Jewelry and accessory shop Alex and Ani opened its first Minnesota location this past weekend. The woman-owned jewelry company started in the smallest state of Rhode Island, and now Mall of America is home to one of its newest stores.
Select pieces from the "eco-conscious" jewelry brand – they say many of their materials are recycled or reclaimed – were previously available to Twin Cities residents in a handful of local boutiques and online. However, shopping the full collection in a physical store gives customers the opportunity to try on the brand's signature bracelets with unique charms. Customers can also customize necklaces to fit their personality with one-on-one help from staff.
On Friday, Alex and Ani hosted a grand opening with live music, food and door prizes. Before the festive opening event began or the mall even opened for that matter, dozens lined up to be the first to get the in-store experience.
GoMN caught up with the early shoppers who waited patiently in line to check out the new store in the midst of last week's snowstorm.
Name: Jen Leuma – Minneapolis
Why did you decide to wait in line for the store opening?: I am familiar with the bracelets and wanted to come out and see the new store instead of just the selection the have in boutiques. Plus a free gift doesn’t hurt!
How would you describe your style?: Selective, simple and classy.
Are there any specific fall/winter trends you plan on rocking?: Pinks and blues, velvet shoes, coats and scarves.
Name: Marisa Rivera – Twin Cities transplant from New York
Why did you decide to wait in line for the store opening?: I like the brand and the fact that they use recycled metals. Today I'm wearing 12 bracelets and have about 20 total, so I know I won’t be leaving without buying something.
How would you describe your style?: I usually wear bright colors. I like wearing red and things that are comfortable. I don’t do heels, but I like shoes like Doc Martens. The quirkier the better.
Are there any specific fall/winter trends you plan on rocking?: I really like reds and blacks this time of year, but not velvet. Velvet just reminds me of funerals.
Name: Melissa Mittelsteadt – Wausau, Wisconsin
Why did you decide to wait in line for the store opening?: I like the variety of charms and metals. Plus, they are affordable. It’s not like you have to spend hundreds of dollars on one piece of jewelry.
How would you describe your style?: Casual, but classy.
Are there any specific fall/winter trends you plan on rocking?: My kids like their Uggs, and I like accessorizing with a variety of scarves.