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Imperfect Courage

Live a Life of Purpose by Leaving Comfort and Going Scared

By Jessica Honegger
15-minute read
Audio available
Imperfect Courage: Live a Life of Purpose by Leaving Comfort and Going Scared by Jessica Honegger

In Imperfect Courage (2018), Jessica Honegger shares inspiring stories from her purposeful life as an entrepreneur. She describes how she built a hugely successful fair-trade jewelry and fashion business by connecting artisans in developing countries with women across the United States. She also shares how, in doing so, she broke out of her comfort zone, found new reserves of courage and is pursuing a fulfilling, purposeful life.

  • Anyone who believes in global sisterhood
  • Entrepreneurs with a purpose
  • People who want to test the limits of their own courage

Originally a development worker and educator, Jessica Honegger founded Noonday Collection, a direct sales retailer for jewelry and fashion created by artisans in developing countries that’s now a $17-million business. Honegger was named Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017. A mother of three, she lives with her family in Austin, Texas.

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Imperfect Courage

Live a Life of Purpose by Leaving Comfort and Going Scared

By Jessica Honegger
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 9 key ideas
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Imperfect Courage: Live a Life of Purpose by Leaving Comfort and Going Scared by Jessica Honegger
Synopsis

In Imperfect Courage (2018), Jessica Honegger shares inspiring stories from her purposeful life as an entrepreneur. She describes how she built a hugely successful fair-trade jewelry and fashion business by connecting artisans in developing countries with women across the United States. She also shares how, in doing so, she broke out of her comfort zone, found new reserves of courage and is pursuing a fulfilling, purposeful life.

Key idea 1 of 9

The author found her courage and launched Noonday while pursuing a dream of international adoption.

Jessica Honegger never intended to start Noonday, her jewelry and fashion business; it all kind of happened by accident. What she initially intended to do was adopt a child.

Years earlier, on a trip to Africa, she held a young child, orphaned after her parents died from AIDS, in her arms. From that moment on, she knew in her heart that the next step for her family would be, eventually, to adopt.

Unfortunately, international adoption is expensive, and just at the time their plan for adoption was coming together, the housing market collapsed. Since she and her husband were making a living from refurbishing and reselling properties, their income disappeared too. Honegger needed a side hustle, and she needed it now.

She remembered that friends of hers in Uganda had been bemoaning the fact that two incredible local artists, Jalia and Daniel Matovu, a husband and wife team, had no way of selling their artisan crafts for a price their work deserved.

Honegger made a decision. She would host a sale for the Matovus’ products to friends and family back in Austin, as well as clothes from her own closet and anything else she could find. She wasn’t sure whether it would work; in fact, she was slightly afraid none of her friends would turn up to her sale, and of what people would think of her.

But it worked. Her friends showed up. They cared about her journey toward adoption and were captivated by the connections between fashion and impact, style and history, profit and purpose that came together in the sale of these beautiful Ugandan objects. After an hour, Honegger had sold almost everything.

That night, she realized she was on to something. Her first sale led to a second, and a third. She emailed the Matovus asking for more stock while wiring money back to them.

Honegger had no experience in business, but she had a whole lot of courage - the courage to stand up and pursue what she cared about. With the help of friends and a little common sense, she turned her hustle into an international business employing and supporting, among others, thousands of women in the United States and around the world. And what started as a dream for adoption later turned into a reality, as the following year, the Honeggers welcomed Rwandan orphan Jack Honegger into their home.

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