Hey there! Today is an exciting day! If you're visiting here for the Noonday Collection blog train, welcome! Before I start sharing a little bit of my story make sure you check out Krista and Alicia's blogs, they have some awesome Noonday goodie giveaways going on right now too.
I wanna tell you about Mary Sunshine. Mary Sunshine is exactly what her name is, full of sunshine. I have never in my life met someone with so much joy. Pure joy.
The day I went to meet the Rwandan artisans was such a special day. I was so excited. I had been sharing about these women and their stories for almost a year at that time, and I was going to meet them..in real life. Like, I was going to hug them and meet some of their children, and see where they work, it felt surreal. I remember driving in that little euro van...looking for the gates I was told would mark where the shop was. I saw them, Mary Sunshine standing outside the gates, ready to greet us, with a huge smile.
Mary's hugs were some of the more genuine hugs I've ever felt. She and the women welcomed us into their shop as if it was their home. They took so much pride in the work they created, the work they created for people like you, who shop our line :)
They even got all gussied up for our meeting!
(which made me feel better because of course I worried about what I was going to wear to meet them too! Women are women know matter where they're from ;) )
They worked on sewing machines powered by foot..like the ones we use here in the US for decoration in our homes (yeah..reality check..humbleness check)
It was absolutely amazing to see things in progress, things like the Charlotte Bag, named after this beauty.
I remember feeling so inadequate as I stood there and they thanked me because of your purchases. They were so thankful for work, work that literally is the difference between life and death for some. The difference between keeping their children and being forced to give them up. Some of the artisans walk for miles to get to the co-op y'all..miles..they walk miles for you. Miles to create beautiful pieces. Pieces that hold a story.
Writing this brings tears to my eyes. My eyes burn missing that time I had with them. Community, community with sisters across the globe, sisters I'd never met until that day.
They are why I sell Noonday. They are why I hound some of you about hosting shows.
They are real. Their stories are real. Some of them have been through more than we ever will in our lifetime.
History of genocide, war, rape, abuse.
This sweet thang? Because of your purchases she's in preschool while her mama works! She's also looking quite studious if I do say so myself.
They're beautiful daughters of the King.
They are Noonday Collection.
In honor of our Rwandan Artisans, I am giving away our brand new Mary Sunshine Apron.
It is bright, bold and beautiful! Just like Mary Sunshine.
I would love for one of you to win this, and wear it proudly as you think of Mary Sunshine. As you bake cookies for your family, or prepare a holiday dinner, think of Mary and her JOY for life.
Choose JOY my friends, just like Mary Sunshine.
Comment below for your chance to win! Winner will be announced Friday September 6th and make sure you tell me your favorite new fall item! (if you can choose just one!)
And tomorrow make sure you check out Natalie's blog for another giveaway!
- all these beautiful pictures were taken by my great friends Rachel and Becky of WurzbachFisherPhotography, they're Noonday lovers and wrote a blog about our Rwandan trip too! Make sure you check it out here!
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