To date, 34 women have been hired at a shelter living in Detroit by Rebel Nell to process material that would otherwise be thrown into jewelry. Twenty-two of these women have entered the mainstream workforce, said Amy Peterson, CEO and co-founder of the organization.
This year, Rebel Nell began to establish itself in Georgia. Not only does the company sell jewelry made from materials salvaged from the Braves dugout canoe in Truist Park, but it has also launched a new line made from recyclable graffiti salvaged from the streets of Atlanta. Each piece of jewelry costs on average around $ 60.
“We are setting the stage in 2021 with the hope of opening a similar operation in Atlanta in a year or two, if the pandemic permits,” Peterson said.
She has long had a passion for baseball. At 14, she decided she wanted to be the first female GM of a major league baseball team, which happened to Kim Ng last year with the Miami Marlins.
After college, law school, and business school, Peterson landed an internship with the Detroit Tigers which she ultimately turned into a team lawyer position. It was during her 11 years with the Tigers that she began to rethink her career.
“I lived right next to a shelter that caters to women and families,” said Peterson. “I got to know the residents when I walked my dog or came home from work. I was moved by their stories – so many of them left difficult situations in search of a better opportunity for themselves and their families. “
From this experience was born Rebel Nell.
“It mixed my love of two worlds,” she said.
The name of her company is a tip of the hat to the late First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, a pioneer in women’s empowerment and social justice known as “Little Nell”.
Peterson, whose social enterprise sells jewelry for the Detroit Tigers, said Rebel Nell allows fans of the teams to have a piece of history and put items to good use that would otherwise be thrown away.
“But the big picture is what it does for the women we employ and how it provides them with opportunities for empowerment and upliftment,” she said.
During the first 12 months that women are on Rebel Nell’s payroll, staff help them find permanent housing, learn to create and live on a budget, and overcome past barriers to success, such as than their driving record, access to child care and credit. score, said Peterson.
Ethel Rucker, 34, a resident of Detroit, considers herself lucky to work for Rebel Nell.
She joined the association in November 2020 when she was unemployed and struggled to find stable work to support herself and her four children, one of whom had special needs.
“Working here has been amazing,” said Rucker. “My life is back on track and is better than ever because of Rebel Nell.”
Atlanta Braves spokesperson Sarit Babboni heard about Rebel Nell through the Detroit Tigers Foundation.
“We saw the opportunity to partner with a social enterprise doing incredible work for women – knowing that Braves fans would love the unique pieces in the collection,” Babboni said. “Investing in programs that support women and developing creative ways to support women’s economic security and independence is a need everywhere. “
Moultrie, who heads DeKalb DA’s Diversion and Community Alternatives program, said Rebel Nell helps women overcome personal challenges and transform themselves “the same way they turn discarded objects into desirable art.”
“Having spoken with Amy about her work and her vision, I know she views the women she works with as found gems in our community,” she said.
Read more on: rebelnell.com.