Beyond a Partnership: Ambassador Trip to Guatemala

At Noonday Collection, we love witnessing the connections that form between women from different parts of the world when they realize that no matter where they’re from; they aren’t so different after all. This summer we’re taking Noonday Ambassadors to meet the Artisans who create our handmade finds in Guatemala, Ecuador and Rwanda – and we can’t wait to see them find places of connection with the people they meet.

Andrea Buck, a Noonday Collection Ambassador from College Station, Texas, had the chance to travel to Guatemala this past week. We asked her to share some of her experiences and how this trip has changed the way she thinks about her Noonday business.

As an Ambassador, I love getting to be a storyteller, stylist, and connector. (Click to Tweet) Before traveling to Guatemala, I passionately shared the stories of our Artisan Partners with my Hostesses and customers – so much so that many of my customers know our Artisan Partners by name. They treasure the pieces they have that are handmade by them. This week the stories are not found by flipping through the Lookbook or perusing the website but through hugs, laughter, smiles, learning from one another and relishing in the sweet moments of connection.

When we went across Lake Atitlan to meet Ana and Angelica I was afraid that maybe the connection between us all wouldn’t be as strong as I had envisioned in my head. I shared specifically with Angelica that her scarf is my all-time favorite scarf and one of my top sellers since I became an Ambassador in 2013. Her face lit up and you could see the joy in knowing that these are not just accessories to us, but they are treasures we value. Angelica, a woman I have spoken of at countless Trunk Shows, was no longer just a story I read about in a Lookbook, but a part of my story.

Ana and Angelica have set my heart ablaze and given me a richer picture of why I Noonday. They are influential and radiant women who are making an impact in their community by using their skills to train, employ and empower other men and women.

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As an expression of our love and appreciation for the Artisan Partners we came to meet, we gifted each woman with a Meera Bracelet. Watching each of them put on the Meera bracelet, handmade in India, was a powerful picture of the connection between all of us. Most of my role as an Ambassador has been to connect my Hostesses and customers to our Artisan Partners, but I hadn’t strongly considered the connection our Artisan Partners have with one another (Click to Tweet). They are unified in their commitment to provide employment in their communities, to see their children receive an education, to provide stability in their families, and to see whole communities transformed. They aren’t passive in their approach: they are passionate, faithful, talented and incredibly innovative.

When we met with Alvaro and Rosario’s group and watched them make some of Noonday’s popular beaded bracelets, I was amazed at the beautiful pieces being created right before my eyes. Rosario shared with us that this visit was not just business, but an answer to prayer.  We proceeded to circle up with the men and women in the workshop and thank our God for what He is doing. It was a powerful moment of praise and appreciation for what Noonday is doing in all of our lives.

One of my Ambassador sisters said it best; “this is a partnership and friendship across the oceans.” I love her perspective: this is so much more than just a partnership, this is a friendship that drives what they do and what we do. Our success is their success. I am so excited to elevate the men and women in Guatemala and all around the world, who are literally changing lives in these vulnerable communities. Your purchases truly matter and while you get to look amazing wearing these radiant accessories, you are providing hope to Ada Lydia to in the midst of raising five children as a widow, you are providing employment to four generations in Angelica’s workshop, and you are being invited to join a movement of styling your friends and changing the world.

These men and women are not just Noonday Artisan Partners, they are our friends. I am overwhelmed by the privilege it is to know them and to join with them to create a flourishing world. We are doing it together. All of us. Hostesses. Customers. Ambassadors. Husbands. Artisan Partners.

Each of YOU is helping create a flourishing world where children are cherished, women are empowered, people have jobs, and we are connected. When you purchase from Noonday Collection, you get to wear their story and share their story.

Are you inspired by the stories you’ve read? We’d love for you to be part of our flourishing world by hosting a Trunk Show or becoming a Noonday Ambassador! Join our Ambassador community this summer and you could earn the chance to travel on an Artisan trip of your own next summer!

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1 Comment
  • Katie Stover

    July 1, 2015 at 10:24 pm Reply

    Loved reading your story Andrea! Thanks to you and Noonday for passionately following our Savior’s lead in making a difference spiritually and physically in all of the Artisan’s life!!

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