We had the good fortune of connecting with Amy Peterson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amy, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I was working as an attorney in the sports industry and there were a lot of challenges being a woman in a mostly male world. I wanted to start a company that was solely dedicated to empowering women. Rebel Nell was started with the goal of creating a company that is mission first. We exist to provide employment, equitable opportunity and wraparound support for women with barriers to employment. We hire directly from local shelters and teach the women how to make unique one of a kind jewelry from repurposed and meaningful material. The goal is to teach a woman to fish. To date we have hired 34 women out of shelter living and graduated 26 into the traditional workforce.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Rebel Nell is a certified social enterprise that makes one of a kind jewelry out of repurposed material like fallen graffiti or the dugout from Truist Park to name a few cool thing that make us our Atlanta Collections. Our mission is to provide employment and support for women who have been faced with homelessness.Nothing about running a business is easy. Running a social enterprise is even more challenging because you put people and profit at the same importance. We are striving to be a nationally recognized triple bottom line accessories company. I am most proud of so many aspects of Rebel Nell. It takes perseverance and tenacity to run a small business. Rebel Nell has definitely demonstrated both over the past several years. COVID hit us hard as it did everyone else. When it hit and there was so much uncertainty we really just honed in on our mission and put our attention on our team members. We made sure that they had access to the necessary resources by providing laptops for our creative designers and ensuring all of their lost wages were covered. It was certainly a difficult task but it gave us a north star. Our people are the most important part of our business. As a team we really rallied together and put our energy on being positive and focusing on getting through this time together. It is hard in the moment but you just need to put one foot in front of the other and you will get through the challenging times. I have learned a long the way to breathe, have fun and try to enjoy the ride. It is easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment and let the intensity of the decisions or crisis of the day overwhelm you. You too will get through it. We are constantly holding ourselves back because of fear or worry. I love the quote “you will regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did”. I think about this every day. It motivates me to take risks.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love Atlanta. I like Krog Street area
For lunch and beer: Zocalo, Bold Monk Brewery or Nick’s westside
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am very fortunate to have an incredible mentor in Cindy Pasky, the CEO of Strategic Staffing Solutions. She does so much for so many people and organizations in our community. In my opinion, she is the definition of community hero. She is selfless in her support and dedication to Rebel Nell.