Episode 015: Show Notes
We are so excited to share our chat with Jessica Honegger, the founder of Noonday Collection, today. She is a completely amazing human being! She is a boss who truly understands the frustrations, the struggles, and the concerns that come with owning a business. In today’s episode, we talk about giving back with your business, ethical business practices, and the difference between that and fair trade. We even jump into some creativity hacks, and Abagail cries (so you know it’s gonna be good).
In this episode, you are going to get a lot of great insight into growing and scaling a business. It’s going to get a little emotional, and I’m pretty sure you are going to walk away at the end of it with lots of goosebumps. There is no doubt you’re going to be fired up about making sure your business has a huge impact. We can’t wait for you to listen. This one’s going to be awesome!
The One-For-One Giveback Company
Jessica started her company about six years ago with the intent of creating entrepreneurial opportunities in vulnerable communities around the world. For Jessica, she wanted to take it one step further and instead of doing a giveback, her mission was really more about creating market access in vulnerable communities for other businesses. The core ethos of her brand is about creating opportunity for people. These people may traditionally have received child sponsorship or charity help, but instead of going this route, Jessica and her company have helped them actually start sustainable businesses so they can then employ people within their communities and even start charities of their own.
Building A Foundation
We can let perfectionism and fears of comparison completely paralyze us. We think that in order to launch something, we need the perfect website and the best business cards. For Jessica, her company first arose from her need to have a side hustle in order to pay the bills. But during the adoption of her baby, Jessica got connected to some artisans living in Uganda and they needed more than a side hustle. They were smart, capable, and talented. All they needed was a marketplace. To start the business, Jessica knew that she would need some cash flow just to get things going. So she sold her old gold jewelry at pawn shops to fund her very first website!
Fostering An Ambassador Culture
Once the business started growing, women all over the world were seeing the Noonday Collections and wanted to start their own collections without all the trouble of creating a website themselves. This is how the Ambassador Program was born. The Noonday Ambassadors are stylists, storytellers and social entrepreneurs who make an impact in their communities and around the world. As they style their friends, they create meaningful opportunities for women in their community and for artisans across the globe.
Practicing Intentional Self-Awareness
Becoming more self-aware is definitely a learned skill. None of us come out of the womb knowing what our core beliefs or the most important things about ourselves are. You have to go on a journey of self-discovery to identify your values in order to live by them, intentionally. For Jessica, becoming self-aware and living intentionally starts with reading great books like Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection and Daring Greatly. It is also about building a community for women leaders. Attending retreats, growing a community, and reading really have a massive impact on growth. It comes down to being able to stand up and move forward despite your fear, owning your voice and owning the fact that you matter in the world.
Making a Genuine Impact with Your Business
Oftentimes when you are just starting out with giving back through your business, it can feel a little forced. The best way to sell the mission of your heart is to keep it genuine. You really have to go on a journey to find out what cause fits with you and your desire to contribute. Do NOT be solely motivated to give back to something simply because it is easier to sell.
Create a vision for where you want to make an impact and how you will accomplish your goals. You can give back with your time, not just your finances. It’s all about making the commitment to make a real difference.
The Giveback, Fairtrade, and Ethical Practices
An example of a giveback company is TOMS – one for one – where you actually purchase a product and a percentage goes towards a charity, or, in this case, a pair of shoes is donated. For Noonday, their giveback component goes towards adoption, since it’s is the foundation of the company and the reason why Jessica started it. Whenever anyone hosts a Noonday Collection trunk show in honor of a family that’s adopting, the company will give 10% of sales from the trunk show to that family.
Fair trade, on the other hand, is really a set of principles regarding how we can create market access for more disenfranchised and vulnerable communities through consumer goods. For Noonday, this market access is created through artisan-made accessories and textiles.
The Ripple Effect of Confidence
Making a difference truly starts by just saying “yes”. For Jessica, the difference that Noonday makes comes through a ripple effect. When Noonday helps one person who then goes on to help their families, the positive influence can be absolutely widespread. But a lot of their impact is also just giving confidence to women around the world. There is a confidence that comes from owning a business, and a confidence that comes from walking with other women who are constantly reminding you of your worth. Our vulnerability with each other allows us to find our voice, and to realize that we are not alone, no matter what situation we are in.
Advice for Women Starting A Business
The first piece of advice that Jessica gives is that, as a new business owner, you shouldn’t try to be everything to everybody. Really be who you need to be for your target audience. Conduct some research to understand your ideal customer and niche down so that your business is aligned with their needs and desires.
Another key tip is making generous assumptions and being gracious. Oftentimes we tell ourselves stories about why others choose not to work with us, and we’re not making generous assumptions towards other people.
Finally, you have got to learn how to prioritize and stop treating everything like it is urgent. You have to leave space, uninterrupted space, in your days. It takes uninterrupted time and space to ideate and to strategize, so it is on us to build that time into our days.
- Understand the mindset of the one-for-one giveback company. [0:03:04.7]
- Learn what it means to build a foundation to serve as a platform for others. [0:05:01.6]
- Discover what it takes to foster an ambassador culture and how Jessica has implemented these core values into her company. [0:08:18.1]
- Find out how to start practicing intentional self-awareness and more about the personal journey that you need to go on. [0:13:55.7]
- Learn how to create a genuine brand and business, and how to authentically implement a charitable component in your business. [0:18:04.6]
- Understand the differences between a giveback company, fair trade, and ethical business practices. [0:24:45.8]
- Discover the ripple effect that giving back can have on the confidence of women. [0:28:02.8]
- Hear Jessica’s advice for women starting businesses around the world. [0:36:08.6]
- Decide whether you want your business to be a giveback or not.
- Make charitable giving part of your ethos right from the beginning.
- Get on the phone and carve out the time to find people that need your services.