Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Pretty Little Things, Pretty Big Impact

I'm officially packed and ready to leave for Africa later this week, anxious to experience the beauty in Rwanda and meet people whose lives have been changed by a cycle of empowerment that, from what I've seen so far, is truly inspiring.

I hosted a Noonday Trunk Show at the end of the year last year and met Amy, one of Noonday Collection's ambassadors, who was here on vacation and made time to spend an evening with me and some friends. Amy began her career with Noonday as an opportunity to connect and supplement her single-income family but, as she says, "As a mom of two little girls who will grow up in a generation of women so much more globally-minded than my own upbringing, I wanted to give them the opportunity early on to see firsthand how we can give and connect to others across the world. And I wanted the opportunity to actually learn that for myself."

It's not just a win/win situation. It's like win to the third power, a consumer opportunity that helps support not only the careers of artisans around the world who come from vulnerable communities but also women in our own communities who are building their careers as ambassadors. And then there's us, of course, the ones who get to buy and wear the pretty and know that there's a meaningful story and cause behind that necklace, that gorgeous bag, those beautiful earrings that will prompt someone to ask, "Where did you get those?" "Funny you should ask," you'll answer. And then you'll get to share more of the story. Math has never been my strong suit, but I'm pretty sure our exponent just grew.

While we're in Rwanda, we'll be learning a lot about empowerment both through spending time with Noonday artisans and hearing their stories and through getting an up-close look at what International Justice Mission is doing in Rwanda. But we'll also get to experience the process of how these Noonday products are made and see the talent and love that goes into them.

Look how pretty--Noonday bags made in Rwanda by the women we're going to meet
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And--thrilled about this part--we get to work side by side with the artisans to create a new Noonday collection of goods that will be revealed at a nationwide trunk show this August.

So, how can you share the mission of this #StyleforJustice trip and come along with us?

1. Follow along with our Rwanda trip participants as we share about what we are learning--how Noonday and IJM are creating opportunities of empowerment across the globe. You can sign up for trip updates here (and there's a generous giveaway being offered, so enter to win). I'll be blogging from Rwanda next week.

2. Sign up to host a trunk show on August 7th--Noonday Collection's first nationwide trunk show.

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All you have to do is gather some friends and neighbors, put out some treats and enjoy your company while you shop handcrafted goods, learn more about what Noonday is doing and all while being part of the bigger global mission of women empowering women.  The new collection of items we create with the Rwandan artisans will be revealed at this trunk show, and attendees will have the chance to vote on what designs will be produced.

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Amy shared with me how working with Noonday has enriched her own life--"It's given me sisterhood, a sense of pride, connection and an opportunity to provide for my family." "The amazing thing about Noonday," she adds, "is that the artisans--the women across the world who are making our jewelry--are blessed with those exact same opportunities through their work."

There's an empowerment movement happening through all of these connections, and it's creating a big impact.

And now I need to make a big impact on my house and my to do list before Friday.

13 comments:

Debby said...

Safe travels. I'm sure you will make an impact on these wonderful women as they will for you. Enjoy.

Maria said...

I just wanted to send you a virtual high five, fist bump, raise a glass, whatever...you get the picture. Your courage & sense of adventure are inspirational. I would be a quivering mess of nerves with a trip like that looming, yet I still yearn for adventures & world travel & opportunities to grow. The difference between us is that you go out & walk the walk...all honor to you for that. Wishing you a safe & exciting trip. It's going to be amazing! Prayers are with you.
Hugs!!
Maria

Argyrie said...

Thought this link would be helpful.

http://ianinrwanda.blogspot.com/p/packing-for-rwanda.html

Although it's geared toward Peace Corps volunteers many things hold true for anyone visiting Rwanda. Be sure to make photocopies of your passport, learn a few words of the local language and don't compare anything to USA...each country is unique! Have a safe flight.

Olivia said...

Have fun in Africa, can't wait to see all the photos :)

Roksalanna said...

Wishing you safe travels and all the very best for your trip to Rwanda Kelle. Looking forward to reading about it. xo

maggie said...

Can't wait to see how you capture this country and hear about your experiences meeting these incredible women who've become leaders and entrepreneurs in their communities. Hundred bucks you'll be back to Africa again in your life after going one time. It gets in your blood and explaining it to people you love just isn't the same as getting to take them back with you. Safe travels and 'happy sucking the marrow' out of this amazing opportunity!

Jess said...

Looking forward to hearing the stories you will share. Hope all goes well for you x

Laura Choy said...

Hi Kelle,
I was scrolling through FB and saw this post! There I was sitting on the couch with my daughter from Rwanda!! That's kinda crazy!! Crazier is that I will be in Rwanda at the tail end of ya'lls trip (also with Noonday but for a separate ambassador trip). I do hope to meet you! I am in the middle of Bloom and absolutely LOVE how you LOVE and LIVE!! Thanks for writing so the world can be inspired to LIVE & LOVE well too!!

Coraly said...

I thought about you today. I thought I want to be brave. Be a game changer like her. How do I find that... I am deathly scared of many things and feel held back by my fear.. but you, you live life fully. Maybe one day I will be brave like you.
Safe travels and peace go before you.

SMJ said...

My 22 yr old son spent time in Africa earlier this year, he was in Camaroom & actually in a jungle area with his stepmother who is a missionary nurse for the Bakka tribe. Forever changed him in extraordinary ways. I wish you safety & I know you will have an amazing experience, look forward to what you share on the flip side! LoL, his advice: don't eat any meat, stick to veggies!

Tammi said...

Have a safe trip, Kelle. Can't wait to read about it when you return. xoxo

Brooke & Freeland said...

So so so excited for you + the team! You are going to LOVE these women and I cant wait to hear you tell their stories!!! Blessing and lots of hugs and prayers!!! Brooke Ackley

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

So glad your little Nella is OK...

Just watched this video and it made my heart so happy I had to share... I think it will bless you too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6He0FWoFj0&sns=em

Safe travels,
Spencer