Our Signature Collection pieces are the jewelry on which our company was built. These pieces of wearable art continue to remind us who we are as a company and celebrate all of the women who have come through Rebel Nell.
Most companies start with creating a product to offer consumers. Rebel Nell is unique because we started with our mission first. However, as part of our socially driven business model, it was important to create a product that could be manufactured by the women we serve in order to provide economic opportunity, in addition to wrap around support. The product needed to be something that would allow vision and creativity.
While I was on a run one day, I found a piece of graffiti that had fallen to the ground. I picked it up and saw that it was made of all these beautiful layers of paint. This scrap piece of layered graffiti would be the start of our company, and little did we know how transformative it would be.
The first piece of jewelry we created with the layered graffiti scraps left a lot to be desired, and the second version wasn’t much better. At the time, Diana and I had exhausted many of our resources and didn’t have metal to work with so I used old holiday ornaments to make the next batch of prototypes. Believe it or not, I was proud enough to wear them out in public. We kept testing new versions and spent about five months constantly trying, failing and trying again. In September of 2013, we felt confident of the version we had created and decided to share it with the Detroit community at Dally in the Alley. Much to our surprise, the pieces were a huge success, and gave us the motivation to launch our company and hire our first three employees from our local homeless shelter, the Coalition on Temporary Shelter (COTS).
What happened next was beautiful. We quickly learned that the jewelry creation was equally as important as the education and wrap around support we provide. What we were observing is that the jewelry creation process was building confidence and instilling belief in each of the Creative Designers. Each new piece was carefully made with each woman’s input, color selections, and attention to detail. Every time a new customer fell in love with a Signature Collection piece, it was proof to the women who made them that there are more people out there, besides Diana and myself, who believe in them and all they can accomplish.
What is special about our Signature Collection pieces is that each designer can be fully free with their creativity. Each piece is completely one of a kind, not only because of the nature of the material, but because of the individuality of the woman who made it. The metal is hand-cut to and matched with the graffiti to turn the designer’s vision into jewelry. It is her vision that has come to life and transformed into wearable art.
I am beyond honored to introduce our new Signature Collection to you here. The new version highlights and elevates the original design by framing each piece of art in gold and silver through the special process of electroforming in partnership with another women owned business, Alicia Arkwright Jewelry. We will be releasing new pieces only once a year to give them the respect they deserve and to preserve the beauty and value of each piece. Our hope is that every time you wear a piece of the Signature Collection, you feel the strength and individuality of the woman who made it, which in turn brings out your own inner resilience and uniqueness.
CEO, Rebel Nell
Shop our new Signature Collection styles here! Keep in mind that these pieces are completely one of a kind, and will be released in batches annually – so once these ones are sold out, they won't be available again until next year.