A vending machine for saving soles
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When it comes to vending machines, Silver Lake’s Cha Cha Lounge trumps all. Owner Kevin Willis stocks his bar’s vending machine with unexpected and ever-changing goodies. Items include Rubik’s Cubes, local ‘zines, Japanese snacks, T-shirts, pregnancy tests and — ahem — adult protection to prevent the need of said pregnancy tests.
Matt Horan might just give Willis a run for his money, though. In September, the 27-year-old from Bristol, England, plans to unveil Rollasole at eight nightlife destinations around town. The concept is a vending machine that dispenses flats to ladies whose feet can’t take another moment in their sky-high, toe-pinching heels.
Rollasoles, which come rolled up in a shoebox, are available in a variety of shimmery colors including silver, black and pink and cost $8 to $10. The purchase also comes with a bag to carry your heels home in.
The idea came to Horan after many nights carrying his girlfriend home from the clubs. It wasn’t easy finding a UK vending machine supplier to work with, however, so Horan revamped recycled cigarette machines. He introduced his product at six Luminar venues around England in May 2008 — and his business took off running. In about a year, he’s sold 60,000 pairs, expanded his distribution to Ibiza, and gotten in on the wedding market. Next up, he says, “We will be testing the concept on the U.S. market on a small scale in New York and L.A.” Participating venues will be finalized next month.
In the meantime, perhaps Willis will consider stocking Cha Cha’s vending machine with Rollasole flats.
-- Alexandra Le Tellier
Photos c/o of Matt Horan at Rollasole.