Independents

Marla Aaron’s Latest Vending Machine Supports the Struggling Restaurant Industry

IndependentsFeb 17, 2021

Marla Aaron’s Latest Vending Machine Supports the Struggling Restaurant Industry

It just made its debut at Rockefeller Center.

Marla Aaron’s latest project benefits World Central Kitchen via an initiative that feeds hungry communities while patronizing struggling restaurant businesses.

New York—Of the many surreal images of a shutdown New York City that have haunted its residents during the pandemic, it was stacks of empty chairs inside dim restaurants in her East Harlem neighborhood that resonated most with Marla Aaron.

In a statement the jewelry designer noted, “I am a small business owner and the struggle over the last year was real and complex in the jewelry industry. That said, our pain doesn’t even compare with how the restaurant industry has been challenged during the pandemic.”

Aaron is channeling her sadness over the state of the restaurant industry into action, and into jewelry, in a program called “Take a Seat for Restaurants.”

Known for her innovative methods of jewelry making and selling, she’s applying her vending machine jewelry concept to a charitable project, this time stocking it with small silver chairs that can be worn on a chain as a pendant or displayed as a tiny art object, with proceeds benefitting World Central Kitchen.


Brand new to the Marla Aaron line-up is the sterling silver chair pendant and object pictured at center, which this week made its Rockefeller Center debut in the brand’s jewelry vending machine.
Previously housed at such locations as the Brooklyn Museum and The William Vale Hotel, this week the vending machine has landed at Rockefeller Center.

Each two-inch sterling silver chair sold will aid in World Central Kitchen’s mission to feed and empower communities. Since its founding by founder and chef José Andrés and his wife Patricia, the organization has turned often to disaster relief.

In 2020 and today, that has meant serving food from thousands of local restaurants to families affected by the pandemic around the United States, in an initiative dubbed “Restaurants for the People.” The effort supports both individuals and the small businesses that serve them.


All of the profits of “The Chair” from Marla Aaron’s “Take a Seat for Restaurants” initiative will benefit nonprofit organization World Central Kitchen.

“The Chair,” which Aaron designed to look like the most recognizable and ubiquitous version of a restaurant chair, sells for $250, with 100 percent of proceeds benefitting the nonprofit.

She said of the pandemic and its effect on local restaurants, “It has been heartbreaking as a New Yorker but the same thing is playing out with restaurants around the world. I wanted to do something immediate and am thrilled to support World Central Kitchen. Their work with

‘Restaurants for the People’ keeps restaurants open feeding people who are hungry—I can’t think of a better thing to do.”

In addition to the “Take a Seat for Restaurants” vending machine located outside of the Today Show studio at 1 Rockefeller Plaza between 48th and 49th Street and Fifth and Sixth Avenues, “The Chair” is available for purchase on the Marla Aaron website, and at the company’s Diamond District showroom.

It’s also available at select retailers, who are not taking any profits from the endeavor. Even Aaron’s silver supplier helped multiply the “Take a Seat for Restaurants” impact, donating the silver for the first few hundred chairs.
Ashley Davisis the senior editor, fashion at National Jeweler, covering all things related to design, style and trends.

The Latest

CollectionsFeb 03, 2023
Chipotle Spices Up Valentine’s Day with Jewelry Collection

The fast-casual chain partnered with Anna Sheffield’s Bing Bang NYC brand on a capsule collection and it’s a little “extra.”

SourcingFeb 03, 2023
Greenland Ruby Names New CEO

Geologist Arnt-Eirik Rørnes has taken on the role.

EditorsFeb 03, 2023
Piece of the Week: Gismondi 1754’s ‘Marea’ Cuff

The diamond and tanzanite bracelet was inspired by the waves of the Italian gulf near Genoa.

Brought to you by
Bringing Over 130 Years of Diamond Expertise to Modern Grading

De Beers Institute of Diamonds provides the very best in diamond verification, education and diamond services.

CollectionsFeb 02, 2023
Lowe’s Is Now Selling Jewelry

The home improvement store’s website features an “Empowerment Tools” demi-fine jewelry collection.

