WHEN JESSICA STARTING SELLING ARTISAN JEWELRY TO HELP DEFRAY THE COST OF HER ADOPTION FROM RWANDA, SHE HAD NO IDEA HOW THAT WOULD AFFECT THE WORLD.
“I felt it deep in my soul.”
In 8th grade, Jessica Honegger knew she wanted to make opportunities for the vulnerable. She spent the next several years searching for the “how.”
In high school, the vision began to narrow when she went on a mission trip to Africa and saw real poverty for the first time. Children were without parents. Clean water wasn’t available. So many were without homes. As a fashion-loving girl living in the comforts of the United States, the devastation changed her to the core. Her desire to make opportunities for them grew.
After college, she worked with Food for the Hungry. While there, her eyes were opened to a way for people to rise from poverty long-term – entrepreneurship. As a girl who loved fashion, it only made sense that her focus was on how fashion could bring about change.
All this time, God was preparing Jessica without clearly giving her the vision. He was busily putting all the pieces together, and when the timing was right, He would hand her everything she needed.
When she and her husband visited an orphanage in Uganda, God not only finally handed over the vision, He provided her with something even more beautiful. Her heart stirred while she was surrounded by the children, and she and her husband decided that they would bring another child into their family through adoption.
Their time in Uganda not only changed their family, but while there, she took her first step in following God’s call. It was there that she met Jalia and Daniel, jewelry designers. They were employing a couple of very poor artisans in the community. Their work was beautiful, but there wasn’t enough of a market for them in Uganda. They asked her to take back some necklaces with her to the United States and sell them. She contacted Jalia and Daniel, and they told her that they had already paid the workers and that she should use the profits to create a business! It would create a sustainable income for the artisans and give people in the United States a way to make a difference that brings dignity and hope to people on the other side of the ocean.
“God initiated the world with work. There is a lot of value in work. When people work, you truly become yourself and become an expression of who God made you to be.” ~Jessica Honegger
Before long, she needed more jewelry pieces, and she began to use these “trunk shows” to raise funds for the adoption of her son from Rwanda.
During that time, God gave her a verse:
and if you spend yourselves In 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. Isaiah 58:10
It has become the theme verse for Noonday Collection. It was the confirmation she needed to do the crazy thing and keep the trunk shows going.
At one point, a friend in Seattle contacted her to see if she could do the same thing where she lived to raise funds for her own adoption. She became the first ambassador for Noonday Collection.
Before long, the guest bedroom at Jessica’s house because a bustling place as she desperately tried to keep up the pace of ordering from artisan groups and shipping pieces to customers. She didn’t know how she could sustain the pace, especially since she would be traveling soon to bring her boy home from Rwanda. But God did. He had been working on a man’s heart during this time. Travis told her he had been saving up his whole life for an opportunity like this. He put everything on the line, knowing it would be a risk for he, Jessica and their families. “That is when I knew we were all in,” Jessica said. It was the confirmation she needed to continue.
Jessica certainly walked past her fears as she left her growing business in Travis’s hands and traveled to Rwanda. After bringing her beautiful new son home, she and Travis continued to dream and build Noonday Collection, and today, only five years later, it is a thriving business that partners with artisans in thirteen countries. Today, Noonday’s mission statement is to use fashion to create meaningful opportunities around the world.
Jessica heard the call of God, was actively patient while He put the pieces together, and then DID what He called her to do when the time was right.
Jessica’s life has been forever changed. “It has helped me become who I was created to be…It has brought me abundant life and connected me to families all over the world.”
She encourages others to partner with Noonday. The best way you can support Noonday is to host trunk shows. “It is how we create impact TOGETHER.” Trunk shows help bring awareness to what is happening in the world. They give women the opportunity to enjoy beautiful and trendy jewelry together. And most of all, it gives them the opportunity to change the lives of artisans through their purchases.
If you would like to hear more about Noonday and follow the exciting things happening with Jessica and her partners, you can visit THIS LINK or like the Noonday Facebook page.
Interviewed by Ginny.