“Let your passion be your motivation”- Amy Peterson, Co-Founder and CEO of Rebel Nell, believes in those exact words. Amy’s entrepreneurial spirit and passion for helping others lead her to cofounding one of her greatest accomplishments, Rebel Nell in 2013. Rebel Nell is a jewelry company with a purpose, that employs women with barriers to employment to help them transition from a life of dependence into one of self-reliance. As Co-Founder, Amy’s background in law and business has significantly contributed to the success of Rebel Nell in its early stages.

Living next to one of the city’s most well-known shelters gave Amy the unique opportunity to build relationships with many of the residents. The inspirational stories many of the women shared of overcoming emotional, physical and financial abuse were the catalyst for creating Rebel Nell.  Amy was adamant about providing women in the shelters with an opportunity to lead an independent life.  She believed that employment paired with financial literacy, business education, and a focus on life wellness would help them regain the confidence they need to lead them on the path to success.

Prior to taking over as CEO of Rebel Nell, she served as Vice President of Special Projects and General Counsel for the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE).  RISE and as the Associate Counsel for the Detroit Tigers.  She achieved her Bachelor of Arts in History from Kenyon College, her Juris Doctorate from New England School of Law, and her Masters of Business Administration from Suffolk University.

Amy has been recognized for the impact she has had in the city of Detroit in Dbusiness Thirty in Their 30s Detroit’s Premier Business Journal, Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year: 2016 Michigan and Northwest Ohio

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Season 2

Street Art


Rebel Nell is a jewelry company on a mission. Co-founder Amy Peterson started the social enterprise as a means to support women transitioning out of homelessness and domestic violence in Detroit. By providing work experience, housing support, financial training and educational opportunities, Amy and her company help women successfully enter the workforce - and make beautiful, one-of-a-kind jewelry in the process.

Hear how Amy was inspired to create the business on a run through Detroit’s local street art scene, the challenges of starting a social enterprise rather than a conventional non-profit or for-profit business and how the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program helped Amy grow Rebel Nell while keeping their mission central to their work on this week’s episode.

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