Designing with Detroit Women in Mind

December 17, 2020

Back in 2014, we sat down with Amy Peterson and Diana Russell of rebel Nell, the Detroit centric jewelry company that uses graffiti to make beautiful jewelry. What resonated with me is their mission to provide employment opportunities for underserved women in Detroit, many of whom are homeless.

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Mitch: As I understand COVID has posed a huge challenge. How do you make sure that your partners who are out there who aren’t able to come in don’t despair or lose hope that during this time?

Amy: the best thing I think that we’ve done and some of the more recent times is start our nonprofit arm called to teach, empower achieve, and within that, we’re able to hire our life coach and the curriculum coach to make sure that the women have access to that person all the time. Prior to COVID, we had hired 23 people out of shelter living and graduated 20 into the traditional workforce.

Mitch: And for people who don’t remember, tell them what makes your jewelry unique.

Amy: Each piece is completely one of a kind, not only because of the nature of the material, but because of the woman who made it. All of our pieces are made from repurpose material particularly fall in street art, or we repurpose discarded material. For example, the pieces from the Joe Louis are made from the actual exterior part of the Joe, grateful to say that we’ve had a robust e commerce site and I hope that people will continue to shop online especially as the holidays come around. I know it maybe takes a little bit more effort to shop small but it certainly is worth it.

Mitch: We hope it’s a great holiday season for Rebel Nell.

Amy: Thank you so much.