Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a vending machine filled with…….Jewelry! This fabulous invention will be part of Rockefeller Center’s ‘Love At The Center’ event. The event will including a month-long schedule of workshops and collaborative installations ~ all with the theme of Love.
Art Sundae with Hiba Schahbaz will kick-off the festivities on February 3rd, a mural installation on February 11th; Virtual cupcake baking in The Rainbow Room on February 13th; and Marla Aaron jewelry designs with her jewelry vending machine on February 15th.
Ms. Aaron’s ‘Take a Seat for Restaurants‘ sterling silver chair charm will be one of the many cool and beautiful trinkets in the vending machine, which will be located at South Plaza, 10 Rockefeller Plaza, between 48th and 49th Streets, at 1 Rockefeller Plaza. The sterling silver, 2″ tall chair will retail for $250, with 100% of the proceeds going to Chef Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen.
East Harlem resident and local jewelry designer Marla Aaron couldn’t help but be impacted by the state of the restaurant industry—the empty chairs stacked inside restaurants were particularly poignant. As a creator who is more “inventor” than “designer”, she knew she had to find a way to help. Googling “most common restaurant seat”, she was inspired by the simple comfort of such common chair to create a jewelry object in celebration of, and to benefit, restaurants and its people. The Chair, made in Sterling Silver, is 2” tall and can be worn on any chain as a necklace, or kept as a precious figurine. It sells for $250 with 100% of sales proceeds benefiting Chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit organization that uses the power of food to heal communities and strengthen economies in times of crisis and beyond, and its initiatives such as “Restaurants for the People,” which attacks the growing hunger and economic crises on two fronts by paying local restaurants to cook fresh meals for their neighbors in need–at the same time getting food to hungry people and keeping restaurants and their teams open and working. The campaign is called “Take a Seat for Restaurants.”
“I am a small business owner and the struggle over the last year was real and complex in the jewelry industry”, says Marla Aaron, “That said, our pain doesn’t even compare with how the restaurant industry has been challenged during the pandemic.” “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.”
The vending machine will take to the streets of New York City for the first time, residing for a limited-time outdoors at 1 Rockefeller Plaza, located at Rockefeller Center’s South Plaza between 48th & 49th Streets and 5th & 6th Avenues, outside the Today Show Studio — a new thrill for the company who debuted it as an installation at the Brooklyn Museum in 2017 but always dreamt of bringing the “stumble upon” excitement of its fine jewelry vending machine to the streets of Manhattan. Yes the machine will dispense the actual products, gift-wrapped.
Can’t make it to Rock Center? Beyond the vending machine, The Marla Aaron “Take A Seat” chair is also available for purchase at marlaaaron.com and select retailers nationwide at the Marla Aaron’s by-appointment showroom (37 W. 47th Street). All retail proceeds to benefit World Central Kitchen.
Topping off Valentine’s Weekend, expect to see a Flower Flash created by Lewis Miller Design somewhere on the Plaza.
Love at the Center is a free event, open to the public from February 1st through February 28, 2021.