Weekly QuizFeb 02, 2023
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this short test.
Take the Quiz
Events & AwardsFeb 02, 2023
Registration is Now Open for JIS Spring 2023

The show will feature a new pavilion of 30 jewelry designers and manufacturers from Surat, India.

Policies & IssuesFeb 02, 2023
Tiny Radioactive Capsule Lost in Australian Outback Found

A government official said search crews “found the needle in the haystack” when they located the capsule belonging to Rio Tinto along an 870-mile stretch of road.

Brought to you by
De Beers Institute of Diamonds Expands to Offer Education

De Beers is sharing over 130 years of experience and expertise through the De Beers Institute of Diamonds with a selection of courses.

TrendsFeb 02, 2023
Amanda’s Style File: Purple and Playful

Amanda Gizzi welcomes February with a selection of amethyst jewelry, a birthstone that “deserves its own time to shine.”

EditorsFeb 01, 2023
Designers to Watch in 2023: Boochier

Behind the playful and nostalgic brand lies deeper meaning.

Events & AwardsFeb 01, 2023
New Miami Jewelry Center Slated to Open in Q1

The Time Century Jewelry Center is located in downtown Miami’s jewelry district.

SurveysFeb 01, 2023
Consumer Confidence Falls in January

Wariness about the year ahead offset a more positive view of the current economic situation.

MajorsFeb 01, 2023
Six New Retailers Appointed to IJO’s Board of Directors

The IJO also welcomed one new vendor member to its 13-member board, Brecken Farnsworth of Parlé Jewelry Designs.

ColumnistsJan 31, 2023
Squirrel Spotting: How About a Word for the New Year?

It begins with a “t” and ends with a “c” and is imbued with warmth and positivity, Peter Smith writes.

Policies & IssuesJan 31, 2023
Rio Tinto Issues Apology After Radioactive Capsule Goes Missing

The tiny capsule, which is believed to have fallen out of a truck, was lost somewhere along an 870-mile stretch of desert road.

MajorsJan 31, 2023
Indian Jewelry Brand Tanishq Opens First U.S. Store, More on the Way

The jeweler’s expansion plans include 20 to 30 more stores in North America and the Middle East over the next two to three years.

Events & AwardsJan 31, 2023
Gucci Is Getting a Gem Award

The Italian luxury brand will receive the first Gem Award for High Jewelry Excellence.

MajorsJan 31, 2023
Martin Flyer Names New VP of Business Development

Industry veteran Kevin Lane has stepped into the role.

MajorsJan 30, 2023
Researchers Uncover Bejeweled ‘Golden Boy’ Mummy

The ancient Egyptian teenager was buried 2,300 years ago with 49 amulets to guide him through the afterlife.

SurveysJan 30, 2023
Consumers Embracing Non-Traditional Ways to Mark Valentine’s Day

The NRF’s annual survey shows that consumer attitudes about how, or even whether, to celebrate Feb. 14 continue to evolve.

Events & AwardsJan 30, 2023
JA Is Searching for the Next Retail ’20 Under 40’

Nominations are open now through March 24.

MajorsJan 30, 2023
10 Jewelry News Stories You Might Have Missed

A column detailing how independent jewelers did last year and the top watch brands of 2022 were among the most-read stories last week.

FinancialsJan 27, 2023
Tiffany & Co. Shines for LVMH in 2022

Acquired in 2021, the brand’s high jewelry sales have doubled and its new “Lock” collection was an instant hit.

MajorsJan 27, 2023
Diamond Council of America Appoints Treasurer, Board Member

Executives from Fred Meyer Jewelers and Riddles Jewelers have filled the roles.

CollectionsJan 27, 2023
Piece of the Week: Heavenly Vices’ Lock Necklace

The Victorian-inspired design is a functional lock and key.

Supplier BulletinJan 26, 2023
JA New York Spring Brings the Industry Together

For over 100 years, JA New York has played an integral role in facilitating the evolution of our industry, while also honoring past traditions.

TrendsJan 26, 2023
At Vicenzaoro, Paola De Luca Gazes Into Jewelry’s Future

The trend forecaster and her guests explored unconventional jewelry designs, NFTs, AI art, and more during her Trendvision presentation.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy