Rebel Nell is a Detroit-based women-owned jewelry company making a big impact in our community. The jewelry company which specializes in rings, necklaces, and bracelets made from fallen layers of Detroit graffiti, holds its mission statement at the core of its creative process: To empower women facing employment barriers in Detroit.
Rebel Nell’s business mission is nothing short of inspiring as they aim to not only employ and educate women about entrepreneurship but go the extra mile of incorporating Detroit’s community in their product every step of the way.
Leading the charge of Rebel Nell’s social activism is CEO Amy Peterson. In 2013, Peterson co-founded Rebel Nell with Creative Director, Diana Russell and Director of Sales, Julia Rhodes. Previous to Rebel Nell, Peterson was VP of Special Projects at RISE, a nationwide non-profit that promotes social justice in the sports industry. It was her time at RISE that inspired Peterson to take the social justice initiative to the next level and create more opportunities for women facing discrimination and homelessness in her own community.
Rebel Nell sold its first pieces of jewelry in small venues and street fairs right in Detroit, like Dally in the Alley and in Eastern Market. In just a few short years, Rebel Nell has gone from selling out at Dally in the Alley to hitting $1 million in sales in 35 different retailers in 11 different states. The Rebels aren’t slowing down anytime soon, with new product releases every season and aspirations to grow even bigger in 2019.
Rebel Nell partners with local organizations to hire women facing employment barriers, such as homelessness, and hire them to become Creative Designers. Many of their employees were previously living in women shelters across Detroit. Their employees learn the craft of jewelry making and gain valuable experience learning the ins and outs of operating a small for-profit business.
Rebel Nell also supports their Creative Designers by helping them find full-time employment opportunities where they can take their learned entrepreneurial skills and continue to flourish towards independence. Every product made has an impact on the lives of Rebel Nell’s Creative Designers, making each product beautiful inside and out. Today, Rebel Nell is a 10 person team based in Corktown and has seven program ‘alumni’.
Rebel Nell’s motto, “One of no other kind,” is not only a reflection of their products but of Detroit itself. Every piece of Rebel Nell jewelry is created with a fallen layer of graffiti from buildings and murals in Detroit.
To make it possible, Rebel Nell has partnered with community and art organizations like The Alley Project in Southwest Detroit and the Dequindre Cut, to preserve some of Detroit’s rich history into wearable art. In turn, no two jewelry pieces look the same, making the piece as unique as the wearer.
Employ. Educate. Empower. That’s at the heart of every Rebel Nell product, and they’ve taken the market by storm establishing themselves as a social impact driven for-profit business. As a part of their social activism initiative, Rebel Nell provides a strong support system for women in order to help them overcome challenging situations and transition them to independent lives.
Through the development of programs like T.E.A.; Teaching. Empowering. Achieving, a non-profit that works closely with Rebel Nell employees to provide further mentorship, skill developing, support, and assistance to help them further their employment opportunities. Other programs include Financial Literacy and Management, Women’s Empowerment, and entrepreneurship in addition to day-to-day support.
Our partnership with Rebel Nell began in 2015, and since then we’ve worked to increase brand awareness and sales using social media ads, email marketing, and website development and design. Partnerships like Rebel Nell’s remind us of how important it is to give back to our community and we’re honored to help Rebel Nell make a lasting impact in Detroit and beyond.