Founder of Alex and Ani

Carolyn Rafaelian

Biography

Carolyn Rafaelian and her father started a jewelry factory when she was young. She helped design pieces and had a huge passion for it and decided when she was old enough to own her own store and she would design her own business, Early in her life many people knew she was self-confident which means that what she would do when she is older and how she would be a part of showing that passion.

Carolyn attended Prout Memorial High School for girls in 1982. For college she attended the University of Rhode Island for 3 years (1987-1989) where she was a part of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority. She later transferred to the American College in LA where she graduated in 1990.

After college Carolyn decided that she wanted to join her fathers business and work on her own life as well. She eventually got married and had two girls named Alex and Ani. In 2002 Carolyn became co-owner of Cinerama the factory her and her dad opened along with her sister Rebecca. Her designs became the leading seller of that company.

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Before Starting Her Business

  • Before starting Alex and Ani Carolyn worked in her dad's jewelry factory making jewelry with him.
  • She learned many of the 12 characteristics while she worked with her dad in the factory because before she worked there she didn't know anything about running a business. Carolyn learned all of those traits from her dad.

Founding of Alex and Ani

  • In 2004 she founded Alex and Ani because she wanted to be independent and have her own store not share with her family. Carolyn named it after her two oldest daughters Alex and Ani. She wanted her creativity to show while picking the name but also for her children to be able to live on with the store after she leaves the business.
  • She started with the idea of four cocktail rings then it grew to a whole line of jewelry of expandable and recyclable materials made in America.
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More about Carolyn

She took the risk to own her own business because jewelry is a popularity selling point to teens and young adults. It could make or break her and obviously and obviously made her because she is very persistently growing in her sales she started advertising on super bowl days and her sales went from 2 million to 230 million.

Her Opportunity to Open Her Business

  • Carolyn realized she wanted her own business two years after she took over her father's jewelry factory.

  • She realized she wanted to create her own business based off of the designs she already had created with her father’s business.

  • It started off as selling her products to local stores and then eventually nationally then into having her own retail space and making millions of dollars yearly as it was becoming more and more popular.

Alex and Ani Now

  • Carolyn is now selling her jewelry nationally and has grown her company more than 3500% in the past 12 years.

  • She has had over $200 million in sales, 1000 employees, and she also has over 40 retail spaces nationwide.

  • Carolyn is looking into going International but not in the near future.

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The Hidden Message

The Mission is to design products that adorn the body, enlighten the mind, and empower the spirit. Carolyn believes it is her life's work to inspire her customers to relish what is unique and authentic about themselves.

Action Oriented

Carolyn is action oriented because she deals with making new jewelry all the time and that cant be easy. So she deals with the problems that face her.

Creative

Carolyn is creative because she came up with designing new jewelry on her own and created her own designs based off of her father's.

Enthusiastic

Carolyn is enthusiastic because she puts a lot of her happiness towards making her jewelry pieces. A lot of her pieces also represent happiness or enthusiasm.

Goal Oriented

Carolyn is goal oriented because she had a goal to create her own business named after her two daughters. That happened. She also always has goals to make her business bigger in some way. Weather it be new jewelry or making new stores.

Independent

Carolyn is independent because she went into the business on her own and knows how to work as a group and by herself to design new jewelry and products.

Inquisitive

Carolyn is inquisitive because when she first started her business she had to ask many questions to her father as to how to start a business because it wasn’t like she knew right away going into it how to start a business.

Persistent

Carolyn is persistent because she never backs away from a design she makes if she gets aggravated she puts it aside and waits till later to finish it.

Responsible

Carolyn is responsible because she has to take care of the business she created and she has to manage all of her clients and be smart about what she does with her business.

Restless

Carolyn is restless because she always wants to make her business better. She holds classes for her employees to better them as employees and teaches them more about the products. In that way she is making her business better.

Risk Taking

Carolyn is risk taking because shes always coming up with new designs for her company that everyone may not like. That is taking a risk because that product may not sell good.

Self Confident

Carolyn is self confident because she always believes in herself to make new products and make her business better.

Self Demanding

Carolyn is self demanding because she is always pushing herself and her employees to do better. There is always room to improve in any business.