Alex and Ani
|Industry||Jeweller and retailer|
|Headquarters||Cranston, Rhode Island|
|Carolyn Rafaelian (Acting CEO)|
The firm was founded in 2004 by Carolyn Rafaelian. The name comes from a combination of the first names of Rafaelian's two daughters. 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". The company first manufactured its jewelry in a factory that was founded by Rafaelian's father in 1966 and all materials are made in America. The first retail Alex and Ani store opened in Newport in 2009, and in addition to the stand-alone stores, the jewelry was sold through national departments stores. 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. In 2015, Harlan Kent became the new president of the company. The company also expanded into Japan. In 2015 the firm launched its first mobile app, 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." 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. 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. 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.
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". Rafaelian patented the Alex and Ani 14-guage wire bangle in 2004; , one of about 30 patents the company now holds. The firm produces bangles, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and rings. 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. The company has described its products as "eco-friendly";  much of the material is either recycled or from vintage articles. In 2016, founder Carolyn Rafaelian purchased original copper from the Statue of Liberty  and the company launched the Liberty Copper Collection.
In 2011 Alex and Ani appeared on the Inc. 500 List and number 16 on their retail sector list. 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. The company added new marketing components or expanded infrastructure in each quarter that year. In 2012 the firm opened its first European branded stores. That year JH Partners acquired a large stake in the firm, adding it to its lifestyle portfolio. JH Partners cashed out in 2014, flipping the stake to Lion Capital, in a deal that valued the company at $1 billion. 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.
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. In 2013 the company partnered with the New England Patriots and New England Revolution sports teams to provide sports-themed merchandise and uniforms. The firm also has partnerships with Major League Baseball and the Boston Celtics. In 2015 the company began a partnership with Disney Parks, to provide jewelry for their souvenir stores. In 2017, Alex and Ani became the primary "presenting sponsor" of David Lynch's arts and music festival, the Festival of Disruption. 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. 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.
In 2011, the company launched its Charity By Design program where 20% of sales go to charity. The company has donated to over 50 charities, including $3 million to the American Heart Association  and $2 million to UNICEF.
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