Updated May 22 at 5:40pm

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small business

SBA honors Alex and Ani founder

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PROVIDENCE – The U.S. Small Business Administration has named Carolyn Rafaelian, owner and designer of Alex and Ani Inc. the 2012 Rhode Island Small Business Person of the Year.

Rafaelian founded the jewelry company in 2004 to design bracelets, necklaces, rings and earrings that “adorn the body, enlighten the mind and empower the spirit,” she said in a release.

“It is a blessing and an honor to be selected as the 2012 SBA Rhode Island Small Business Person of the Year,” said Rafaelian. “I truly appreciate the acknowledgement of the accomplishments of my business, and I am proud to represent Rhode Island in the national competition.”

Alex and Ani is headquartered in Cranston and has nine retail locations five states, including in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York City and West Palm Beach, Fla., as well as more than 700 wholesale accounts all over the world.

“I congratulate Carolyn Rafaelian for this well-deserved recognition of her success, hard work, commitment to creating jobs in Rhode Island, and contributions to the community,” said Mark S. Hayward, director of the SBA Rhode Island district office. “Carolyn’s positive energy, creativity and the development of products made in America are a true inspiration to entrepreneurs everywhere.”

Rafaelian will compete against 54 other small business people from around the country for the 2012 National Small Business Person of the Year award.

Alex and Ani, Carolyn Rafaelian, Small Business Administration, SBA, small business person of the year, jewelry

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