My Story


Hello from the beautiful Outer Banks. There’s so many new people and fresh faces that have just recently discovered me, that I thought it would be a great time to RE-Introduce myself!

I am Dawn Vinson and I’m the Creator, designer and owner of a small home-based business I started two years ago in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. I am a 45-year-old mother of three grown boys, and my husband and I recently became empty nesters. I began jewelry making as a side gig to make extra money while looking for a job when we moved to the Outer Banks in 2015. It was during this time, that I stumbled upon Portuguese Cork on Etsy. I naively ordered a few pieces of cord out of curiosity, and once I got a piece of it in my hands, I honestly can say that I have never been the same. My entire creative process changed that day and my brain literally started going into overdrive as soon as I realized how amazing cork fabric was and all of the things I could do with it...It’s been 2 years and it hasn’t stopped. In fact. I’m just getting started.

Portuguese Cork is a natural raw material that is harvested from the bark of the Cork Oak Tree which is native to France, Spain, and Portugal. Every 9 years these trees MUST be debarked in order to maintain their lives. It is the ONLY tree in the world that will not die if it is debarked. Just the opposite. They will die without this process. It takes 27 years before the FIRST harvestfrom a cork oak tree is ready for the bark to be used in the production of winestoppers and flooring. Its then milled down and made into textiles and fabrics. The last process for cork is for fueling the machinery that operates the cork factories that produce these materials. This means ZERO waste. This also means that the cork I am using for my jewelry is from a tree in Europe-that’s anywhere between 27 and 300 years old!

To me that’s extremely fascinating!

But what’s even more fascinating, is the number of things that I am able to create and make with cork cords and cork fabric.
We here in the United States DO NOT use this resource the way that we are capable of. I want to be the one to change that in the Jewelry Industry. I want everyone to know how amazing cork is! It’s unique, it’s different, it’s environmentally friendly, animal friendly, sustainable, lightweight, water resistant, as strong and as durable as leather, and absolutely stunning to look at. Due to the nature of cork each piece holds its own uniqueness, making each one of my pieces matchless in itself as well. I have been solely using Portuguese Cork in my designs for 2 years now and have been working very hard to brand and promote my businesses name, and my cork designs, while at the same time educating people on the cork process. I am very proud of my designs, and my work, and hope you enjoy each of them.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need any help with ordering. I am happy to help you out in any way I can!

Xoxo, Dawn