 2013 at 3:20 pm

I’m very proud of you!
love Dad

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Crystal March 12, 2013 at 4:43 pm

My best friend would LOVE the scarves and jewelry, and her birthday is in April! Are gift certificates available?

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jenna March 12, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Yes ma’am! Here’s a direct link to gift cards. Let me know if I can help you with anything else! :)

http://jennaweber.noondaycollection.com/miscellaneous

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Anne March 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Congratulations Jenna, that is so amazing! I had never hear of the company before, but their products (clutches especially) look fantastic!

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A farmer in the dell March 12, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Heck yeah Jenna! What a great cause.

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Heidi March 12, 2013 at 7:02 pm

I just went to a Noonday show here in South Carolina this Saturday and actually thought of you and some of the products you mentioned months ago. Their stuff is beautiful!

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Olviya@servingsisters.com March 12, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Jenna, this sounds like a wonderful new step in your life. Helping others is so rewarding! May God bless you in this new venture.

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Jessica March 12, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Congrats! I am currently debating what will be my first Noonday purchase after falling in love with everything this weekend and am excited I have an ambassador I can order from now :)

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Megan {Country Cleaver} March 12, 2013 at 8:33 pm

What a fantastic new adventure Jenna. I’m off to shop right now!

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Jamie@everydaydolce.com March 12, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Congrats! That is very cool and it’s awesome to see you following the Lord’s direction — it can be so hard (and so scary!) to do so. Best of luck, girl :)

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Sarah March 12, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Congrats, friend! I’m excited to support you any way I can!

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Chelsea March 12, 2013 at 9:06 pm

I LOVE this; good for you!! :) What about trunk shows in Southern California?

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jenna March 12, 2013 at 10:18 pm

Hmm….that would depend on a few things. Email me!

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Casey March 13, 2013 at 10:48 am

I’m interested in a Southern Cali trunk show too. Just emailed you Jenna!

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Stefanie March 12, 2013 at 11:34 pm

Allow me to speak openly. Just presenting some food for thought, k?
It’s clear you have very good intentions and are coming from a genuine place, but I’m kind of put off by your approach. When I think about oppression, I think widespread cycles of exclusion and violence aimed at a specific group of people who share an identity. Oppressed people are disempowered: without a voice, often invisible in society, and generally unable to meet their own needs. Oppressed people of the world don’t need charity-minded White girls shedding a tear over their misfortunes and referring to them as “the poor and oppressed”. That’s not an empowering attitude, at least not for them to receive. But if jewelry is your calling, go for it. But I think about other ways of building community for social change and individual empowerment that are far more meaningful and transformative, such as getting to know each other and building on all skills in order to support the self-determination of everyone.
Also:
How much of a cut do you get out of the jewelry? Screw the middle (wo)man! Another one of these feel-good, displays of White heroism.

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Reply March 13, 2013 at 1:15 am

I think maybe her use of the word oppressed was misplaced. These artisans are so extremely lucky to have stumbled upon a job in a society that does actually disempower women and make it hard for them to provide for their family. So maybe these specific artisans aren’t oppressed anymore, but without people like jenna making a market for their product, they would have no buyers… she’s creating jobs for them and increasing their income like any small business does in the get-go.

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Live Love Yum March 13, 2013 at 3:54 am

Stefanie…really? She’s contributing to a good cause. She’s hardly robbing the poor…

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amy March 13, 2013 at 11:37 am

Were there no middleman, most/if not all of these artisans would not have access to markets around the world in which to sell their goods. A middleman is not always a bad thing. And if the middleman were doing it for free, that would be charity…taking pity on the poor/oppressed/what-have-you. Based on your denigration of “charity-minded White girls shedding a tear over their misfortunes”, it seems you would be in favor of someone eager to engage in business with these people as a way to empower them, rather than simply make them a charity case. Yet, you also denigrate Jenna for engaging in business with these artisans. Make up your mind! ;)

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jenna March 13, 2013 at 11:52 am

Oh, and I just wanted to add (this is a great discussion happening, by the way!) that you guys may want to check out this blog post by Jessica, our founder. In it, she really gets across what I tried to convey in this post…about money going back to the artisans, the term “poor and oppressed” and other answers to great questions brought up here. She’s a bit more eloquent than me though! ;)

http://www.noondaycollection.com/_blog/blog/post/When_it_Matters/

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Kari March 15, 2013 at 2:57 pm

To Live Love Yum…Stefanie brings up a valid point and I think that is healthy and something that others in Jenna’s place will have to answer at least once. Nobody is calling her anything…so let’s relax ok?

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alex March 13, 2013 at 5:21 am

I think it’s an admirable pursuit to ‘give back’ by supporting individuals’ inherent talents and skills; a profession is invaluable. I wish you success in your own new endeavor!

