This creative vending machine is filled with local artwork

Forget the snacks. Moonlight Vending in Long Beach fills its creative vending machine with local artwork.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Goodbye chips and drinks and hello...art?

Moonlight Vending is not your typical vending machine business.

"We are a creative vending machine company based in Long Beach," said owner Katie Kelly. "Instead of snacks and drinks, we work with local artists to place their work in our machine."

Inside the purple vending machine, that Kelly refers to as 'Luna,' are earrings, patches, scrunchies, greeting cards and other pieces of art handcrafted by local artists.

"What I have in the vending machine is embroidery hoops that say LBC for Long Beach, obviously," said local artist Nik Vandeventer of Wasting Thyme. "It's a great way to socially distance support artists."

Kelly said she drew inspiration from the internet.

"They've got them in Austin, Spokane and Portland. So, I was like, 'Let's jump in and let's do it,'" Kelly said.

Kelly started reaching out to local artists in March after buying the vintage vending machine off Craigslist and giving it a makeover.

"A lot of the opportunities for artists have definitely been cut off," Kelly said. "I really value community and this seems like a way for me to build community in Long Beach."

At the moment, Luna lives in Kelly's garage, but hopefully, not for long.
"In a post-COVID world, I think the best place to put a Moonlight Vending machine would be in a bar because we've got stuff that's engaging and interactive, like a mini Jenga set and little tiny trivia cards," Kelly said.

Until Kelly finds a location for the vending machine, customers can purchase "mystery bags" on Moonlight Vending's Instagram and Etsy accounts.

For more information, visit their website.

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