Over a year ago, Amy and I met to discuss my role within Rebel Nell. Up until that point, I had dedicated time as a sales volunteer, which lead to me spending time at the shop learning the process and jewelry, but most importantly, the women. I was inspired by their bravery, their willingness to accept me, and the friendship I established with each of them so quickly. This connection lead Amy and I to discuss what the benefit of a non-profit arm for our company could bring to the women we support. We’re proud of our educational and empowerment programs and how they’ve enhanced the lives of the women in our community, but we both agreed establishing a non-profit would allow for more consistency and commitment to that effort.
Before I knew it, we jumped right in. Amy began filing the proper paperwork to be granted non-profit status, and we established my role as Director. Part of that process allowed our team to discuss what we would like to name the organization. We tossed around a variety of ideas, but wanted to stay true to our roots and continue to honor the trailblazing woman Rebel Nell was named after - Eleanor Roosevelt. With that in mind, we discussed quote after quote after of Eleanor’s, but one stuck with our team.
“A woman is like a tea bag — you never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”
Our ladies have all faced a variety of barriers in their lives, but have allowed those situations to highlight their strengths as women and overcome those obstacles. Additionally, our team is known to turn to a cup of tea — whether it’s a for a 3pm pick me up, a little calming relaxation, or even to soothe a cold. It was clear to us that tea must be included as it provides daily warmth and encouragement for of the women we serve, thus we are: T. E. A. - Teach. Empower. Achieve.
Our non-profit will invest in training, education, skills development, coaching and mentorship services, including basic employment opportunities. We hope to expand to provide additional support and assistance to homeless and formerly homeless women in the Detroit area — not just the women employed at Rebel Nell. The vision is to create an environment where our current programs at Rebel Nell - financial literacy, health & wellness, empowerment, and entrepreneurship, are readily available while supporting and holding our team accountable in both setting and reaching their goals.
We understand that each woman is beautifully unique and that everyones goals and aspirations will differ. Whether it is helping rebuild their credit to purchase a safer vehicle for their family, encouraging them to take control of their own mental and physical health, or helping them prepare for their dream job beyond Rebel Nell - T. E. A. will provide the resources and support to help reach these milestones. While Rebel Nell will continue to be a self sufficient organization, completely sustained through jewelry sales, the addition of T. E. A. allows Rebel Nell to advance, by supporting their creative designers, and engaging them during their employment to establish a framework to execute their transition to a more independent life.
We are currently in the process of establishing our board and will announce members in the coming months. Additionally, we will announce upcoming events and opportunities to support our mission. We hope to inspire not only the women we employ, but to motivate you to give resources to either our team or other likeminded organizations in your community that can change a woman's life. If together we urge each other to stand up, we can only move forward.
Should you feel inspired and want to help jump start our organization, you can make a donation to T. E. A. here.
We thank you for your continued support and are truly looking forward to what 2017 brings.
Here’s to fighting together!
-Keri Gallagher, Director of T. E. A.