Ambassador Travel Journal: Wear Their Story, Share Their Story
Laura Leigh Moseley is a Noonday Ambassador who recently traveled to Peru on an Ambassador Trip. Each summer, we take teams of our world changing Ambassadors to connect with our Partners across the globe! Learn more here, then read on as Laura Leigh shares what she discovered about how what we wear can tell a beautiful story.
Returning from Peru this year, one theme rang out from so many of the Artisans and Peruvians I got to meet. And that is that Peruvians are people with deep roots and rich cultural heritage that is thousands of years old. They are deeply proud of the accomplishments of their Incan culture, whether it be their stone monuments at Machu Picchu, their world-renowned cuisine, or their traditional textiles and art.
Upon our arrival, we had the privilege of visiting the Amano, a pre-Columbian textile museum. As our tour guide took us through the halls of displays of textiles from the different tribes and people groups, she shared the meanings of the different colors and patterns. The clothing that people wore communicated things about them—for example, what their profession was or whether they were part of the nobility. Even today, the patterns on women’s clothing tell what region they are from.
Our guide explained that tapestries and crafts were used to communicate a story. Without a formal written language, the Incan tribes (and pre-Incan tribes) used textiles and art to record events or explain their religious beliefs.
Just like the ancient cultures of Peru, what you wear communicates something about you as well. It communicates your style and your fashion preferences. But when you wear Noonday products, or other fair trade products, you are also communicating what you value. You are telling the world that you value people and cultures that you’ve never met before. You communicate that you value the human beings who make your products and want to make sure they are treated well and paid fairly. You get to tell a story through your fashion choices.
Every product you buy has a story behind it—the story of the people who were involved in its arrival to your closet. That story can be a life-giving story, like the ones of our Artisan Partners who are now thriving with fair-wage jobs. But unfortunately, it can also be a story of sadness—of mistreatment and poor working conditions.
Our beloved La Bella Bag in the making!
When you purchase Noonday’s products, you are wearing the stories of our Artisan Partners. You are wearing the stories of their culture, passed down through generations. You are wearing history.
You are also wearing stories of redemption and of hope. Of women who are able to afford medical care for their children. People who are able to provide their family’s income while caring for their children. Women who are able to seek further education for themselves and their families.
You are wearing a connection to human beings around the world, who are incredibly proud of the products they have made for you. And if you choose to host a Trunk Show or become a Noonday Ambassador, you are continuing the story by sharing it with your community.
Fellow Ambassador Deirdre having a blast with our Artisan sisters and their families!
Later in our Peruvian journey we visited with another of our Artisan Partner Businesses that creates our hand-knit scarves. We met Maricucha, Nelly and Luis, who are passionate about preserving the cultural heritage of Peru. By creating a marketplace for Peruvian products, we are introducing their proud culture into our lives. We are wearing their history, displaying traditions that have been passed down from generations. They explained that when you wear their products, “You feel our country.”
Travis, Noonday’s Co-CEO, with the leader of one of our Peruvian Artisan Partner Businesses
One of our core principles at Noonday is collaborative design. This means that we work together with Artisans to use their traditional skills and materials to create fashionable pieces that appeal to the American marketplace. We are committed to connecting the beautiful, handmade accessories that hang on your neck or ears to the larger culture that birthed it. We want you to know the story behind those products. That is why we have Noonday Ambassadors who create marketplaces through Trunk Shows. Ambassadors are storytellers. We are here to let you know the story behind the products you purchase. As we share at Trunk Shows, we want you to know that you are creating a beautiful story of lives changes and a culture heritage preserved.
All of the Artisans we met in Peru were passionate about passing down their craft to the next generation. In Fermin’s workshop, we met young women who were coming as apprentices to learn the art of metalworking and further their skill sets. When we met Faustino, who operates the business that makes our beloved La Bella Bag and Wildflower Clutch, he spoke of his desire to “translate the tradition to the next generation.”
Your purchases help make this possible! When you purchase Noonday Collection, you are enabling our partners to keep hiring, keep producing, and keep passing along their traditions to the next generation of skilled Artisans. And you look lovely doing it!