Hey there! I’m Jessica Honegger, Founder and co-CEO of Noonday Collection, author of Imperfect Courage, brand-new podcaster, and mom to three littles. I am passionate about encouraging others to leave comfort, go scared, and step into a life of impact. Oh, and I’m also passionate about queso, Topo Chico, and a good pair of heels. (I’m a woman of many interests!)
I used to think the path to success was straight and clear. Want to know how curvy my path has been? I have done everything from midwifery in Bolivia, to getting a Masters in Education, to flipping homes in Austin, Texas. Clearly, this was a path that lead straight to starting a business, right?
Reflecting back now, I am able to see now that all my seemingly circular steps were, in fact, laying a clear path for me. The common thread along the path? A desire to try to find ways to create meaningful opportunity for others.
It was during a trip to Kenya in my teens that I first witnessed the realities of global poverty firsthand. That trip ignited in me the first sparks of the social-justice flame that would eventually inspire Noonday Collection. I returned home a bit of an activist, volunteering in Bolivia and Guatemala after college where I dove into the development world head first (and made plenty of well-intentioned mistakes along the way). It was during this time that I began to understand the power of entrepreneurship as a sustainable solution to poverty.
Fast forward to 2010, when my husband Joe and I needed a way to raise funds to adopt our son Jack from Rwanda. Through friends, I got connected with two talented Ugandan jewelry designers named Jalia and Daniel who were living in poverty but just needed access to a marketplace to truly thrive. I grew up with a mom, aunts, and grandmas who loved their statements accessories—so jewelry was in my blood. To fundraise for our adoption, I purchased some of Jalia and Daniel’s jewelry and sold it to my friends and family at a Trunk Show in my living room. The unique pieces and even more captivating story behind the collection was a hit—and that’s when I realized the potential for fashion to create economic opportunity for worldwide communities. Before I knew it, I had doubled down on this big dream, and Noonday Collection was born.
Today, you can find me hanging out in beautiful Austin, Texas with my husband Joe and our three kids, Amelie, Holden, and Jack. You will also find me traveling the world to inspire others to live lives of courage and impact.
2017 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award
2015 #45 on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies List
2015 Person of the Year by Austin’s lifestyle magazine TRIBEZA
Austin Business Journal Feature
Austin American Statesman Feature
San Antonio Magazine Feature
Austin Woman Cover Feature
Better Homes and Gardens Magazine Feature Feature
The Today Show Feature
Noonday Collection is a “not-just-for-profit” business that designs and sells an inspired collection of jewelry and accessories made by Artisans around the world to create dignified jobs for vulnerable communities. Noonday Collection develops Artisan businesses through fair trade, empowering them to grow sustainably and connecting them to a growing market for their goods.
Jessica, along with co-CEO Travis Wilson, has taken the company a long way from its humble beginnings at that first Trunk Show in her Austin home. Today, as the world’s most successful fair trade jewelry business, Noonday Collection partners with 28 Artisan Businesses in 12 countries, as well as over 1,700 Ambassadors—independent business owners who sell Noonday’s products at Trunk Shows across the US. Noonday currently creates dignified work for over 4,500 Artisans worldwide, impacting over 20,400 family members.
Noonday Collection not only creates economic opportunity for Artisans abroad, but also for women here in the United States. Ambassadors are stylists, storytellers, and social entrepreneurs empowered to start successful businesses of their own and connect with a supportive sisterhood. By partnering with Hostesses to hold Trunk Shows in their communities, they give others the ability to make a positive impact in the world by using their purchasing power for good.
Based on ideals of supporting families and bringing global communities together, adoption is at the heart of Noonday Collection’s mission—that’s why 10 percent of sales at Adoption Trunk Shows go to help adoptive families bring their children home. But family preservation is vital to the company’s mission, too. By creating dignified jobs in vulnerable communities, Noonday empowers parents who may have been compelled by poverty to place their children in orphanages to keep their families together.
In 2015, Inc. magazine named Noonday Collection number 45 out of the top 5,000 fastest growing companies in America, also designating it the third-fastest-growing American business owned by a woman. The same year, Noonday Collection landed the number one spot on the Austin Business Journal Fast 50 list.