Alex and Ani to open professional development center

Carolyn Rafaelian chats with Allison Carley, Director of Business to business Sales at Alex&Ani.
Posted 7/19/12

CRANSTON - Jewelry designer Alex and Ani LLC will open a professional development center in a Weybosset Street building it has purchased. The location will also house a new retail location that will open in late August, CEO Giovanni Feroce told Providence Business News.

“We are often asked about how we are succeeding. Giving as we’re growing is embedded in how we go about doing business,” Feroce said. “We thought the time was appropriate since we are rapidly growing…that since we do this training anyway, we’d offer it to the public as well.”

Alex and Ani University, which will open at the Weybosset Street location when some building work is completed, will aim to help organizational leaders and members “rethink what it means to be human at work in the 21st century,” according to Feroce.

Courses will include the ‘New Language of Leadership,’ ‘Attitude & Emotional Intelligence,’ ‘Self-Identity & Meaning-Making in the Workplace,’ and ‘Rethinking Retail.’ Feroce will instruct a course called ‘Reality Management, running an agile organization in today’s business climate.’

Alex and Ani purchased the building at 159 Weybosset St., which formerly housed American Apparel, for $3.3 million.

The university will be located on the building's top three floors. There also will be a rooftop deck. The bottom two floors will be house an Alex and Ani retail store and a Teas and Javas location. Alex and Ani recently began running the coffee shops.

Mediapeel Inc., which will be renamed Seven Swords Media, will also be there. The company, which Alex and Ani bought last spring, is relocating from Lincoln.

“[The new building] will create jobs form the street level all the way up through our media company into the university,” Feroce said.

The Teas and Javas store will sell wines from Sakonnet Vineyards. Alex and Ani announced Thursday that it purchased the Little Compton vineyard for $8.45 million.

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