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Behind the Scenes of the Spring Shoot with Ambassador Abby Alley

This month we offered two of our Ambassadors the chance to win a trip to visit us in Austin and go behind the scenes of our Spring 2015 photo shoot. Our two lucky winners were Elizabeth Perkinson from Omaha and Abby Alley from Chicago. We loved getting to know these world changing women—and showing them around our sunny city! Abby sat down with us on the set of our jungle-themed shoot to talk to us about her journey to Noonday, experiences as a new Ambassador, and her photo shoot highlights.
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<em”>Abby and Elizabeth hanging out on set with veteran Noonday Ambassadors Krista Box (left) and Megan Feuille (second to right)

Abby, you became an Ambassador 3 months ago, so you’re fairly new to the Noonday team. Tell us a little about how your path to becoming a Noonday Ambassador.

What really started my journey to Noonday was a trip to Tanzania last year. I’m a teacher in Chicago and I was really looking for a different way to put my skills to use. I ended up spending three months teaching in Arusha, Tanzania. I had always been concerned with poverty in an urban setting here in the States, but spending time in Tanzania really grew my heart for caring for the poor on a global scale.

Then this summer I was reading the She Reads Truth and Jessica Honegger, Noonday’s Founder, had written a guest post about biblical justice. I had never heard of Noonday, but my aunt has a Fair Trade shop so I was familiar with Fair Trade and loved the idea behind it. At the end of Jessica’s blog there was a link to Noonday’s website and I immediately thought, “This jewelry is awesome. I’ve never seen anything like it.” I didn’t think much about getting involved at that time, but after mulling it over for a while I brought up the idea of becoming an Ambassador to my mom. She’s normally a planner and likes to know all the details before diving into something, but she immediately said, “Yes, I think it’s something you should do.” That was my cue to go for it.

So how has your Ambassador experience been so far?

Well, I’ve been an Ambassador for about three months now. I’m loving learning more about the company and the products as I’ve been growing my Noonday business and I can definitely say this is my favorite part of my life right now. It’s so fun.

I love wearing my Noonday to school, and sharing the stories behind the jewelry with my students is making for good Trunk Show practice. One of my students who is a 4th grader comes to school dressed to the nines every day. She always notices my Noonday pieces and wants to know where things are from and how they’re made.
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Abby and Elizabeth getting up close and personal with the Spring shoot wardrobe. Can you tell we love bold colors around here?

As a newer Ambassador who’s just learning the ins and outs of Noonday, how did you feel when you found out you had won this trip?

Well, I don’t get any cell phone reception when I’m in school, so when I walked outside at the end of the day I had a message on my phone from Renee, Noonday’s Ambassador liaison, telling me she had some good news for me. I thought maybe she had a Trunk Show lead for me in Chicago, but I didn’t dream that she was going to tell me I had won the trip to Austin. I remembered seeing the trip announced but I didn’t think there was any chance I would win since I was so new. When I told my school that I had won, they were really supportive of my going, which made it so much easier to get here. I was just so excited to get to come meet everyone and see the shoot.

What were you looking forward to the most about the trip?

For me, as a new Ambassador, I was so excited to get to meet everyone at the Noonday Home Office. It was hard for me to even gauge how many people work for Noonday or what the office might be like, so it’s so cool to have a visual for those things now.

Plus, I have a huge love for fashion and have always had a secret dream of working in the fashion industry so being able to be on the set of a photo shoot and seeing what goes into it, from lighting to merchandising to wardrobe, has been really special. It was so much fun getting to see the Spring 2015 line all laid out and hear the stories about some of our new Artisan partner groups.
Abby and Elizabeth with some of the Noonday team at Foodheads, a local favorite.

Sounds like this trip was right up your alley, then! Any other highlights from your time in Austin?

It was fun getting to be in Austin and Katie took us around to a lot of Austin classics. We ate breakfast at Kirby Lane Café one day, which was delicious. We also took some time to explore South Congress and eat cupcakes at Hey Cupcake!, a food truck that specializes in delicious cupcakes.

I also loved having the chance to get lunch with Noonday’s design team, Johanna and Sarah. I’ve been itching to find out more about how the design process at Noonday works, so it was awesome to get to hear more from them. They explained how their design collaborations with our Artisan partners come to life, from idea to finished product. They also asked Elizabeth and I what our favorites were from the upcoming Spring line, so we got to share about which pieces really grabbed us. It was fun to be a part of the design process in a little way!

Thanks to Abby for taking the time to come visit us and sharing her love for fashion and global impact with us! For more behind the scenes peeks at our Spring 2015 look book, follow us on Instagram @noondaycollection.

Meet Jenna Tanner

Jenna is Noonday’s Content Curator and loves to write about fair trade, social justice and Artisans around the world. She also enjoys marathoning her favorite TV shows with her husband, playing intense games of Ticket to Ride, and searching for the best tacos in Austin (let her know if you find them!).