Survivors Are Giving Themselves and Salvage a Second Chance in the Heart of Detroit

January 13, 2022

Season 10 of The Heart of Detroit is now airing monthly!

Inside Troy Design and Manufacturing is a little studio where beautiful jewelry is being made. Its makers are survivors of domestic abuse. Its goal is to provide a path to healing. A process that founder Joanne Ewald understands all too well.

Joanne: I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. When I was growing up, you just didn’t talk about those things. But it caught up with me when I was an adult. Really hit me hard when I had kids of my own. I’m getting a little emotional here.

Mitch: It’s OK.

Jewelry making was integral to Joanne’s healing. So in 2015, she founded Mend on the Move to provide an opportunity for fellow survivors to take their lives back.

Joanne: We teach them how to make jewelry and it’s made from resalvaged auto parts and salvaged car seat leather. But it’s so much more than that because it provides them with a community a community of like minded women who’ve been through similar situations. And, you know, it’s in that community they create and they also learn to heal. We’re walking alongside with them and helping them through it.

Mitch: So there’s something symbolic about taking a throwaway thing and turning it into something beautiful, isn’t it?

Joanne: Yeah that’s what Mend is all about. Scrap car parts being turned into something beautiful but that’s how our women feel, they feel like scrap. They feel worthless. I felt worthless. I felt like I didn’t have anything to bring to the table. I didn’t have anything to offer and that’s not true and that’s really what we’re trying to do with this program. From scrap to splendor in more ways than one.

Joanne Ewald is helping fellow survivors who just need a little “Mending” right here in the heart of Detroit.