In 2015, Stephanie Nieder was 54 years old, living temporarily with her brother in Bountiful, Utah. She had been homeless before and, unfortunately, would be homeless again soon. Through her harrowing years of homelessness and unemployment, she developed a crippling addiction which ruined her teeth, stole her motivation, and left her with little desire for life. She survived on the kindness of friends and family, collecting and selling scrap metal, and her own grit.
One day that year, Stephanie stood alone on the street when a man pulled up, asking if she needed work. Desperate, she agreed. She accompanied him to a medical building where a team was doing extensive demo work. There she met Bruce Morrison, the owner of the medical building and future Pretty Shell founder. She ended up working for him for two years, an arrangement she now says was “fantastic.” But things took a downhill turn when her brother kicked her out: she lost all motivation and stopped showing up for work. She lived in a dilapidated barn for the next two years, sleeping next to horses, goats, and sheep.
Bruce set out to find her multiple times. He finally spotted her truck at the farm where she was surviving, but when he called for her she didn’t answer — she was too embarrassed about her living conditions to accept help or pity. True to his character, Bruce didn’t give up. He returned to the farm until she revealed herself.
They had a long heart-to-heart about her life, her addiction, and her aspirations. After that conversation, Stephanie was ready to change her life! She was willing to work, willing to get clean, willing to change what was necessary.
We are so proud and happy to share that against all odds, Stephanie changed her life starting that day. Today, Stephanie is fully employed. She is no longer homeless. She’s been clean for four years! She and Bruce are dear friends to this day. He even paid to fix her teeth, which were damaged from her years of addiction. Her own determination combined with Bruce’s generosity created real, lasting change that has saved her life. Today, she credits that meeting with Bruce as the moment she decided to get clean.
Stephanie’s story is at the heart of Pretty Shell: the possibilities that exist when you look outside yourself, seek out the one, and give generously. There are millions of potential Stephanie Nieder stories out there — stories of hope, rescue, and lifelong change! We’re here to find them. In Stef’s own words, “There’s a better life that’s possible. There’s so much more to live for.”