My youngest was a year or so old the last time I was in New York for any length of time...and she'll be 8 this fall, so my city skills were rusty at best, but it was just as a friend of mine (from our mutual Manhattan-dwelling days in the early 2000s) says, "Once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker." She was right on the money. As soon as my cab crossed the East River on its way into the city from LaGuardia, it all came flooding back to me: the hustle and bustle, buildings all piled in together on such a small island, horns honking, corner bodegas filled with flowers and cold drinks, people of all shapes, sizes, colors, fashion sensibilities, languages, and directions bringing such beauty to the urban landscape around them. "Ah, New York," I thought as it all passed by my taxi window, "I've missed you!"

The trip was an unexpected one, and I was thrilled to be along for the ride, having been asked by Louisville-based GE Appliances to help with the launch of their latest brand: Café, and its Matte Collection in black and white finishes with entirely customizable hardware in brushed bronze, stainless, copper, and black.

What in the world does jewelry have to do with refrigerators? One look, and you'll understand: the appliances are STUNNING and the elegant fittings are nothing short of jewelry-inspired with beautiful metal options. 

My job while in the city with GE would be to create customizable jewelry for each guest at the brand launch parties, allowing editors, buyers, and freelance writers to select beads inspired by the metallic finishes of the appliances and design their own necklace, earrings, or bracelet, made especially for them while they waited.

I can't even begin to tell you how much fun this was - not just from a design challenge standpoint, but from a personal interaction and entirely enjoyable standpoint. I had the opportunity to work with the amazing team from GE, the AMAZING Louisville-based designers Natalie Officer and team and Gretchen Black, each tapped to create the most beautiful kitchen settings to showcase the appliances, great PR teams, I was able to chat with incredible women and men in the industry (and in media) and be in a beautiful space in Chelsea while doing it. (See my Instagram highlights here for a quick re-cap!)

Before the jewelry crafting kicked off, I took a minute to relax in Madison Square Park and ended up having one of the most moving experiences of my life, one I hope not to soon forget.

And, after the events were over, I even managed to get out and enjoy an evening in the city with a breathtaking view. Truly, I'm not sure I've ever been a gal who's found herself speechless, but this surprise spot left me without words.

From a quick walk of the High Line (which didn't even exist when I lived in Manhattan!) to a matinée performance of a provocative play by incredible actors in the first Broadway production by an Asian American female playwrite, New York certainly did not disappoint. I hope to head back soon (or at least sooner than 7 years from now!) Some time in the Big Apple did this Bluegrass gal just right.


  • Posted byEmily Maynard /


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