NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - She's the queen of cork, inspired by a trip to Portugal, Amanda Daily began designing her own handbags. They were so popular, now she has an entire store dedicated to her favorite fabric called Queork.
"Although I design the bags I always credit the people that we work with because our clients really tell me what to make and then when enough people have an idea, we make it," says Daily.
If you're crazy about cork, this is a place you'll never get bored.
"The question now is, what can't we make in cork!" Daily said. "So anything you would typically see in leather, mainly handbags, but also we do aprons, we do shoes, we have bow ties we have ties, belts we have hats we have umbrellas. We try to get unique because a lot of people give these as gifts so the more unique we can get the better, but things are very practical."
Since the structure of cork is actually 88 percent air and the products are doubled sealed with silicone, they're waterproof and if you drop your bag in water it will float.
"The rating on it is equivalent to vinyl and that’s an upholstery grade fabric so it's meant for a lot of wear and tear," Daily explained. "Cork, as most people view it, is a brittle wood. This cork you'll never touch so this is something that's in between two layers, but it still has all of the qualities of cork where its water-proof, it's very, very light weight. One bag only weighs a pound."
Don't worry about the so-called cork shortage either, there's plenty to go around!
"Wineries use the term to consumers that cork is an 'endangered species' which it is, but not because there's a shortage of cork," Daily explained.
She said that sometime in the 30s and 40s the Portuguese government made cork an endangered tree so no one was allowed to cut it down. "But in the process of making cork the tree is not harmed. They take the outside of the bark of the tree and they shear it like a sheep and the bark grows back. So it's the main Portuguese economy and they don't want people cutting down the trees in favor of development," Daily added.
So if you're looking for a unique gift or stocking stuffer, put a cork in it!