DREAM CATCHER: JESSICA HONEGGER
Jessica Honegger is the Founder and co-CEO of Noonday Collection, a company that uses fashion and design to create economic opportunity for the vulnerable. Most little girls had lemonade stands. Jessica Honegger had jewelry. She first traveled to Kenya at age 16, witnessing firsthand what life was like in the Nairobi slums without running water, toilets or adequate housing. On that trip she also held an orphan for the first time, and knew immediately that she wanted to spend her life championing the cause of the poor. In 2010, Jessica and her husband took a trip to Uganda, where she held her first orphan since becoming a mom to her own two littles. They decided then to grow their family through adoption, and Jessica launched Noonday Collection to raise the money needed to bring their son home from Rwanda. Jessica now spends her days inspiring others to live lives of purpose – training the Noonday Ambassadors to be powerful storytellers and stylists, and visiting the company’s many artisans to encourage them in their work. Jessica believes her life’s work is a dream so good, she never could have imagined it.
I knew I wanted to _____ when… I knew I wanted to fight for justice for the vulnerable when I witnessed poverty for the first time on a trip to inner-city Washington, DC, when I was 14.
My biggest challenge is… Turning off! I love what I do so much, it is easy to be constantly thinking about new ideas, new designs and new people to connect with.
What’s your best advice for someone ready to launch? My best advice, in one sentence, for launching a venture is to know your WHY! And be sure your why involves something more than money and success; know how you are creating good, whether it be job creation in your community, inspiring people to live their best lives, or empowering people. Have long-term vision. And never be afraid of the words “no” or “failure”.
What are you inspired by lately? I just got back from India and was totally inspired by their saris, their markets, the food, the people. I fell in love.
I am most proud of… Our Noonday Ambassadors and all those taking risks for the sake of a greater mission.
LET’S GET PERSONAL:
What are three words that best describe you? Dreamer, Fiery, Empathetic
What three words best describe your company? Beauty, Opportunity, Transparency
Right now, I can’t get enough… Katy Perry. I am still not tired of Roar! It makes me sprint on my morning runs.
My favorite movie… LOVED Captain Phillips
My favorite TV show… New Girl. I heart Zooey.
What does being a mom and an entrepreneur mean? Being gentle with myself, and turning off when I am with my family.
My favorite thing to do with my kids… Dance parties, trampoline, travel and cuddles!
What’s the toughest thing about motherhood? Having my heart live on the outside of my body.
What do you hope to pass along to your children? The importance of providing opportunity for others and seeing beyond themselves.
What did you give up to pursue your dream? Time with friends.