Noonday Collection Spring Release Photo Shoot with Ambassador, Aaron Duffy

As most of you already know, I have a passion for supporting and collaborating with fair trade and ethical organization. Because of this, one of my favorite clients to work with is Noonday Collection ambassador, Aaron Duffy. if you aren’t familiar with Noonday, I can’t say enough positive things about this company. To make a difference in some of the world's most vulnerable communities, Noonday partners with Artisan businesses, helps develop these businesses through fair trade, and empowers them to grow sustainably and to create dignified jobs for people who need them.

Aaron wanted to do something special to feature the new Spring line coming out TODAY! So, to prepare for the launch of the gorgeous jewelry and accessories, Aaron and I visited a local green house to capture the beauty of these new pieces.

These products are even more gorgeous in person! My must haves from the spring line are the Rustic Leather Wallet and the Eclipse Cuff. I can’t wait to order both now that I got to see them in person!

To see more from Aaron and Noonday, you can follow her here.

A Few of My Favorite Things: Beach Edition


I lived in Kansas City, Missouri for 7 years. I loved so many parts of the city and my husband loved that you could go to a major league baseball game for $9 (insane right?). While I lived there, what I missed about New England the most was the coast. I grew up 2 blocks from the shoreline and when I moved back to New England, that was one of the things i was most excited to be close to again. 

I don't live to blocks from the shore any longer, but I do live within an hour of some of the most beautiful beaches in New England. After the Fair Trade styled shoot, I had a few people ask me about my go-to brands for items like sunscreen or sandals. So, I decided to share a few of my favorite fair trade and sustainable summer essentials. These are products that feel like summer to me and are made by organizations and companies I love.


1. Favorite Sunscreen: Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen 

I have a tendency to fall in love with brands. Beautycounter is one of them- I think I own about a dozen of their products. They have the cleanest, chemically free products you can find. And no I am not a consultant. But I do know an awesome one. (And this isn't some secret online party. I don't get anything if you order something.)

Also their sea salt spray is great for after a day at the beach (or if you are like me, and don't feel like doing your hair most days.)


2. Favorite Sunglasses: Proof Eyewear

I can't express how hard it is to find sunglasses that look good on my face. Most look absolutely enormous. The Ada Eco sunglasses actually look like they fit my face and that I'm not just a 5 year old wearing my mom's sunglasses (even though she never wore sunglasses.)

Also, Proof is an intentional company all about sustainability--from the way they make their eyewear to how they choose to give back. I think I would purchase from them even if their sunglasses made me look like my head was too small for my body.


3. Favorite Flip-Flops: Feelgoodz

These should win some kind of magic comfort award. Once you wear Feelgoodz you will wonder how you walked in those $5 flip-flops. Yes, these are a bit more than $5, but they use conscious materials crafted by artisans and cooperatives all around the globe--so thats why they are more than $5. I have them in black and in blue/gray. I also own there Oasis sandal--so clearly I like them. They are definitely a staple for me in the summer.


4. Favorite water bottle: Lifefactory

This is the product I have used the longest. I own a few Lifefactory water bottles and use them, not only for the beach, but also when I am shooting a wedding. The reason I love Lifefactory water bottles is they are made of glass but are somehow so, so durable. I know because i have dropped each of mine about 100 times. And glass in the hot sun is so much better than plastic. 



5. Favorite Beach Tote: Terra Thread Lupa Tote

I have two kids so I need a tote bag that will carry... everything. When we go to the beach, we look like we are moving there. I don't need something cute, I need something functional. I love that the Lupa bag is both.  And it's fair trade certified and made with organic cotton! 


That's it--a few of my absolute favorites. I have so many other products I love but these are my staples, my go-tos for a day in the sun. What are some of your must-haves?

Fair Trade In-Home Lifestyle Styled Shoot at the Hillcrest Cottage in Nahant, MA

In 2010, I attended A Sustainable Faith Conference in St Petersburg, Florida. The Missio Dei Community hosted a conversation for those who valued caring for the poor, human rights issues, and sustainable living. It was a small conference, lead by activist and speaker, Shane Claiborne.

Before this conference, I knew I cared about these issues, but on the second day, we visited Immokalee, Florida, and met with migrant farm workers. I sat in a small room and heard their heartbreaking stories and learned about their progress fighting for fair wages and working conditions. I put a face to what it means to advocate for those working in unsustainable environments making a wage that guaranteed poverty. The Coalition for Immokalee Workers were advocating for a penny per pound increase for tomato pickers--that's it. A penny increase would make a monumental difference for these workers. It sounds cliche to say my eyes were opened that day--but that is exactly what happened. 

When I returned, I began researching fair trade practices and started supporting and purchasing from organizations who believed in the rights and humanity of all people. I have only grown in my passionate support of responsible companies who empower workers and farmers. I believe how we choose to spend our money matters. 

I have had an idea in my mind for a long time--a photo shoot that features companies I believe in, who seek to do business in life-changing and life-giving ways. This summer, I finally made my vision of a fair trade styled shoot a reality.

5 fair trade businesses participated. 5 organizations who have a mission worth supporting. If you find yourself wanting to purchase ethically and responsibly, but don't know where to begin, I can't recommend these five organization enough. Start with them. 

1. Pact Apparel: If you know me, you have seen me in PACT.  I wear it almost daily and LOVE THEIR CLOTHES. Pact makes 100% organic cotton apparel and is ALWAYS sweatshop and child labor free.

2. Ten Thousand Villages: This non-profit organization markets handcrafted products made by more than 120 artisan groups in 35 countries. Every purchase is making an impact in the lives of people around the world.

3. Noonday Collection (Special thanks to Aaron Duffy):The story of how Noonday Collective began is inspiring. It is the story of one woman determined to make a difference in the lives of people in Uganda. Noonday offers fair trade jewelry and uses fashion to create meaningful opportunities around the world. 

4. Synergy Organic Clothing: Synergy Organic specializes in ethical, organic women's clothing. At its core, Synergy is committed to empowering men and women through ethical employment practices.

5.  New Creation: I wanted to include one smaller organization impacting a specific area of the country. New Creation is based in Virginia and is a marketplace where 100% of the profits counteract sex trafficking.

This experience was amazing and it will not be my last fair trade shoot. Thank you to the beautiful venue, Hillcrest Cottage By The Sea, my wonderful assistant Ali of Alexis J Photography and to the amazing models Jennifer and Andrew and Julianna and Tyler. You guys are awesome.


Interested in collaborating with me on a fair trade shoot or having your fair trade products featured? I would love to chat.