While walking her dog near her home in Detroit, Amy Peterson would talk with women staying at COTS, the Coalition on Temporary Shelter located in the city. It was during those conversations that Amy became inspired to find a way to help women in need.
Several years later, in 2013, Amy co-founded Rebel Nell with a mission to provide employment, equitable opportunity, and wraparound support for women with barriers to employment.
Rebel Nell does this in a unique, one-of-a-kind way: it hires and teaches women to repurpose meaningful Detroit materials, including from iconic landmarks or even graffiti, into wearable art and jewelry.
When Amy started Rebel Nell, she was Assistant Counsel at the Detroit Tigers. “It was supposed to be a passion project – something I just did after hours,” Amy said. “But it just kept growing, and it became something I couldn’t stop thinking about.”
With encouragement of her colleagues, Amy eventually took the leap and became a full-time entrepreneur. Since then, Rebel Nell has continued to expand and now includes a nonprofit arm, T.E.A. (Teach. Empower. Achieve.), which provides women with resources like stable housing, financial education, business classes and legal aid.
Over the years, the Detroit Tigers, Red Wings and the Ilitch companies have collaborated with Amy and Rebel Nell on various projects and jewelry lines, including the Dugout Collection and the Joe Collection, and look forward to doing so in the future.
“What’s important is that Rebel Nell continues to positively impact the lives of women facing barriers in the Detroit community,” said Amy. “Through art, we can provide women with safe spaces to hone their skills and help them live lives of independence.”
To learn more, visit RebelNell.com.