Skip to main content

Feel Good Friday: Rebel Nell

feel good friday rebel nell cufflinkstap20
The Manual is technically a men’s lifestyle magazine (you may have noticed the word “man” cleverly hidden in our name). However, we strive to make everyone feel welcome, and every so often we like to tip our caps to the other half of the species. March being Women’s History Month, we figured now would be a good time to give a shout out to Rebel Nell, a Detroit-based jewelry company that employs local disadvantaged women.

To understand Rebel Nell, it helps to understand its hometown. Detroit had a population of 1.8 million people in 1950 — over the next 60 years, the population declined by more than 60 percent to just over 700,000 in 2010. The loss of manufacturing jobs — particularly in the auto industry — left Detroit a shadow of its former self. Many families who remain in Detroit struggle to make ends meet. The women, whose economic contributions are undervalued even under the best of circumstances, endure a destitution double whammy.   

Related Videos

Related: Beard Balm, Proudly Made in Detroit

Rebel Nell is deeply connected with the underprivileged people of Detroit, working directly with the city’s homeless shelters to help poverty-stricken women overcome barriers to gainful employment. Whether these women need assistance with stress, housing, or financial management, Rebel Nell can provide it.

Rebel Nell Team 3

If you think that’s cool, you should check out what Rebel Nell makes their jewelry out of: layers of graffiti peeled from the city’s walls. Though many see graffiti as a bellwether of poverty and crime, many others see it as a beautiful art form. Instead of calling graffiti a “blight,” Rebel Nell calls it an “abundant resource;” rather than lament a supposedly decaying city, the jewelry company embraces the decay.

Just as The Manual loves the ladies, so does Rebel Nell love the fellas. Guys can procure gorgeous and unique tie clips, tie pins, cuff links, and other items made by strong Detroit women. If you’re looking to impress a special lady in your life, you might also check out Rebel Nell’s bracelets, earrings, and pendants.

Though the story of Detroit seems tragic, there’s plenty to be hopeful about. Cities change, economies shift, and populations adapt; by giving disadvantaged women good, decent-paying jobs, the jewelry makers at Rebel Nell are helping Motown get a new groove.cufflinksDC32

Dequindre Cut Cuff Links: $115

Editors' Recommendations

Feel Good Friday: TOMS and National Geographic Lend a Paw to Big Cats
Big Cats Initiative

The world erupted in righteous anger when Cecil the Lion was killed by an American hunter in Zimbabwe. While seething, poisonous vitriol is a common way to react to tragedy, it’s not very productive. As American company TOMS has demonstrated, there are much better ways to honor the memory of Cecil and prevent similar tragedies from occurring.

TOMS, founded in 2006, has made shopping into a humanitarian act. The company is perhaps best known for its “One for One” approach to business and charity; for each item they sell, they provide one token of goodwill to a person in need -- whether it’s a pair of shoes, a pair of glasses, or safe drinking water.   

Read more
Feel Good Friday: The Surfrider Foundation Cleans the Waves They Ride
Surfrider Foundation

Since our planet’s oceans seem so vast, it’s easy to forget how vulnerable they are. In reality, a piece of plastic here and a drop of oil there can add up, and contaminants become especially noticeable when they wash up on our coastlines. In 2013, the Ocean Conservancy reported that International Coast Cleanup volunteers picked up more than 10 million pounds of clutter in one day.

The Ocean Conservancy isn’t alone in their efforts: The Surfrider Foundation -- a conservation non-profit organization run by surfers and other beach lovers -- has been working since 1984 to protect oceans, waves, and beaches.

Read more
Feel Good Friday: TOMS Takes Customers on a Charitable Virtual Reality Journey
feel good friday toms puts the u and me in consumer vr 2

We love stuff here at The Manual. That said, we recognize that consumerism and selfishness are often two lenses of the same designer sunglasses. It can be hard to buy frivolous items for yourself while millions around the world struggle to get their hands on basic necessities. For example, you might feel a tinge of guilt when purchasing your 20th pair of shoes, knowing that some people haven’t owned a pair their entire lives.

Since 2006, TOMS -- a California-based accessories brand -- has realized the consumer’s ultimate fantasy by turning something as simple as purchasing a pair of shoes into a moral good. If you know anything about TOMS, you know about their “One for One” business model; for every item you buy, TOMS helps someone in need. Suddenly buying an item for yourself isn’t such a selfish act, as you’re actually making a profound difference in a stranger’s life.

Read more