Alex and Ani

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Alex and Ani
Industry Jeweller and retailer
Founded 2004
Founder Carolyn Rafaelian
Headquarters Cranston, Rhode Island
Key people
Carolyn Rafaelian (Acting CEO)
Website alexandani.com

Alex and Ani is an American retailer and producer of jewelry located in Cranston, Rhode Island.[1]

History[edit]

The firm was founded in 2004 by Carolyn Rafaelian. The name comes from a combination of the first names of Rafaelian's two daughters.[2] The company originally stated that they wanted to produce "bangle bracelets, necklaces, earrings and rings that adorn the body, enlighten the mind, and empower the spirit".[3] The company first manufactured its jewelry in a factory that was founded by Rafaelian's father in 1966[4] and all materials are made in America.[5] The first retail Alex and Ani store opened in Newport in 2009,[4] and in addition to the stand-alone stores, the jewelry was sold through national departments stores.[6] In 2010 Giovanni Feroce joined the company as CEO and drove the company's expansion, increasing the sales total for the year by more than 20 times its previous annual total.[4][7] In 2015, Harlan Kent became the new president of the company.[8] The company also expanded into Japan.[9] In 2015 the firm launched its first mobile app,[10] which was downloaded 80,000 times in its first three weeks. In addition to serving as a mobile sales platform, Digiday wrote that "Alex and Ani’s lifestyle content, like motivational quotes and articles that explore the meanings behind different bracelet charms, takes center stage in the app."[11] The company’s revenue grew from $5 million in 2010 to over $500 million in 2016. The company’s CHARITY BY DESIGN initiative, where 20% of sales go to charity, makes up 20% of sales.[12] The company began opening its stores in top markets like California and New York; by the end of the year, they should number more than 80.[13] A big push is abroad; sales outside the U.S. account for only 10% of Alex and Ani's revenues. Rafaelian expects this to double by 2020, which means competing in foreign markets.[13]

Design[edit]

The Independent newspaper stated that a "signature design feature" of the company's products was a "patented sliding mechanism that replaces the traditional clasp, making each bracelet entirely adjustable" making it "one-size-fits-all".[14] Rafaelian patented the Alex and Ani 14-guage wire bangle in 2004; , one of about 30 patents the company now holds.[13] The firm produces bangles, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and rings.[15] The company first came to national attention in 2004 when they produced a necklace featuring an apple for Gwyneth Paltrow following the birth of her daughter Apple, leading to many orders of similar merchandise.[16][17] The company has described its products as "eco-friendly"; [18] much of the material is either recycled or from vintage articles.[19] In 2016, founder Carolyn Rafaelian purchased original copper from the Statue of Liberty [20] and the company launched the Liberty Copper Collection.[21][22]

Financials[edit]

In 2011 Alex and Ani appeared on the Inc. 500 List and number 16 on their retail sector list.[23] Between 2010 and 2012 the company increased its sales from $4.5 million to $80 million, with its labor force increasing from 20 to more than 600.[4] The company added new marketing components or expanded infrastructure in each quarter that year.[24] In 2012 the firm opened its first European branded stores.[25] That year JH Partners acquired a large stake in the firm, adding it to its lifestyle portfolio.[26] JH Partners cashed out in 2014, flipping the stake to Lion Capital, in a deal that valued the company at $1 billion.[13] The firm's revenues have skyrocketed from $5 million in 2010 to over $500 million in 2016, and the company is now worth $1.2 billion.[27]

Partnerships[edit]

In 2011 the company partnered with the Newport Folk Festival and Newport Jazz Festival to createy specialty charms for each ticket buyer of each festival.[28] In 2013 the company partnered with the New England Patriots and New England Revolution sports teams to provide sports-themed merchandise and uniforms.[18][29] The firm also has partnerships with Major League Baseball and the Boston Celtics.[30] In 2015 the company began a partnership with Disney Parks, to provide jewelry for their souvenir stores.[31] In 2017, Alex and Ani became the primary "presenting sponsor" of David Lynch's arts and music festival, the Festival of Disruption.[32] In 2011, a northeast gift shop chain, the Paper Store, spent $11 million, to build Alex and Ani " shop within a shop" concessions at its 72 outlets.[13] Chains like Harvey Nichols and Saks Fifth Avenue began carrying Raffaelian's bangles., and icensing deals stastartedting in 2012 with Walt Disney, the National Football League, sororities and the U.S. military.[13]

Philanthropy[edit]

In 2011, the company launched its Charity By Design program where 20% of sales go to charity.[33][12] The company has donated to over 50 charities, including $3 million to the American Heart Association [34] and $2 million to UNICEF.[35]

