A few years ago, I was introduced to the idea of fair trade shopping. It’s amazing to me that we can so deeply impact lives just by buying from companies that offer fair wages for the goods that are produced. We’re all going to buy clothes and purses and jewelry. Why not buy it from companies that are committed to raising starving people out of poverty? What if just by buying pretty, handmade jewelry and accessories, we could put a roof over a family’s head? Send children to school? Fill up baby bellies? Get medicine to people who would otherwise die with no medical care?
Well, with fair trade companies, we can.
I met Amber Cok a couple of years ago, and I fell in love with her passion for helping people. It’s inspiring just to know her. She is an ambassador for Noonday Collection, one of my favorite fair trade companies. I first heard of Noonday at a conference. I came home and immediately searched for an ambassador near me because I wanted all of my friends to know about this company’s beautiful products and the great work that it does. People like Amber make the whole thing happen. And, people like you and me, when we purchase these gorgeous handmade items, help make it happen, too. It’s so easy. And fun!
I got a chance to visit with Amber about Noonday, and I love what she has to say about the impact we can all make. Here’s a little interview we cooked up. Please welcome Amber Cok!
First of all, what is Noonday Collection?
Noonday Collection is a socially responsible business that uses fashion to create meaningful opportunities around the world! Noonday is a member of the Fair Trade Federation and is B Corp Certified. What does this mean? Each time you shop our gorgeous accessories, you are making a huge impact for artisan partners around the world and ensuring they have dependable and dignified jobs! (Read more here!)
How did you hear about Noonday, and what made you want to become an ambassador?
I heard about Noonday Collection shortly after our second adoption (fourth child). We had been home for a few months and I still felt called to continue to make a difference in the world around me. A friend had just become an ambassador and shared with me how Noonday Collection helps adoptive families (more on that later!), provides jobs for people in vulnerable communities, and of course has GORGEOUS pieces. I talked it over with my husband and we agreed to give it a try…not knowing how much I would end up loving the company and mission and my job!
I know you have met some of the artisans. Can you tell us a little about them and what you learned by being with them?
Yes! This is one of the best things about being an ambassador! I have had the honor of meeting our artisan partners while on a trip with Noonday to Guatemala. We have an ambassador manifesto, and one of the lines in the manifesto is “when we look across the globe, we don’t see strangers-we see ourselves.” As I met the weavers at a women’s weaving cooperative in San Juan La Laguna, I was able to thank them for creating such beautiful pieces that I could sell so that I could have a job. And they were able to turn to me and thank me for their job! We are truly partners in this business together. Their children ran around the workshop while the mamas chatted. It reminded me of what I do with my friends! I’m blessed to play a part in ensuring that the women continue to have work because people purchase Noonday!
Travelling isn’t the only way to meet artisan partners! Artisan Leaders from Ethiopia, Kenya, India, Vietnam, and Uganda were at our annual ambassador conference this year to share with us. The quality of their leadership, the way they care for the artisans in their communities…it’s so inspiring.
Tell us about the way that Noonday partners with adopting families.
Noonday started as an adoption fundraiser, so they want to continue to play a part in helping families bring their children home! If you know a friend who is adopting, you can host a show in their honor and their family gets 10% of the sales toward their adoption. There is no limit to the number of shows hosted for one family (as long as the family meets qualification parameters)…so Noonday trunk shows can definitely make a dent in adoption fees.
Tell us a little about the Noonday Collection Spring line that was just released this month.
I am so excited to show everyone this new line! We have some incredible dainty studs (Mod Marble studs! Silver bars), beautiful new brass pieces from Kenya, and some really versatile necklaces that can be worn so many ways!
Here are a few of my favorites!
Horn Prism Necklace. A stunning pendant necklace made of ethically harvested, carved water buffalo horn:
Set in Stone Cuff. A gorgeous semi precious hexagon stone on one side and mother of pearl shell on the other. (Shells are an up and coming trend! Prepare to see them everywhere.) I could wear this every day:
Wildflower Clutch. Dark grey wool background with bright colors and POM POMS! You’ll love this for going out or that spring wedding. (PS- I find the colors of this clutch slightly darker than pictured on the site, but that could be the handmade nature of these or my personal opinion):
How has being involved with Noonday impacted your life?
I am a big believer that one person can make an impact in the world. I am a mom living in the United States, but I can daily make a difference in the life of a mom in Guatemala, or a former prostitute in Ethiopia, or know that I am playing a part in providing food for children in the slums of Kenya. And I get to do all of that while connecting with women in MY community, wearing the most gorgeous accessories and earning an income. It is seriously too good to be true. I invite all women reading this to consider how they can play a part in this positive change. Maybe they want to contribute by purchasing a cute necklace for themselves or a gift. Maybe they want to contact their local ambassador to host at trunk show (and if you’re in North Texas, I’d love to be your gal!), or maybe they want to say YES to being an ambassador and joining me on this journey…each type of contribution matters!
Olney friends, if you’re going to be around Tuesday night (February 28th), please stop by my house between 6:30 and 8:00 to meet Amber, try on some pretty jewelry, and have a cookie. I would love to share my friend with you! And, if you don’t live in Olney, I wish I could have you over! You can still join in the fun! Click any of the product links and shop away. Every purchase helps families.