In 2013, Amy Peterson was pursuing her lifelong dream of, working in professional baseball for the Detroit Tigers as the first-ever female associate counsel. Living next door to a women's shelter in downtown Detroit, Peterson befriended the tenants and learned about the everyday challenges they faced. It was here, in parallel with the frustration she faced by being a woman in the sports industry, she decided to create a company dedicated to uplifting women and providing underserved women a route to self-sufficiency, equitable opportunity, and a fresh new start. 

First and foremost was creating a business model that clearly supported her mission. Secondary was the creative component of the business. As Detroit was seeing the redevelopment of historic and memory-laden institutions, Peterson saw an opportunity to take remnants and repurposed materials from these locations and utilize them as the focal point in jewelry upon discovering the layers of color and design each one possessed. 

In 2014, Peterson was introduced to retail veteran Diana Roginson. A shared belief in the mission, matched with separate yet complementary skill sets allowed for a natural partnership and deep understanding of how Rebel Nell would come to life. 

They would partner with the shelter that inspired Peterson's original idea by hiring these women as Creative Designers, crafting individual pieces from the meaningful materials, inspired by their own journey and talent. Day in and day out, they would be supported by the resources and tools to set them up for long-term independence and systemic freedom. 

Now, 9+ years and 40+ graduates later, what started as a business helping women in Detroit is a nationally-recognized symbol of what we are all capable of and the power within in all people to create change for the future. 

We Have Purpose

“The beauty in our jewelry is as important as the mission behind our craft.”

-Amy Peterson, Co-Founder + CEO


We Have Purpose

Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt serves as Rebel Nell’s day-in and day-out inspiration for her tireless devotion to women’s rights and civil rights activism.

Known as ‘Little Nell’, in her younger years, we put a more badass spin on her nickname and hence Rebel Nell was born.

The women employed by Rebel Nell are rebelling against what society has handed them and forging a new future for themselves and their families.


-Eleanor Roosevelt

We Have Purpose