A Tale of Two Ambassadors: Meet Laura Choy
Shakespeare famously inquired, “What’s in a name?” Well in the Noonday Ambassador community, it seems there might be something special about one particular name. Laura Walton and Laura Choy were Noonday’s top two Ambassadors in 2014, selling a combined total of $181,000 worth of fair trade accessories. These two women have made an incredible impact in the lives of our artisan partners across the globe. Today we’re giving you a glimpse into the lives of these world-changing women – from why they Noonday to their recent Ambassador trip to visit Artisans in Ecuador.
Get to Know Laura Choy
Photo by Jessica Taylor
Current stomping grounds – Austin, TX
Favorite food – My goal is to not eat at the same restaurant twice. Austin is so full of awesome treats you can do that and almost always win!
Morning mug – Cream with a little bit of coffee
Favorite Trunk Show treats – Anything sweet! And when my Hostesses have leftovers they want me to take home, I never argue.
Personal Style – I have to say I’m pretty classic. I love a neutral palette, with lots of blacks and greys. I love it when the jewelry I wear can be center stage! I love a little edge to my classic. I think the two should be friends, so a soft background with a bright color or a muted tone with a modern edgy piece makes me happy.
Fall Favorites – The Imperial Horn Necklace, Moonrise Cuff, Lalibela Bracelet, and Constellation Earrings are all STUNNING! Again, they’re neutral, but hello! these are one-of-a-kind amazing! I love the modern angles mixed with the natural components of horn or artillery.
Origin story – I grew up in the heart of Texas and am the only one in my family who was smart enough to stick around. I have a husband and three kiddos, two biological and one adopted from Rwanda, ages 9, 7, and 5. I became an Ambassador two years ago this September. My daughter is adopted from Rwanda and early on in our adoption process I was at an adoption conference where I actually saw [Noonday Founder] Jessica and her tiny table of jewels. It made an impression on me. About a year later, I stood in a friend’s living room at one of Noonday’s earliest Trunk Shows along with three other moms who were adopting. I knew I loved the company from the moment I set eyes on it, but it wasn’t until two years later that I finally became an Ambassador.
Ambassador Highlights – The top of my long list of favorite things about my Ambassador business is the opportunity I have to travel and meet the Artisans. When I became an Ambassador, my #1 goal was to get back to Rwanda…and I did! It’s such an honor to get to enter into the Artisans’ stories. My heart connects with them and makes me even more excited to share their stories at my Trunk Show.
When I went to Rwanda last summer, I had a HUGE moment where what I knew about the power of dignified work sank deeply into my heart. As I stood in the middle of 13 Artisan women while they sang and danced, a few of them pregnant and just days from giving birth, it was like I saw them all as figurative birth moms to my daughter, who was adopted from Rwanda. But the difference between them and my baby’s birth mom is that they got to KEEP their babies because they had jobs! I will never forget that moment.
Notes from Ecuador – I’ve traveled quite a bit, but had never been to Ecuador. There were some selfish reasons to be excited. For instance, the temperature didn’t exceed 75, and we were surrounded by gorgeous scenery! Plus, I was really excited about the group of Ambassadors I was going with, and I was not disappointed! Each of them was AMAZING! It’s such an honor to be with these ladies and to learn from them. There was so much that bonded us together: family, kids, social justice, and our love for the Artisans we get to partner with.
I had the privilege of traveling to Ecuador with Laura Walton, who became my fast friend in January at Noonday’s Ambassador Conference. She has been such a sweet surprise gift to my life! At Shine, we were put in the same room because of a mutual friend who had to back out last minute. We didn’t know each other at all prior to that. But literally the instant I met her, I knew we’d be friends. We laugh at how many things we share in common, and both joke that we really are just trying to be like the other.
It was such a fun treat to get to have such a good friend to share these fun moments in Ecuador with. There are things about being in another country and learning all kinds of completely new things together, that kind of bond you for life! The day we made the Tamia Bib Necklace with the Artisans was one of my absolute favorite memories of my time in Ecuador. I spent that time laughing hysterically with Laura and the two Artisans we were partnered with! They were laughing at us, mostly. It hasn’t even been a year and we’ve stockpiled some pretty great laughs in!
One thing that stood out to me on the trip is that the Artisans we met are dreamers – at least they’ve begun to be. When you are steeped in poverty, dreaming is a luxury that you aren’t allowed. During our visit with Luis, one of the artisan entrepreneurs Noonday partners with, he burst into tears when he began to let us into his own hopes for the future. His son watched and listened intently as his dad dreamed dreams for his child’s future! It was such a blessing to be a part of those sacred moments.
We also had the honor of watching the dreams of another Artisan, Tamia, on the brink of reality as we stepped into her kitchen and partook in the savory dishes we all prepared together. Her work as an Artisan is helping her pursue her dream: to open a cooking school where she can teach tourists to prepare the traditional food of her region. She is creative, she is passionate, she has purpose, and she has discovered her voice. She is teaching people to cook and is well on her way to becoming more than she has even dared to hope.
What an honor to be a part of creating opportunities that allow for dreaming. We get to do that here in America. But dreaming isn’t just for us. I believe that God gives us all gifts and purposes for their use. I’m just so blessed that we got to watch as God put these Artisans’ gifts into use as we all partner together in community to build a flourishing world!
Want more Ambassador content? Be sure to check out our profile on Laura Walton, the other half of this dynamic Ambassador duo.