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Guest Post: How Noonday Changed My Marriage

Deirdre Catlett is a wife and homeschooling mom, and a Noonday Ambassador. She became an Ambassador a year and a half ago and has become a fierce advocate for Noonday’s Artisan Partners across the globe. Although some women have concerns about how taking on an Ambassador business might affect their families or marriage, Deirdre believes that pursuing the opportunity has impacted not only her partners around the world, but her relationships with those closest to her. Read on to discover how her Ambassador business has sparked a passion for fair trade in her own life and her husband’s.

As with all life changing decisions in our house, when I was deciding whether to become a Noonday Collection Ambassador, I made a list. The left side of my paper outlined the benefits of becoming an Ambassador: developing Artisan Businesses through fair trade, empowering our partners through sustainable growth, creating jobs for people in their communities who desperately need them. Plus, having beautiful, handcrafted jewelry didn’t hurt either.

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The right side of my paper, with far fewer bullet points, still garnered much consideration. Each impediment always came back to my family: How many evenings will I spend away from home? Will I miss out on watching my kids’ games? Will my husband be supportive? Legitimate concerns and considerations about my day-to-day life here wrestled with my thoughts about Noonday’s Artisan Partners around the world. But in the end, my decision to become an Ambassador has created a multitude of blessings in my life, especially in my marriage.

My first confession at every Trunk Show I hold goes something like this: “Before becoming a Noonday Collection Ambassador, my only association to fair trade was over-priced coffee and bitter chocolate.” My ignorance embarrassed me, but it also motivated me. Our Ambassador Community contains some of the most passionate and intelligent women I know. They quickly fanned into flame a desire to combat my ignorance with the power of knowledge. My first assignment was to watch a documentary on Netflix called The True Cost, which highlights the plight of garment workers in the factories where our clothing is made. I asked my husband to watch the film with me, and things have never been the same since.

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As we sat watching stories of exploitation, challenged by the thought of men, women and children subsisting on less than $3 a day, my husband and I experienced a seismic shift in our hearts. For the first time, we saw the connection between our purchases and their poverty. For the first time, we understood the implications of supporting businesses that pay their employees living wages. For the first time, we recognized the responsibility we have to use our purchasing power as a catalyst for change. From that moment on, my involvement in Noonday Collection changed for one simple reason: my husband became my biggest supporter. He no longer viewed my role as an Ambassador with skepticism. Instead, he saw it as vehicle for change. Many of the people in our sphere of influence were just like us, ignorant to importance of fair trade and in a position to make a change.

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A lot has changed since watching that documentary with my husband. I’ve held over 50 Trunk Shows and added four amazing, world-changing Ambassadors to my Noonday Collection team. This past summer, I traveled with a group of Ambassadors to visit Jalia and Daniel, the leaders behind Noonday’s Artisan Partner Business in Uganda. While there, I hugged Artisans whose names and stories I knew, and some I did not yet know. I shared beautiful moments of connection with Bukenya and Nehma. I heard their stories firsthand, and saw with my own eyes, the profound impact our purchases can make on the other side of the world.

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I came home from Uganda encouraged by the commitment Daniel and Jalia have made to their business, to their employees and to one another. So much of Noonday Collection’s story begins with them and a leap of faith built from the hope of a better future for their Artisans. But, the continuation of Noonday Collection depends on a community of men and women committed to this vision: those who understand that their involvement, no matter how small, makes a difference. Today, a year and a half since I woke up to the reality of global poverty, I know that my purchases really can make a meaningful impact. And so does my husband.

A few months ago, my husband’s contribution meant acting as photographer at my first ever “Beads and Brews” Trunk Show. After 18 months as an Ambassador, it also marked the first time he heard me talk about Noonday Collection at a Trunk Show. As we packed my samples and displays up that night, he made a point to stop and say, “You’re really good at what you do and those Artisans are lucky to have you in their corner.”

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In that moment, I realized yet another gift Noonday Collection has brought into my life, into my marriage. He might not understand my obsession with the most beautiful, handcrafted jewelry I’ve ever seen, but my husband knows what each piece represents: the creation of dignified jobs for those who desperately need them. We’ve become a team focused on doing our part to help create a flourishing world.

Want to launch your own Noonday business and join our community of World-Changers?

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Meet Deirdre Catlett

Deirdre Catlett is a wife and homeschooling mom. When not balancing the responsibilities of educating her children and being a Noonday Collection Ambassador, she is pursuing her Masters at Dallas Theological Seminary and mentoring young women. She is a firm believer that every voice matters and works tirelessly to make sure each one of those voices is heard. She and her husband live in Portland, Maine with their four kids.

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