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Alex and Ani Founder Is Now the Richest Self-Made Woman in the Jewelry Industry

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Her estimated net worth is $700 million.

After Alex and Ani’s sales reached $500 million in 2015, Forbes ranked the jewelry label’s founder, Carolyn Rafaelian, No. 22 on its annual list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women. The business news outlet says that she is the richest self-made woman in the world to derive her wealth from jewelry, estimating her net worth at $700 million. “Rafaelian’s success can be partly attributed to her mastery of the supply chain. Alex and Ani’s pieces — like its bestselling $28 zodiac-themed charm bangles — are mainly made of recycled materials like scrap metal and vintage or surplus jewelry, keeping costs low and margins high.” Alex and Ani now has 65 freestanding stores.

Read more at Forbes

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Stick to the Program — And Watch Your Sales Grow

When Zadok Master Jewelers in Houston, Texas, decided to move to a new location (they’d been in the same one for the 45 years they’d been in business), they called Wilkerson to run a moving sale. The results, says seventh-generation jeweler Jonathan Zadok, were “off the charts” in terms of traffic and sales. Why? They took Wilkerson’s advice and stuck to the company’s marketing program, which included sign twirlers — something Jonathan Zadok had never used before. He says a number of very wealthy customers came in because of them. “They said, ‘I loved your sign twirlers and here’s my credit card for $20,000.’ There’s no way we could have done that on our own,” says Zadok. “Without Wilkerson, the sale never, ever would have come close to what it did.”

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