Cork Crafts style was a complete journey to figure it out. Cork fabric products in Portugal by definition are for people that live in countries with plenty of warm weather and sunlight. Now that has a direct influence in people’s style. On top of that Portugal and Spain are notoriously older as many of the younger generations has migrated in the last few decades. The result is that the products cater to an older generation with a specific fashion sense. And I’m not even mentioning the huge chunk sold as tourist souvenirs!
But Ireland has a younger and more progressive population, so, instead of wearing a fashion statement, what people are looking for is discreet but colorful items that are functional, which is a complete opposite of the trends of flashy gold, silver and 3D designs found in most cork shops in the Mediterranean region.
Once I learned this, then it became clearer the kind of products I wanted to sell, precisely the ones I’d use on my day to day and the ones I could see people use on a day to day basis. So I started observing what kind of items people were using, from bags to backpacks and footwear. And slowly I started to understand what kind of combination of items and colors could work in Ireland
But there was still a problem, no one of the wholesalers were selling these products, because they did not know the market beyond Portugal. So it was clear that to define the brands style, I had to design the items and find the artisans or manufacturers that could make them.
And this has been something as simple as sending a picture of a leather bag and ask them to make it in cork fabric, asking them to change leather parts of certain products for cork or other non-animal based material, Or sometimes just changing the colors and patterns on certain designs. Or literal long conversations where we go through each and any part of the item to be crafted to be forged in Cork Crafts style…