Detroit company Rebel Nell working to empower women through jewelry

Graffiti paint chips turned into jewelry

By Karen Drew - Reporter/Anchor

DETROIT - The goal of Detroit company Rebel Nell is to help women transition from a life of dependence to one of self-reliance.

WDIV Local 4 was there when the company started, and followed the founders as they collected fallen graffiti paint chips, which they then turned into jewelry.

Six years later, there is more to the story as Rebel Nell has been able to help people turn their lives around.

Nechelle Thompson is a mother who can now provide a home for her daughter because of Rebel Nell.

"Finally gain control of my life, my health and my well-being," Thompson said.

Thompson had been homeless until her caseworker told her about Rebel Nell. After going on three interviews, she was hired and on her way to independence and providing a home for her daughter.

"Sometimes, you know, you feel a little down about things that happen in your life but now that I've come this far and I look at it now, I'm like, I'm the luckiest woman alive," Thompson said.

"When we started in 2013, it was just an idea. It was merely for the sole purpose of providing an employment opportunity for the women who were coming out of the shelter," Amy Peterson, with Rebel Nell, said.

Thompson was recently promoted to assistant production manager.

"I absolutely love it - like, the creative process, the things that I get to make. I have total control," Thompson said.

The program is typically lasts for two years, so Thompson will soon venture out of the company.

Rebel Nell the Evolve Collection.

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