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At the End of the Runway…

Today (the day I wrote this post) is Veterans Day and before reading this post, no matter what day it is when you read it, please take a minute to say a prayer for the men and women serving in our Armed Forces and their families, and for those whose loved ones gave the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe. And take a second to reach out to someone in your life who is currently serving or who has served and thank them.  Thanks. Carry on.

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I’m officially out of what’s called my “Runway Period” with Noonday which is the first ninety days. I’ve had six trunk shows? Six? Five?  I don’t remember. Anyway, things are going.  And even though I haven’t blogged in awhile (I’m feeling led to blog more, though, I think. Stay tuned. I guess time will tell), I wanted to take a minute to write down my biggest discoveries over the last three months, the ways Noonday has blessed me and deepened me.  I started typing and they all ended up centered around the theme of connection…

-Connecting with women all over the world.  I love supporting our amazing artisan partners around the world and sharing their stories.  They feel like…I don’t know, distant cousins or something.  People who I’m so proud of and whose lives and livelihood I’m committed to supporting and I love that. But, BUT!  Noonday’s founder Jessica Honneger was in Africa recently and posted a video in which she described telling a group of our women artisan partners that their work was creating jobs for women in the US and allowing us to support our family. The idea that they are connected to us as well as us to them, that they get to feel the same love and dignity and pride that I do in knowing that my work is enabling and empowering other women- it just gives me chills and makes my heart swell. I’m so grateful to those women, for all of our artisan partners, for their work that gives me this opportunity.  I love that we can exist in that connection even a whole world apart. Connecting women to one another…it’s sacred.
-Connecting with women all over the country.  The Noonday Ambassador community is remarkable.  Honestly, that was one of the things that scared me the most going into this, so afraid was I of my unworthiness of this calling that I felt I would shrivel in the presence of the confidence, capability, worldliness and just general fashion-savvy togetherness of the veteran Ambassadors. But these women are remarkably supportive and lacking in pretense.  Among our numbers are fashion bloggers, savvy businesswomen, worldly and well-connected advocates for social justice, and some of these women have sold hundreds of thousands of dollars-worth of Noonday.  But everything gets set aside when we come together in our Facebook groups to do life together. Nobody seems to need to prove anything to anyone else, each of us is deemed worthy just by our presence, just because we had the heart to take Noonday’s mission on ourselves.  The power of women living being supportive of one another…it’s sacred.

-Connecting with the women around me and connecting them with one another. I love the atmosphere at trunk shows. I love seeing the pride my hostesses take in preparing for their events and the smiles on their faces as they hug their friends and family and sit down to catch up and swap stories.  I love, LOVE the look on a guest’s face when I style her in a necklace that she never would have chosen for herself and it LANDS and she LOVES it and her face lights up and she reaches for her order form because she wants to bring that feeling home with her.  Trunk shows are full of smiles, love, laughter, friendship, and confidence.  It has also caused me to reconnect with some people I’ve been out of touch with for awhile, meet to people, and connect in a new way with friends and loved ones. What a GIFT! The power of women loving one another and themselves…again, sacred.

-Connecting people to purpose.  Noonday’s mission resonates with and inspires people. When I tell stories at my trunk shows, I get to watch the faces of the guests light up.  There are smiles and goosebumps and sometimes even tears.  Some of my friends’ husbands are even excited about the mission their wives are supporting and I know my husband is.  It has given me a new love and respect for the people around me to see how they get swept up and inspired and want to host and purchase and how they encourage me in my journey.  The power of being a part of something bigger…yep, you guess it. Sacred.

-Connecting me to my inner style maven.  I always subjugated fashion in my life.  As a student, a teacher, and then a mom, I never really saw fashion as serving a purpose in my life and so, ever pragmatic and practical, I dutifully set it on the back burner and scraped by with as little as I could manage. I needed to presentable to the world and attractive to my husband, but killer shoes and earrings to die for were not luxuries I felt warranted my time, attention, or our family’s budget.  My husband needed to command respect at work, family loves to see the kids look adorable, but how I dressed and what I looked like felt to me like it only served the superficial and didn’t really count or matter. But I guess I always did care deep down because now that it matters, now that being stylish, accessorized, and “on fleek” matters in my life, I am reveling in it.  Being a walking advertisement for the talents and hard work of amazing humans around the globe has given me permission to explore style, craft looks, and get that pair of boots I’ve been ogling.  And you know what else? I’m much better at it than I expected.  Just because I never did it didn’t mean that I couldn’t, I guess. I had one guest at a show say, “People are layering these days I hear, isn’t that a thing?”  And I said, “Yes, let’s layer you!” and just threw on some paper beads and artillery with what she was already wearing, then suggested a scarf and bam! She was thrilled.  It was effortless at the time, but I ended up marveling afterward. Where did that come from? Did I just do that?  Connecting people- even and especially me- to confidence, very much sacred.

Connecting me to God-  This, of course is the most important thing of all.  This journey has been an avenue for God to bless me in ways I never anticipated and is requiring trust and communication on my part as never before. It is SO HARD to walk into a situation where you have no schema for how to achieve success. Every trunk show booked and every sale feel divine to me. And it’s slow going. With a brand like Noonday that is not yet a household name, it is taking time to plant seeds.  In the current market where it seems EVERYONE is selling something and one gets dozens of invites to online direct sales parties of various kinds via social media, getting people’s attention and getting them to see that Noonday is DIFFERENT takes time and it’s an uphill battle. But God wouldn’t have me here if he wasn’t going to do big things with it. And any trust exercise builds relationship and any excuses for increased communication strengthens a bond…I’m having some awesome Daddy-Daughter time with my heavenly father and He is showering abundant and overflowing love on me through this journey. Connecting with our Father who loves us is the most sacred thing of all.

There’s more, I could go on for hours. I’m doing three shows in the next month in which I’m donating my commission to people and causes I care about. Being able to do that is awesome. I’m even going out on a limb and going to the Noonday convention, “Shine,” in Austin in January. Leap of faith.

But that’s it for now. I need to put stickers on lookbooks.

Love and hugs,

Tori

Author:

Wife and mom in the Pacific Northwest, dreaming of a world with no mom left behind.

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