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Empowering Others with the Voice You’ve Been Given

Have you ever sat there pondering what kind of an impact you alone can make? Have you ever questioned whether or not your actions really could move mountains? I have, and it’s a question I ask myself on a daily basis. Unfortunately, self-doubt can be a beast. It can convince you in a second that no matter how hard you try to make an impact, you won’t.

Amber with other Noonday Collection Ambassadors (photo credit: Karina Tobin)

Finding Inspiration

I remember when I was younger and my brother averaged more time in the hospital than out of the hospital while battling his bleeds due to his hemophilia. I waited in a lot of waiting rooms, as some of the hospital units wouldn’t allow me to enter because I was too young. Sitting in the waiting room working on homework and reading took up a lot of my afternoons. I remember observing the nurses and doctors while I waited. I remember how they would come into the waiting room to talk to loved ones, and you could always tell who truly had their heart in their work. I remember watching families being consoled by doctors and nurses who LOVED their jobs while others would simply deliver the news they had, good or bad, and just walk out. I was just a child, but I was heartbroken when I saw the lack of emotion and the lack of any empathy.

Ambassador Amber with her older brother

When my brother was a little older I was allowed to visit him in his room, which was always a highlight after a long day of school. Some days I would walk in and he would look upset, and other days I’d walk in and we could talk for hours. Want to know what made such an impact on his outlook by the time I arrived? It was simply the nurse that cared for him that day. That’s all. Being a teenager in the hospital isn’t “fun” by any means, but the heart of a nurse can make such an impact. I remember I would walk in and he would say either “good nurse” or “bad nurse.” He didn’t have to elaborate, but I simply knew by his statement how his day had been.

He was blessed with one nurse named Cindy. When Cindy took care of my brother, she connected with him. During some of his hardest days in the hospital and during transfusions, she made him come alive. She made him laugh, and she simply understood how hard it was for him. She didn’t judge him, and she wasn’t jaded; she simply LOVED her job as a pediatric hematology nurse.

Ambassador Amber with her older brother (photo credit: Joel Hesgard)

I remember watching her work and how she talked to my brother whenever he became frustrated. Often his veins were so difficult to start an IV on due to so much scar tissue from years of IVs. On days when other nurses were assigned to care for him, she would always make sure they knew she was available to help. I knew that I wanted to be a nurse like her. I wanted to help others through some of their lowest of days. I wanted to be the one who held them when they cried, the nurse who took time to listen. I never wanted to become “jaded.” I wanted to give everything that I had. I wanted to allow my patients to be my family for the time I cared for them and pray for them when I wasn’t caring for them. But don’t get me wrong – allowing yourself to become attached to your patients means being vulnerable to their heartbreaks as well.

The elderly population has always been my favorite to work with, but with this comes loss. I’ve held hands when a loved one slipped away. I’ve called families who had no interest in coming in to say goodbye before a parent passed. I’ve watched a wife kiss her husband for the last time. I’ve seen the look of disbelief in the eyes of family members when they question that life could possibly go on, and I’ve been the nurse that made it to my car at the end of a shift, closed the door and broke down crying. I have no regrets, though, because I’d rather have an open heart any day.

What does any of this have to do with Noonday Collection?

Everything! When I was sidelined from nursing due to an injury, I was missing that desire to help others. I was needing a way to help in a different way. A part of my heart is with my patients always, but I knew that there had to be another way to help. There had to be another way to step up and empower others. To say that I haven’t been at the point of feeling completely defeated myself would be an understatement. I’ve always been the nurse helping others. I never wanted to be the patient. I wanted to be the 90-year-old patient that had no medical history of health problems and no hospital admissions other than having babies. There’s a saying that nurses make the worst patients, and I have to admit that it just might be partially true. We hate to ask for help. We like to be able to succeed in everything we do. At least that’s how I was.

I remember having an ophthalmology appointment and seeing Noonday Collection earrings on my ophthalmologist. I told her that I loved her earrings, and she lit up. She told me about how they were made from up-cycled artillery shells from previous conflicts in Ethiopia. I was so intrigued, and the goose bumps on my arms let me know that I was about to learn about one of the most amazing companies I would come across.

I’ve always been one to love looking into things and researching them thoroughly. As I sat checking over the Noonday Collection site, reading their story and educating myself on all of the countries that were impacted by Noonday Collection, I was blown away. My reaction to watching all of the in-the-making videos of some of my favorite products drew my boys over to the computer as well. The comments of “how cool,” “that’s awesome,” and “mommy, you need to do this”’ filled the empty spaces of my heart. Seeing my children show interest in helping others has always been a mission of mine.

An Artisan in Guatemala making the Ablaze Earrings

I joined Noonday Collection for the exact same reason I became a nurse: to help and empower others. I want to turn the tables in a world that is so filled with greed and show that by simply reaching out a hand and advocating for others a big impact can be made! It will change you in the best of ways. I want my customers to know the stories of the Artisans we partner with. I want to share the intricate beauty these Artisans have created. I want to empower our Artisans!

Last January, I had the opportunity to head down to Austin, Texas to attend Noonday’s annual Shine Conference for Noonday Ambassadors and to meet some of our Artisan Partners in person and to hear each of their stories. Jalia & Daniel (our Artisan Partners from Uganda) and Anne (from Kenya) even made a video recording to my kids, thanking them for helping me share about Noonday Collection. You know what? My boys still ask to watch those video clips. They fight (figuratively speaking) about who gets to help me at my next pop-up, they help me set up my displays, write out itemized lists when I need a helping hand (literally) and even help “behind the scenes” during my live sales. They love to open packages from Noonday Collection, eager to learn how each piece was made and which country it came from. I love that they are so on fire to help! This mama couldn’t ask for anything more!

Shine 2019 (left to right): Jessica Honegger, Noonday Collection’s Founder, Ambassador Amber, and Jalia

Remember that void I was feeling in my heart from being sidelined from nursing? It’s fading, thanks to Noonday Collection. Never in a million years did I think that this would happen. Never, but oh, I am so thankful that I was wrong.

So, what lights your fire? What pushes you to fight the good fight? At Noonday Collection we’re not just women empowering women. We are a sisterhood of women who will not back down when it comes to advocating for the Artisans we partner with. We are a sisterhood driven to change the world, and yes, we’re doing it with our jewelry and accessories! We simply style our friends and change the world. Who wouldn’t want in on that?

Meet Amber Hesgard

Amber's titles don't just stop at fashionista. She’s a nurse, a blogger, a wife, and a mom to three (including two little fur babies). Amber is passionate about spending time with her family, women’s empowerment, beauty and style, and travel, just to name a few!