Rebel Nell is turning pieces of graffitied wall from the city — considered an eyesore by some — into luxury jewelry pieces, while also helping disadvantaged women.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it can often be found in the most unsuspecting of places. In the past, we’ve seen jewelry created out of the shrapnel and scrap metal left behind by landmine explosions in Cambodia, and now Detroit’s Rebel Nell is turning pieces of graffitied wall — considered an eyesore by some — into luxury jewelry pieces, while also helping disadvantaged women.
Since the globalization of the automobile industry, the Detroit economy has been in decline, leaving the city in a state of urban decay. As such, graffiti is abundant and Rebel Nell collects pieces that have fallen off the walls. The organization then uses a special technique to create its unique designs. It says: “Initially these scraps of graffiti look a little rough on the surface, just like many people’s first impression of Detroit. However, after we take it through our process, we’re able to reveal all the beautiful layers that make up the graffiti.”
Each piece is also created by disadvantaged women from Detroit, who are employed by Rebel Nell to give them the skills to create their own jewelry and eventually start their own business. The pendants, rings and earrings are therefore imbued with a sense of the history and people of the city. Rebel Nell product range from around USD 65 to USD 165. Are there other ways to craft products from pieces of an actual location, while also giving something back to the communities that live there?