Air date: October 16, 2014 http://www.theheartofdetroit.org
Some call it art. Others call it vandalism. It covers our buildings and streets all across metro Detroit but two entrepreneurs have discovered a way to use its beauty. Amy: I was running on the Dequinder Cut one day and I was really inspired by all this graffiti and I saw a piece that had literally fallen on the ground and I wondered if I could access all the really unique layers that were underneath it and so I started playing around and sure enough all of these brilliant colors came to light. With a little ingenuity and a lot of elbow grease, Amy Peterson and Diana Russell have taken the bright colors of this abundant local resource and repurposed it for the masses. Mitch: So this thing that looks like the Beatles Yellow Submarine album is actually what’s underneath graffiti? Diana: Yes Amy: There’s a lot of history in that piece. The result – Rebel Nell – a unique – Detroit centric – jewelry company. Amy and Diana create these works of art alongside women they hire from area homeless shelters. Amy: Hearing that a lot of them had gone through so many challenges and really needed someone to believe in them and give them a second shot at life that really is the catalyst for wanting to start a business that employed, educated and empowered under served women. Diana: Women were ready for some sort of transitional opportunity. Amy: They are the complete creative designers. They are the visionaries of every piece. Some of Rebel Nell’s designs have even inspired some couples. Diana: Its funny we have had two people so far propose to their fiancés with our rings. Mitch: With graffiti rings? Diana: Graffiti rings Mitch: The start of a beautiful relationship Amy: It is Turning scraps of graffiti into wearable art, the ladies of Rebel Nell are designing with their city in mind here in the heart of Detroit.