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It is not often a Rhode Island business leader scores the cover of Forbes — it may be never before that a Rhode Island woman took home the honor.

It is not a little blurb. Forbes ran an eight-page feature in its June issue titled, “How Alex And Ani Founder Carolyn Rafaelian Built An American Jewelry Empire.”

The Rafaelian feature was part of its cover story, "The Richest Self-Made Women. Forbes listed the top 60 self-made women, and Rafaelian came in at #18 at $1 billion. Leading the list was Marjian Ilitch, age 84 of Little Caesars at $5.1 billion.

Oprah Winfrey ranked #5 at $2.9 billion and Beyonce Knowles at #46 at $350 million.

The piece chronicled the growth of Alex and Ani and her involvement in everything from restoring Belcourt Castle to her vineyard in Little Compton.

As Forbes wrote, “Rafaelian has invested many millions in the estate, including a complete renovation of the library. She also added solar paneling to the roof and, of course, restored Alva’s (Vanderbilt’s) bedroom to its Gilded Age glory.”

This news was the latest that week coming out of Alex and Ani, as, "Model, entrepreneur and activist Gisele Bündchen, co-anchor of Good Morning America Robin Roberts; and founder and CEO of ALEX and ANI Carolyn Rafaelian were among the women recognized…in New York City by the David Lynch Foundation (DLF), a global charitable organization that addresses the epidemic of trauma and toxic stress amongst at-risk populations."

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