It is hard to believe that another year is coming to a close. The time for reflection is incredibly important. So often we don’t take time to celebrate the wins and instead focus on everything we have yet to achieve. 2019 was a great year for Rebel Nell in many ways. It was my first complete year after deciding to join the company full-time. This was one of the best decisions I have made in my personal and professional life. It is without question the hardest and most stressful job I have ever undertaken, but I truly love it. I enjoy the challenge of pushing this company to new heights and leading a team of incredible women who motivate me every day to do better. My business partner, Diana, also decided to take the leap in April of this year and come aboard full-time. I believe that we will look back on this as a major turning point in the history of the company. Already this year, she has built a solid foundation to prepare us for steady growth in the future while maintaining our culture. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in this journey.
Like all years, 2019 was a rollercoaster ride, and it is important to balance the ups and the downs to avoid completely losing your sanity. This year we experienced some incredible highlights:
- We hired our 25th woman out of shelter living!
- We have transitioned our 11th woman into the traditional workforce.
- Since 2013 we have issued over $23,000 in micro-loans with a 90% payback rate.
- One of my proudest moments happened when we offered a salaried position to two creative designers who have become tremendous assets to our organization. This is the first salaried position for both of them.
- We launched our first ever collection outside of Detroit with the Chicago Collection. We learned a lot from this experience, the good and the bad. It has made us smarter and wiser for our next launch.
- We collaborated with the Detroit Red Wings Foundation to create a special collection from the Joe Louis Arena.
- We moved to our new home at 1314 Holden Street and opened our first ever retail store.
- Education continues to be a cornerstone of our company. T.E.A. came into its own this year as our non-profit arm. We have a part-time caseworker on staff and continue to provide even more education and support for the women we employ. In the future, we hope to offer the same support to other businesses that want to provide employment to similar populations.
- We successfully showed Nordstrom that we are a brand who wants to be on the national stage. After several local pop-ups with them they offered us the opportunity to be carried on Nordstrom.com.
- We did a very special collection for Albion college for their alums made from fallen paint from the campus rock. This was a personal favorite because of the creativity and open-mindedness of the school to do a partnership with us. I hope more schools are to follow!
- We received an incredible boost when NBC Nightly News featured us in July.
- We saw a 80% growth in revenue. We hope to continue to grow at a steady pace and hire more women from our community each and every year.
We have a lot of exciting things in store for 2020. Thank you for your continued support of Rebel Nell as we strive to improve the lives of women with barriers to employment for years to come. Thank you for continuing to think of us!
Lots of Love,