She learned the craft as an apprentice to her father, and in 2004, opened ALEX AND ANI – a humanitarian company that designs meaningful, eco-conscious jewelry. Her vision for the company is, and always has been, to connect its wearers to a greater purpose. In just six years, the company has donated more than $46 million to non-profits worldwide through her Charity By Design initiative.
Her designs are created with a deep reverence for sacred symbols that inspire empowerment. In September, she launched the LIBERTY COPPER Collection, featuring original copper preserved from the centennial restoration of the Statue of Liberty. This collection is especially close to Carolyn's heart, because her family's story in America started when they came through Ellis Island from Armenia in pursuit of a better life. Her commitment to spreading Lady Liberty’s message of love, light, and hope is at the core of everything she continues to create, including her most recent collaborative collection with Wonder Woman.
They say home is where the heart is. For us, that’s Rhode Island – once crowned the Jewelry Capital of the World. Most manufacturers faded away, but thanks to the vision of our fearless leader, Carolyn Rafaelian, we’ve kept our roots firmly planted here since 1966. We maintain operations in the smallest state – not because it’s easier, but because it’s meaningful. We grew up here. So did our manufacturing dreams.
In 1913, Rhode Island became home to an Armenian immigrant after passing through Ellis Island in search of life and promise. On this soil, Melkon Rafaelian paved the way for generations of local manufacturers to come. His son, Ralph Rafaelian, started the jewelry manufacturing business Cinerama in Cranston in 1966. Ralph’s daughter, Carolyn, kept her family’s American dream alive when she founded ALEX AND ANI in 2004, in the very same city.
Our jewelry represents 50 years of quality RI craftsmanship, from design to execution. We believe in investing in the resources and talents of the place we are from. Our products are charged with the love and energy of more than 1,500 employees. The people who make them are fellow community members, and our vendors are our neighbors. But we don’t just make jewelry in Rhode Island – we make a difference in Rhode Island.
We partner with local universities, hospitals, charitable foundations, and more — offering support through monetary and in-kind donations. We create integrative internship programs to foster local talent, and champion for places that bring communities and families together. Each employee is allotted time off during work hours to volunteer for local charitable organizations, with more than 6,500 hours given back to date.
We believe in working together to create something bigger than we ever could alone. Creating quality jewelry with integrity in Rhode Island is in our blood. We’re here to empower the community, and the human spirit. Our purpose is connection. Our home is Rhode Island.