A firm belief in the "supernatural power of what she sells" is driving rapid growth for Carolyn Rafaelian, reports Mark Oppenheimer in The New York Times (3/29/14). Carolyn is founder of Alex and Ani, a jewelry-maker and retailer whose "profits have increased fiftyfold since 2010." Indeed, the company reports it has "moved over 18 million units ‘between 2012 and 2013′," for a total of $230 million in sales last year. The Alex and Ani line is currently sold in 40 US stores, "and in 1,500 other retail outlets around the world."
Among its offerings is the Buddha Charm Bangle, which promises the wearer "limitless power, limitless good karma and limitless wisdom." For "divine direction and soulful enlightenment" it’s the Saint Anthony Charm Bangle and for "union of masculine and feminine energy," the Star of David Charm Bangle. These items range in price from $24-$28 and promise to "capture energy." To achieve this effect, Carolyn says she collaborated "with physicists all over the world" and says the items "hold vibration of pure energy, healing love."
She says her priests and shaman bless each piece and that they are "protected from radio frequency, from radioactivity." Carolyn consults with "three or four scholars" to make sure she has the "right design" for every item, however she does not claim that wearing one of her items "will make you a better person," just that it "inspires you to put good energy out in the world. And if you put out good energy, good things will come back to you." Accordingly, Alex and Ani lets nonprofits use its stores for fundraisers, and "has given away $9.4 million since 2011."