Handbags Uncorked

Handbag designer Natalie DiBello uses an unlikely sustainable material for her collection: cork.

 

 

This isn’t your wine bottle stopper variety. It’s actually thinly shaved cork adhered to cotton fabric. Natalie buys bolts in bulk from vendors in Portugal, the world’s top supplier. Once it arrives, she gets to work sewing each item in her Massachusetts home studio. It’s the ultimate handmade product; Natalie is on target to personally cut, sew, tag and pack 10,000 items by the end of the year.

 

Some are calling cork the new leather. That suits Natalie just fine.

“People love it; it’s eye-catching because it’s unusual,” Natalie says. “It’s been important for me from the beginning to stay small yet sustainable and focus on something that is eco friendly.”

 

Natalie started designing purses when she left her corporate job eight years ago. After much trial and error, and a recommendation from her architect sister who was familiar with the durability and versatility of cork, Natalie made the switch from “funky cotton prints.” Her first year—2009—she sold 100 handbags. Today her bags are available at more than 150 retail and online stores nationwide.

 

 

Through her company Natalie Therése, Natalie has created more than a dozen handbag styles, from totes to cross body bags. Accessories include wallets and pencil cases. Last year, Natalie added the Be Lively digitally printed line featuring a global-inspired mosaic tile design.

 

Prices are competitive with wallets starting at $14 and handbags at $142, making it fashionable and affordable. The lightweight material is also soft, easy to clean, stain-resistant and waterproof.

 

This summer Natalie Therése will unveil a backpack with the line’s signature faux leather accent in lime green, red, navy or black at the base.

 

 

“My work is very gratifying, I love what I do,” Natalie says. “I’m not going to pretend it’s not really hard at times, trying to break through the next level of creating something new. But everything I’m doing is coming from me and that feels really cool.”

 

Want to see Natalie’s handbags and accessories for yourself? Visit natalietherese.com.

 

 

 

 

*GIVEAWAY* Comment below with your favorite color wristlet (visit NatalieTherese.com) and be entered to win one small wristlet and also receive a LooHoo 5-Pack. A winner will be announced July 31, 2017.

 


38 Comments

Melinda
Melinda

July 31, 2017

Aqua is my favourite.

Harmony
Harmony

July 28, 2017

Black. :)

Kim K
Kim K

July 28, 2017

Very nice! It’s hard to pick one colour. I love the red zipper!

Jen
Jen

July 27, 2017

What a lovely giveaway! Thank you! I really love the way the black zipper contrasts with the cork!

Cindy Loomis
Cindy Loomis

July 27, 2017

All of Natalie’s bags are beautiful and unique! On the wristlet, I think I like the apple green the most.

Dorothy Lane
Dorothy Lane

July 27, 2017

I love this! The red really pops!

Eve McGee
Eve McGee

July 27, 2017

The orange is PERFECT for me. Thank you so much for making these!!

Catherine Lenarski
Catherine Lenarski

July 27, 2017

Love the navy!

Vanessa
Vanessa

July 26, 2017

Love the purple.

Lenka
Lenka

July 26, 2017

My favorite is orange

stephen jones
stephen jones

July 26, 2017

APPLE GREEN

Sue
Sue

July 26, 2017

The purple is beautiful!! Would make one feel like a royal!

jeannine d
jeannine d

July 26, 2017

love the green

Amy Webster
Amy Webster

July 26, 2017

Aqua! It pops!

Martha
Martha

July 26, 2017

Definitely the brown; the contrast is appealing and looks all natural.

Jennifer Essad
Jennifer Essad

July 25, 2017

This is a wonderful gift, I’d choose butterscotch for the wristlet but when I purchase directly I’ll go with “Mammoth” – thanks for introducing us to Natalie, her designs are gorgeous and what an adventure she has ahead of her

Mi Webber
Mi Webber

July 25, 2017

I like the purple one.

Sara
Sara

July 25, 2017

Apple green

Candace Galan
Candace Galan

July 25, 2017

The fuschia!

Carrie H.
Carrie H.

July 25, 2017

What a tough pick! It is a hard call between the navy and the apple green. I also love the tote in the article.

Sharon
Sharon

July 25, 2017

Orange.

ruby reis wade
ruby reis wade

July 25, 2017

navy

thomas rusinak
thomas rusinak

July 25, 2017

Butterscotch is my favorite!

sophie
sophie

July 25, 2017

Butterscotch!!

Chelsea Torrey
Chelsea Torrey

July 25, 2017

Love the butterscotch, it will go with anything! Beautiful handbags!

Sandra Watts
Sandra Watts

July 25, 2017

My favorite is the Apple Green!

Chelsea W
Chelsea W

July 25, 2017

I like the purple one.

Barbara Mayes
Barbara Mayes

July 25, 2017

I love Butterscotch and Apple Green!

AMBER DELORME-STUBBS
AMBER DELORME-STUBBS

July 25, 2017

I personally love the apple Green one. :-) KUDOS for Hosting this GROOVY Giveaway. :-) GOOD-LUCK Everyone!!!

Amanda Alvarado
Amanda Alvarado

July 25, 2017

I love the aqua and the red!

Barb Carlson
Barb Carlson

July 25, 2017

Love the aqua blue. What a cool little product. Kudos to you!

anita king
anita king

July 25, 2017

My favorite is lime green ?

FRANCELINE BELZAK
FRANCELINE BELZAK

July 25, 2017

I love the green one!

Jill Hanson
Jill Hanson

July 25, 2017

These are beautiful, with the pop of color from the zippers. Red would be my first choice followed by Aqua

Brittni Warneke
Brittni Warneke

July 25, 2017

aqua!
Eli Warneke
Eli Warneke

July 25, 2017

aqua!!

Marla
Marla

July 25, 2017

brown

Bo
Bo

July 25, 2017

I love the fuschia!

Leave a comment