(As an aside, it was a wee bit disingenuous at the beginning of your post when you mention “starting another little business.” That’s like saying, “I started a business. I’m selling Mary Kay!” Maybe a nod to the Noonday founders is in order?)

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De @ Cooking for the Other Half March 13, 2013 at 6:22 am

I think this is great. Good for you!

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Sarah @ Yogi in Action March 13, 2013 at 7:52 am

I’ve heard about this company before (probably through you since I can’t remember where else). I love the idea. Good for you for getting involved!

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Kay March 13, 2013 at 10:17 am

J at J’s Everday Fashion has also posted about Noonday recently.

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Dana March 13, 2013 at 8:10 am

Jenna, I think you have your heart in the right place, but if you want to “start your own business,” I think you should go to Africa, meet with these women, find out what they need in their society, and then help them fill that gap. Yes, you’re sending them money, but if they’re spending all day long stringing beads for us and not taking care of the needs in their own society, it’s kind of the same as Nike opening up a factory in southern China.

And yeah – I wouldn’t refer to them as poor and oppressed. They might look at us, running around working our heads off, obsessed with nail colors and complaining about our cell phones dying before we can text our BFFs, and think we’re the poor and oppressed ones.

I’m really not trying to knock you here. I’m just saying that I think you have a huge heart and could do a lot more with it.

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jenna March 13, 2013 at 8:17 am

I hope and pray that one day I CAN go to Africa, meet these women and help them fill that gap. However, not everyone can up and go to Africa when they like. Someday though, I would really love to make that trip and hope that I’m able to. I’m saving all the money I make through Noonday to be able to afford a trip like that one day. Until then, I’m just going to keep doing what I can where I can to try to make a difference in people’s lives.

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Dana March 13, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Nice. And remember, you’re already making a big difference in peoples’ lives.

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jenna March 13, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Thank you, Dana :)

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Karen March 13, 2013 at 11:08 am

I agree w/the above comment re. your good and pure intentions and huge heart. Yet, it’s interesting to me that you couch this entire venture as a benevolent gesture – which is not exactly correct given that it is clearly profit making for you. There are thousands of volunteer opportunities with worthwhile charities in which all proceeds are channeled to those in need. The sort of praise you are begging for in your introductory paragraphs belongs to the heroes among us who volunteer their time and donate all profits, not those who are benefiting financially from a capitalist enterprise.

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Lauren March 13, 2013 at 11:15 am

Absolutely agree, Karen.

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jenna March 13, 2013 at 11:19 am

Totally understand where you are coming from, Karen, so maybe I can clarify a bit? I apologize if I wasn’t totally clear or if somehow what I said got misconstrued. Charities are absolutely wonderful but are different than for-profit businesses (like Tom shoes, for example). At Noonday, we purchase items from the artisans based on a mutually beneficial and affirming exchange. In many cases, artisans receive wages that are over double what they could get in other places, and we often pay a premium for the products relative to what they could garner in their own local marketplace. Futhermore, we often pay upfront, sometimes 50%, and many times 100% for the product, even before it is made. In that way, we are able to shoulder the costs of materials and build a serious relationship based on trust.

I’m definitely not trying to play a hero role and feel like I have been up front is saying that this IS a business, not a charity. We don’t believe providing hand outs is a sustainable long term solution to poverty, but instead believe that job creation supported by shared values is.

If you want, you can read our fair trade standards to get a better feel for what we’re doing! Please feel free to email me and I’ll gladly provide more info!

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Kristin March 13, 2013 at 1:26 pm

I think it’s great Jenna…and I’d love to attend your launch. Please email me the information!

I will also say I think you have handled the negativity with grace and class. There will always be people who look for something to be negative about and try to read into, misconstrue or warp what you have said to fit their own agenda. We can only send love and light their way and move along. :)

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jenna March 13, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Thank you, Kristin! Just sent you the info on the launch :)

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Chelle March 16, 2013 at 8:28 pm

I’m sorry but presenting another viewpoint, asking for clarification and providing infromation that gives further insight to Noonday’s practices are not from “people who [are looking] for something to be negatvie about” or attempting to “read into, misconstrue or wrap what [Jenna] said.” They are simply comments on a blog post with has a commenting system.

I think dismissing other viewpoints like that is not benefitical to Jenna’s blog nor is it good business practice for Jenna (or anyone really). People need to learn how to deal with opinions if they wish to have businesses, rather its Noonday or a blog or whatever.

(Not that I’m saying Jenna is being dismissive – but this comment is.)

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TC March 13, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Super cute stuff. Just purchased a bracelet. Good luck with your endeavor!

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jane March 13, 2013 at 2:47 pm

this would be really fun for a bachelorette or girls weekend! good for you :)

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Theresa March 13, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Jenna,

As someone who has worked for many years at an international labor rights organization and who has been involved in many meetings and discussions about fair trade standards and certification, I agree with others on here who have thanked your for your generosity of heart and commitment to bettering our world. However, I would suggest that you do a bit more research on the issue of fair trade and proceed with caution before promoting this company as such.

