While a single working girl living in Austin, Texas, Ruth Whitmire used to spot great jewelry, scarves, and handbags on her co-workers and friends. When she inquired about the beautiful earrings, necklaces and bracelets, she learned that the products were made in emerging countries by women who were being paid fair wages for their artistry. The company that carried these items,Noonday Collection, was based there in Austin. Ruth liked the jewelry and handbags and especially appreciated the company philosophy of supporting female artisans.
After attending several Noonday trunk shows, Ruth decided to become a vendor herself. Enjoying the informal gatherings of friends who took an interest in helping struggling women in other countries, Ruth found herself to be a natural at sharing the message, as well as the goods.
Then, she married Will Whitmire, who grew up on Lookout Mountain, and in 2016 they returned to Tennessee to live, settling first in North Chattanooga, where she became an Ambassador for the company. She and Will, an ophthalmologist in Soddy Daisy, soon were the parents of baby girl Neely. The couple moved to Signal in June 2018.
As she acclimated to life in our area, Ruth noticed that nobody wore the Noonday Collection and contacted the company to see if she could introduce the line here. Those in charge agreed, so Ruth is now bringing these unique and beautiful products to our area through trunk shows held in homes.
The Noonday Collection, founded by Jessica Honegger, features the creations of 4,500 artisans, who support 20,400 family members through 31 artisan business partners in 14 countries. These span the globe from our hemisphere (Haiti, Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Peru) to Africa (Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, and Ethiopia) to the Middle and Far East (Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Vietnam, and East Asia).
More than a business, Noonday is a mission that empowers women around the world who create stylish wares from materials native to their countries, including feathers, leaves, seeds, metals, and even fired artillery shells from battlefields. A necklace made from these artillery shells, called the Bethe Rope Necklace, is, in fact, one of Ruth’s best sellers. The products go from sedate to over-the-top, filled with color and excitement.
Fulfilling the Noonday goal of connecting women, Ruth is meeting new people in our area as she assists female artisans worldwide and introduces women locally to beautiful hand-crafted products the company offers. If you’d like to know more, go to noonday collection.com or email Ruth at firstname.lastname@example.org.