It All Started with Paper Beads
Nearly ten years ago, a woman named Jessica Honegger held the first Noonday Collection Trunk Show in her living room to raise adoptions funds to bring her son home from Rwanda. For sale and scattered around the room were family heirlooms, used clothing, spare sets of dishes, and brightly colored jewelry made of paper beads from a friend in Uganda. That night, Jessica had no clue that she was about to launch what would become the largest fair trade jewelry company in the world – or that the couple who made those original paper bead pieces would become Noonday’s first Artisan Partners.
Today, Jack is a permanent part of the Honegger family – and through the help of Noonday Collection orders, the same Artisan Partners in Uganda who made that first batch of paper bead jewelry have grown their workshop to help dozens of others in their community rise.
10 Years of Partnership
Jalia and Daniel, Noonday Collection’s first Artisan Partners and a husband-and-wife duo, used to sell their paper bead goods door to door. It was this craft that barely kept them afloat, but they had big dreams to turn their paper bead business into an entity that would provide for their family for years to come, as well as family and friends within their community. When Jessica’s Trunk Show guests fanned over the artistry of Jalia and Daniel’s handcrafted styles, she knew she was onto something – and so, she contacted Jalia to make a new order.
Fast forward a bit, and what was once a small operation of paper bead making is now an Artisan Business impacting a multitude of families by creating dignified jobs for those who need them. Noonday Collection has grown to partner with Artisan Businesses in 15 different countries, as well as provide flexible work opportunities for nearly 2,000 Noonday Ambassadors within the U.S., and Jalia and Daniel’s paper beads are a staple material in each collection for their lightweight nature, artisanal appearance, and ability to create unique designs season after season.
Paper Beads in the Making
To make each paper bead style, Artisans at Jalia and Daniel’s workshop carefully cut tiny strips of paper in multiple colors and tightly roll the strips around a toothpick to create the bead. The beads are then varnished to ensure a durable, smooth finish, and Artisans use a keen attention to detail and a fine touch to assemble the beads into some of your favorite jewelry designs. Their work is where art and precision meet – a careful cut here, a touch of blue there – to create consistently beautiful accessories.
The end result is an eye-catching, world-changing, conversation-starting assortment of statement earrings, necklaces, and bracelets that have everyone asking, “Where’d you get that?”
Create Your Own Paper Bead Jewelry
As an addition to the Noonday family of paper bead styles, the Build Your Own Bracelet Kits now let you be part of the creation process! Each set comes with an assortment of handcrafted paper beads from our Artisan Partner in Uganda, along with stretch wire. And when you host a Trunk Show in June 2020, you can earn a set for free!
Meet Carla Rosas
Carla is a part of the Marketing Team at Noonday Collection and loves to write about social justice and how fair-trade fashion makes an impact across the globe. She also enjoys traveling as much as possible, spending time outside with her husband and rescue pups, and whipping up new recipes in the kitchen.