Marla Aaron recently moved from a home office to a space in the Diamond District on 47th Street—where she used to spend her lunch breaks.
While Marla Aaron was still working as a global communications executive, she would come to 47th Street, also known as the Diamond District, during her lunch breaks to feed her jewelry passion.
At the time, she was collecting antique jewelry and starting to make some of her own pieces. Fast forward to 2019, six years after she left her previous career to launch her eponymous line in 2013, and she’s recently moved from a home office on the Upper East Side to 47th Street, where she’s no longer a lunchtime hobbyist. She has a studio and showroom and has almost finished securing a third space to house her rapidly growing brand.
New Marla Aaron pieces made from Fordite, pictured over a chunk of the material, which consists of layers of solidified automotive paint.
“It was all terrifying—that I was going to throw away my 25 year career to pursue my dream,” says Marla, “but a passion for something can carry you a long way.”
A self-described lifelong “frustrated product designer,” Marla makes jewelry that is both formally beautifully as well as fully functional—from her original lock design to her Gimmel rings, which feature interlocking bands that separate to reveal a hidden, inscribed message. “When I saw that I could morph the lock in a lot of ways, I knew there was the possibility to do a lot more,” Marla says of her signature lock design that launched her company, which now includes over five-hundred unique pieces. Recent iterations of the lock include one made using Fordite (layers of old, hardened automotive paint from Ford factories in Detroit, pictured above) and one featuring stones gathered from around New York City.
Marla pictured in front of her vending machine at the Brooklyn Museum.
There’s a warm ethos that surrounds everything Marla does.
Since 2016, she’s run the #lockyourmom project, which sends special edition silver baby locks to single mothers just before Mother’s Day. As Marla explains on her site,“We do this because I was a single mom when my son was small. Then I met my husband and together with our children we made a family. Being a single mom was the most difficult time in my life . . . I remember that feeling and I want to give back in a small personal way.”
There's also the Marla Aaron vending machine (which is exactly what it sounds like). It's traveled to the Brooklyn Museum and the William Vale Hotel, and most recently, it was in residence at the MZ Wallace store in SoHo this past February. The machine’s monitor played a special film Marla produced for Valentine's Day, featuring children collaboratively reading Shakespeare's Sonnet 130. Marla also traversed the city with several members of her staff, handing out copies of the sonnet printed on small sheets of paper. All of this was done with refreshingly little branding and simply in celebration of love—no jewelry is featured in the video, and it was a last minute decision to even include Marla's logo on the back of the printed poems.
Since the brand’s inception, Marla has used the verbiage of “jewelry and objects,” and while she has yet to offer any objects that aren't meant to be worn, this pursuit seems to be on the horizon—no doubt they will be equally as gorgeous and functional as all her current offerings.
We love Marla’s line both for its its unique, thoughtful craftsmanship and many customizable combinations, as well as the spirit with which she does everything.
and visit us in store to see more.