Alex and Ani, the US start-up that grew into a $1bn empire on sales of spirituality and charm bracelets has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The global pandemic sealed its fate after loan defaults, a slump in sales, lawsuits, internal strife and months of disruption caused by a ransomware virus.
The company was founded in 2004 by Carolyn Rafaelian, who named it after her two daughters. It took much of its inspiration from her New Age beliefs, and every piece of jewelry was blessed by a shaman.
Rafaelian was ranked the 18th-richest self-made woman in the United States by Forbes in 2017, with a net worth of over $1bn.
Alex and Ani, and a number of related entities, filed for Chapter 11 at a Delaware bankruptcy court last Wednesday.
“In 2020, COVID-19 forced the company to pause its key strategic growth initiatives, temporarily close stores and scale back its operations in light of reduced in-store customer demand,” said Robert Trabucco, Alex and Ani’s chief restructuring officer, in a statement.
“By utilizing the Chapter 11 process, we are able to ensure an expedited and orderly right-sizing of our balance sheet and operations.”