Advertising[edit]

In 2012 the company acquired a majority stake in the advertising agency Mediapeel after becoming the firm's largest client,[25] changing the company name to Seven Swords Media.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allan Fung (July 19, 2013). "OP-ED: Mayor Allan Fung on The Keys to Cranston's Success". WPRO. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Alex and Ani in stock". The Independent. July 30, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  3. ^ "New Bedford-native named Mass. Small Business Person of Year". South Coast Today. March 23, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Leigh Buchanan (April 2013). "The Disciplined and the Divine: An Unlikely Partnership". Inc. Magazine. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  5. ^ Chandra Johnson Greene (July 17, 2013). "Eco-friendly Alex and Ani Jewelry Store Opens in Westport". Weston-Redding-Easton Patch. Retrieved August 7, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Alex and Ani to open in Miami-Dade: Lincoln Road and the Falls". The Real Deal. 
  7. ^ Darlington, Abigail (August 24, 2014). "Alex and Ani's former CEO to debut new fashion label in Charleston". The Post and Courier. Charleston, South Carolina. Retrieved 2016-12-26. 
  8. ^ "Alex and Ani names president". NBC 10. May 18, 2015. 
  9. ^ http://www.vogue.co.jp/special-feature/2015-09/04/alexandani
  10. ^ http://wwd.com/retail-news/direct-internet-catalogue/alex-ani-digital-ecommerce-10251108/
  11. ^ https://digiday.com/brands/alex-anis-app-got-75000-downloads-3-weeks/
  12. ^ a b https://www.forbes.com/sites/luisakroll/2016/06/01/from-sheryl-sandberg-to-taylor-swift-the-60-richest-most-successful-self-made-women-in-america/#33c1ad5e41c1
  13. ^ a b c d e f "Forbes"
  14. ^ "Special fund for first-time buyers". The Independent. July 30, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Alex and Ani CEO Speaks at Bryant’s World Trade Day Kickoff Event". Go Local Prov. June 15, 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  16. ^ Donna Freydkin (July 20, 2004). "Sweet sense of style for Apple Martin; Hot stuff". USA Today. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  17. ^ Jessica Shaw (August 6, 2004). "Fruit Of The Womb". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  18. ^ a b Chris Reidy (July 26, 2013). "Alex and Ani partners with the Patriots". Boston Globe. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  19. ^ Michelle Smith (June 30, 2009). "Interview: Carolyn Rafaelian of Alex and Ani". The Gloss. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  20. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/20/nyregion/want-an-old-piece-of-the-statue-of-liberty-this-is-the-man-to-see.html?_r=0
  21. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3791500/Own-piece-Statue-Liberty-Alex-Ani-unveils-unique-jewelry-collection-crafted-pieces-original-copper-preserved-monument-s-centennial-restoration.html
  22. ^ http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/lady-liberty-130-years-beautiful-43118991
  23. ^ "Alex and Ani Named One of America’s Fastest-Growing Companies". Go Local Prov. August 25, 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  24. ^ Bill Briggs (July 10, 2013). "Small but mighty". Internet Retailer. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  25. ^ a b "Alex and Ani acquires Mediapeel". South Coast Today. April 20, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  26. ^ Dana Mattioli (October 22, 2012). "Private Equity Firm JH Partners Buys Stake in Jeweler Alex & Ani". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 7, 2013. 
  27. ^ publisher="Forbes"
  28. ^ "Alex and Ani Creates Limited Edition Charms for Newport". Go Local Prov. July 22, 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  29. ^ Paul Kenyon (July 27, 2013). "Training Camp Coverage". Providence Journal. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Red Sox announce new initiatives for fans during second half of the season". Boston Red Sox. July 18, 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2013. 
  31. ^ http://www.diszine.com/content/new-alex-and-ani-wraps-coming-to-disney-parks-this-fall
  32. ^ "Festival of Disruption". Retrieved June 20, 2016. 
  33. ^ http://www.golocalprov.com/beauty/alex-and-ani-charity-by-design-donates-20-million-in-four-years
  34. ^ http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/american-stroke-association-and-alex-and-ani--charity-by-design-unveil-wings-of-change-charm-bangle-300247322.html
  35. ^ http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/alex-and-ani-commits-2-million-to-unicef-to-help-provide-a-brighter-future-for-children-around-the-world-300313357.html

Coordinates: 41°45′19.4″N 71°27′31.0″W / 41.755389°N 71.458611°W / 41.755389; -71.458611