I read Noonday’s fair trade standards at the link provided above and agree that these are all excellent principles. Unfortunately, it is never simply enough to take a company’s word for it that they are complying with certain standards. For more than a decade, Nike has had a labor rights code of conduct that they proudly display on their website. Yet, conditions and wages for workers’ throughout Nike’s supply chain have not improved and in some cases have actually deteriorated. See, for example, the following study by a professor at MIT: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=916771.

When it comes to labor standards, the critical question is how those standards are enforced. On Noonday’s website, it states that the company follows the principles of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO). According to that organization’s website here, http://www.wfto.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=21&Itemid=302. the World Fair Trade Organization appears to rely primarily on Self-Assessment Reports to determine whether companies are meeting the standards – i.e., the WFTO relies solely on the companies themselves to report whether they are in compliance with the standards, and I’m sure you can understand why this cannot be considered an accurate source of information about a company’s labor practices. The WFTO also states that they conduct 3rd party verification of these Self-Assessment Reports if there is a complaint, but it does not say who conducts such audits.

Also, is Noonday is actually a member of the World Fair Trade organization? I did a search of the WFTO’s members to look for Noonday, but found nothing. Can you direct me to the part of the website that shows that the company or its suppliers are certified by WFTO?

I really do appreciate your excitement and dedication to helping others and do not mean to criticize you at all. I would simply encourage you to dig deeper into the company’s claims about its practices to be sure they are accurate. There are, unfortunately, a lot of bogus “fair trade” companies out there that make lofty claims, but do nothing to benefit workers. I hope that you have chosen a business partner that does not fall into this category.

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jenna March 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Thanks, Theresa! I’m pretty new to the company but if you want to know more about Noonday’s fair trade standards, I’d recommend reaching out to our founder, Jessica, who can supply you with all that information. Her email is jessica@noondaycollection.com :)

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Theresa March 14, 2013 at 10:34 am

Jenna,

At your suggestion, I wrote to Jessica to ask about the company’s fair trade standards. She told me that Noonday is not actually part of any fair trade body and that she had asked her web developer to remove that page a while back and that she had not known it was still there. I just checked the website and it appears that the page on fair trade standards has been removed from the website entirely (and the link you posted above now just goes to the company’s home page). I appreciate her honesty and am glad that she was able to correct the mistake, and I hope that you will do the same.

Your readers and potential customers deserve accurate information about the company you are endorsing and so I hope that you will let them know that, even though this company may very well be offering a positive business opportunity for low-income people, it cannot be considered fair trade.

As I mentioned in my original comment, its important to be cautious before taking a company’s word about how they treat their workers and suppliers. Even the most well-intentioned business has an incentive to provide only positive information about working conditions and wages. According to Jessica’s email, you have a “passion for fair trade,” so I hope that this will be useful when considering possible future “fair trade” partners.

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jenna March 14, 2013 at 10:57 am

Totally agree, Theresa! I’m so glad that you are passionate about this and I’m happy Jessica was able to answer your question in ways that I (being new to the company) couldn’t.

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Louise March 15, 2013 at 11:33 am

Theresa,

Thank you for doing your research. I “liked” them on Facebook a few months ago at a friend’s urging. I remedied that today.

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Heather M March 14, 2013 at 7:16 am

Hi Jenna!

What a neat opportunity! This seems right up my alley, and my husband and I are prayerfully considering if I should become an Ambassador in Nebraska. Thanks for sharing!

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Sara {Home is Where the Cookies Are} March 14, 2013 at 9:29 am

I’ve seen Noonday before. . . I think their mission AND their jewelry are beautiful. Congratulations on your new venture!

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Andi March 17, 2013 at 7:49 am

This looks pretty cool! I don’t know if you have a way to give feedback on the noonday website design, but it would be really awesome to be able to sort items based on what country they’re made in.

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Deryn @ runningonrealfood.com April 17, 2013 at 10:03 pm

That’s awesome, good for you! I can’t wait to check it out :) good luck~

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Sarah April 21, 2013 at 10:09 pm

I am surprised by the negative feedback you’ve received on this new endeavor. It’s very obvious to me that you have spent time thinking this through and doing your research and unlike so many others you have stepped up to make a difference in the lives of others. It can be so easy to be a skeptic to the point of not acting but in my mind much harder to put your heart on the line and risk feeling someone else’s pain. I grew up very poor and I did feel like I didn’t have a voice because of it. I would have loved for someone to help my dad find employment or understand what our family was going through and I wouldn’t have cared what color their skin was. I can see by reading Noonday’s blog that the founder spends time in the countries working with the artisans and seeing firsthand their challenges and how Noonday is changing lives. Also, I loved that you are saving your profits to help even further in the future! Good luck and I’m sure you will be an amazing ambassador!

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