Marla Aaron made this little chair to benefit the struggling restaurant industry – JCK

COVID-19 has shaken New York’s restaurant industry like perhaps no other – a fact that pains jewelry designer Marla Aaron every time she walks past a closed restaurant, her chairs silently stacked on them. edges of tables.

“As an industry we’ve struggled, but not even in the same league as what’s happened in the restaurant business,” says Aaron, a resident of East Harlem. “We know it, and a lot of us are small business owners and we feel it.”

The inventive designer was inspired to use her creativity and resources to help. She is partnering with Chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen, which is currently raising funds to help keep restaurants open and their teams at work, through his Take a Seat for Restaurants campaign.

She had in mind to create a very small restaurant chair and donate all the profits from its sale. But which chair? She googled most common restaurant chair to find the round back rattan chair that thousands of restaurants use.

It became his model, and the The resulting small chair – a free-form art object, figurine, and pendant – is a 2-inch-tall sterling silver piece that sells for $ 250, with 100% of the proceeds going to World Central Kitchen.

The chair is sold on Marla Aaron’s website, and also in the creator’s branded vending machine, which, since February 15, had been parked at 1 Rockefeller Center on the South Plaza of Rockefeller Center, between 48th and 49th streets outside the TodayHow? ‘Or’ What. (The brand’s fun machine debuted at the Brooklyn Museum in 2017).

Marla Aaron Take a Seat for Restaurants Silver Chair, $ 250

The project inspired widespread altruism, says the designer: “When one of our workshops heard about it, they insisted on donating some of the work, you know it’s huge. Additionally, its silver supplier donated the metal for the first hundred chairs, and nationwide retail partners offered to sell the chairs, waiving the commission to maximize the funds raised.

“I always say that jewelry’s only job is to bring joy to people,” Aaron wrote on his website. “I believe so, but this project somewhat broadens the general description of the jewelry store’s work.”

Photo: Marla Aaron’s charity chair with some of her famous wicks (all photos courtesy of Marla Aaron)

Follow Emili Vesilind on Instagram: @emilivesilind



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Cecil N. Messick