The Real Female Entrepreneur

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G&G 113: What It Really Took to Build Noonday Collection with Jessica Honegger

Season 2, PopularLauren FrontieraComment

EPISODE SNEAK PEEK:

"I went to pawn shops to sell my gold jewelry in order to fund my first website. And I didn't tell that story for years, because I thought that made me look so desperate. But now I'm like, well damn, I was desperate!"

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with Jessica Honegger


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WHAT'S IN THIS EPISODE?

In this episode, I sat down with Jessica Honegger, the founder and co-CEO of Noonday Collection. If you haven't heard of Noonday before, they design and sell jewelry and accessories made by artisans around the world. And by doing so, they're making a difference in some of the world's most vulnerable communities.

They're changing the world! And six years into building this business, things are going really well. Jessica and her co-CEO just won an Entrepreneur of the Year award from Ernst and Young.

But things haven't always been this way. At all. For a long time. And I love this conversation so much, because Jessica is super transparent about that. From not paying herself a salary for 3 years to pawning her gold jewelry in order to have enough cash to build her first website (she also shares why she didn't tell this part of her business story for years), she shares about so much.


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WHO IS JESSICA HONEGGER?

Jessica Honegger is the Founder and Co-CEO of Noonday Collection, a business that uses fashion to create meaningful opportunities around the world. Noonday Collection creates economic opportunity for artisans in the developing world by connecting them to a growing marketplace in the United States.

In 2015, Inc Magazine named Noonday Collection as the third fastest growing privately held company owned by a woman in the nation. Jessica has been featured in numerous publications, including Better Homes and Gardens, and she has been nominated twice for Austin Under 40 in Entrepreneurship. She has also been a finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year two times, and was the featured cover story of Austin Woman. 

Jessica founded Noonday Collection in 2010 with the dream of using entrepreneurship to alleviate poverty in vulnerable communities. Shortly after, she launched the Ambassador Opportunity, which gives women the opportunity to become stylists, storytellers, and social entrepreneurs who sell Noonday products at Trunk Shows across the U.S. In just six years, Noonday has become one of the largest fair trade retailers in the world. The company partners with 30 artisan businesses in 13 countries, creating meaningful opportunities for thousands of artisans. Plus, almost 2,000 women have joined Honegger’s vision by becoming Noonday Collection Ambassadors.

Jessica can be found in Haiti or Ethiopia on even given day of the month, but her favorite spot to be found is swinging on the porch with her three kids and husband in their artist centric neighborhood of Austin’s east side. She will happily tell you where to get the best tacos, margaritas, and massages in town.  And she is always, always, planning her next adventure, preferably one where she brings her family along with her. Next on the horizon: Uganda and Italy.


MORE OF JESSICA

Jessica on Instagram

Noonday Collection on Instagram and Facebook

www.noondaycollection.com


LINKS FROM THIS EPISODE:

G&G 098: Becoming an Artist with Amira Rahim

Season 2, PopularLauren FrontieraComment

EPISODE SNEAK PEEK:

"I just wanted to be noticed. I didn't know that my paintings would sell to anyone."


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WHAT'S IN THIS EPISODE?

I think our becomings happen so gradually that we don't even notice it until we've finally bloomed. The blooming part always seems so serendipitous, too. Because we had no idea we were becoming all along.

In this episode, I sit down with Amira Rahim, a contemporary abstract expressionist painter, to hear the story of how she became an artist.

It wasn't all paint clothes and easel and painting on the side of the streets until she got her big break - I know, that's what I expected, too.

It was more law school and trying out different jobs until one simple line from a movie changed everything for her - it was that serendipitous moment of her becoming.

Amira shares about how she went from blogging about her art to working full-time as an artist, what changes when your art becomes a business, dealing with negative feedback, and getting comfortable with fear.


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WHO IS AMIRA RAHIM?

Amira Rahim is a contemporary abstract expressionist painter whose work has been procured by collectors around the world, and most notably, by the Royal Family of Abu Dhabi. Amira has been featured in Ebony Magazine, The Huffington Post, Design Mom, The National, Minted and Time Out Abu Dhabi. Trained in Sociology, Amira became a full-time artist to address feelings of solitude and displacement while abroad. Through her daily art practice, she explores the possibility of intuition and spontaneity through her use of bold color, vigorous brushstrokes and whimsical composition (like this beauty). In addition to painting, Amira runs an online community, Passion Color Joy, where she guides new and seasoned artists on things from selling a first painting to developing a brand, business and website. 


MORE OF AMIRA

Passion Color Joy on Instagram

Passion Color Joy Facebook group

www.amirarahim.com

Amira on Instagram and Facebook


LINKS FROM THIS EPISODE:

G&G 092: Debilitating Anxiety Amidst Pain, Loss, & Divorce with Jessica Alonso

Season 2, PopularLauren FrontieraComment

EPISODE SNEAK PEEK:

"It was easier to talk about the past with him than to think about how my future had literally just exploded."


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WHAT'S IN THIS EPISODE:

Some of people's bravest moments are when they're sharing about the hardest parts of their stories.

In this episode, I sit down with Jessica Alonso of Quirk Creative to hear about the darkest, hardest, loneliest parts of her story. She shares about living with debilitating anxiety, losing someone to suicide, divorce, miscarriage, and the hardest trial she faced in her marriage. We also talk about her business and how it recently evolved, but the bulk of our conversation revolves around her life story.

Whatever you're struggling with right now, you're not alone. If you need that reminder, this episode is for you.


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MORE OF JESSICA

www.quirkcreativedesign.com

Jessica on Instagram


LINKS FROM THIS EPISODE: