Their Hands Tell a Story
Osheta Moore is a Noonday Ambassador, pastor’s wife, mom, and writer. She originally hails from Texas, but now lives in LA. Osheta fell in love with the style and mission of Noonday after reading a blog post about the impact of Noonday Trunk Shows. On her podcast, Shalom in the City, Osheta speaks about social justice and raising children who love their neighbors well, and reminds her listeners that we are all connected. Today on Flourish, she shares her thoughts on how Noonday’s accessories create bridges that connect Artisans, Ambassadors, Hostesses, and customers in an authentic and beautiful way.
The very first Noonday pieces I ever received came in my Ambassador Starter Collection.
For years I had known about Noonday Collection and the work they did to create pathways out of poverty for people in vulnerable communities, but it wasn’t until I decided to become an Ambassador that I finally purchased a piece for myself. When the large package arrived, I earnestly met the deliveryman at the door, signed, and rushed to my bedroom. Like an Apple Geek on iPhone release day, I slowly unpacked every item, from my luscious Rustic Leather Tote to my shiny Bethe Rope Necklace, squealing and sighing and styling pieces in my mind.
That evening, I pored over the latest Noonday lookbook to match pieces with their stories and I came across one striking picture – a Ugandan Artisan’s hands full of vibrant paper beads. I stared at that picture and a thought I had never had crossed my mind: every single piece is handmade. Hand. Made. The woman in this photo is not unlike me. She uses her hands to help her family just like I do.
I thought our Artisan Partners’ hands and wondered: before they found work with one of Noonday’s business partners, did their hands tremble in fear of what they had to do provide for themselves, or out of weaknesses brought on by untreated sickness? Did their fingers wipe away tears of loss when they were separated from their children? Did they clasp their hands in prayer for deliverance? I don’t know. If I was in their position, I would.
When they learned that Noonday partnered in their community to help create sustainable jobs, did they clap their hands in delight? Did they shake hands with joy over their work agreement? Do they now smile over their busy hands rolling paper, cutting thread, stitching lining, threading beads? Do they hold up completed pieces in their hands and beam with pride? If I was given a chance to crush poverty by creating beauty with my hands, I am confident that I would.
Remembering the very real hands of these Artisans connected me to the Noonday mission more than any moving video could. Suddenly the woman in this photo, using her hands to create a better world for her family, didn’t feel so different from me. I wanted to use my hands to honor the work she was doing with hers. So I went out a booked three Trunk Shows that very week.
I am an Ambassador because I am a lover of hands. Yes, yes – I’m thrilled to have a jewelry case full of gorgeous pieces waiting to be displayed at a Trunk Show. I’m floored by the Ambassador community, which is one of the most empowering, loving groups of women I have ever met. And don’t get me wrong, I love writing off the time I spend scrolling on Instagram as work hours and counting that “gotta–have–it” new summer bag as a tax deduction. All cool perks of the job. But, I’m in this for work of many hands. I’m more than a stylist, I’m an Ambassador entrusted with the stories that our Artisan Partners around the world tell with the work of their hands.
I feel a lot like spoken word poet Sarah Kay in her poem, appropriately titled, “Hands”.
I love hands like I love people. They are the maps and compasses with which we navigate our way through life. Each scar makes a story worth telling. Each calloused palm, each cracked knuckle is a missed punch or years in a factory.
When I got my new Nairobi Necklace recently, I immediately rushed to the site to learn how our newest Artisan Partner in Kenya made my favorite piece of the line. I wanted to see how he crafted each piece from metal. I wanted to know more about the process. But most of all, I wanted to celebrate his story rising out of the slums to entrepreneurship. All fashioned by the work of his hands.
With your hands, you can join me too. You can purchase a piece handmade with love and honor the Artisan who made it. With your hands, you can open the door to your home and welcome people as a Trunk Show Hostess. With your hands, you can sign up to become an Ambassador and join me in telling our Artisan Partners’ stories and securing a bright future of employment for them.
I think this is one of the biggest joys of partnering with Noonday: through shopping, creating a marketplace, and wearing the incredible handiwork of these Artisans, we are able to hold hands with beautiful families across the globe. Many of us may never visit Africa, India, Nepal, or Vietnam – but Noonday is a bridge that connects us all, whether the view from our window is a cornfield, a lush jungle, or a bustling city street.