So as you all know I love to support local and started a segment where we could share, learn and inspire!

During lock down, we are going to do a whole lot of these to highlight these businesses – many of which are taking HUGE strain during this time – and shed some awareness and love to all.

It has been really exciting tracking down cool and different businesses and brands to share with you and this one is a special one. I mean sneakers (and handbags!) made out of cork? Yes please, tell me more! They are so, so unique and gorgeous and they have for men and women. AND you must read down to the bottom of this post to see what is next on their launch list!

Corks is the first South African brand of cork sneakers and the quality is proper! Not only that, but they are comfortable and sustainable! We chatted to Seb Matheson, the Owner and Founder of Corks and he had this to say to us.

How does it feel to be a successful business owner that inspires others and loves what they do?

It’s awesome to have the title of successful business owner. Although not sure ’successful’ should be in that title… certainly not yet. Haha I have always had a love for fashion and in particular sneakers, and after working in corporate for 3 years I made the conscious decision to pursue this avenue. I absolutely love being creative and thinking of new ideas, and to be able to bring that to life is an awesome feeling.

What are the top 3 learnings you have had to find out the hard way since starting your own business?

I’ve learnt more than I think I would of ever learnt at a corporate setup. The top 3 learnings would have to be
1) The ability to manage cashflow. Cashflow for a small business is absolutely everything. Such a balancing act.
2) My ideas aren’t always the right ideas. The ability to lean on team members and get feedback, good or bad.
3) Being able to adapt, quickly. There always going to be complications or challenges, but the ability to find a solution quickly is fundamental.
Corks (1)

Where do you see your business in 5 years? Once we have gotten over the effects of the lock down.

I see the business becoming the leading brand for sustainable and innovative footwear in South Africa. We plan on exporting globally in the next couple years as well.

What is your advice to individuals out there wanting to start their own businesses but are too scared?

I think we need more individuals taking the leap of faith to pursue their passion. It’s tricky as most people want the comfort of earning a salary every month, and that’s important, but if you have a side hustle and you feel it has legs, take the leap and push it big time. The rewards will be well worth it in the end.


Tell us 2 things that are the BEST part about owning your own business and make it all worth while?

The ability to think of an idea, work around the challenges of bringing that idea to life, and then seeing it be executed is the best feeling in the world. Meeting different people from all walks of life is super interesting.

How has lock down affected you and your team?

The initial lockdown level 5 was a little difficult as no one knew what we were in for, however, the month of May was extremely positive and June has been great as well.

We will carry on building and developing new innovative products.

Just to let you know we in the process of developing South Africa’s first hemp sneaker which should be ready in the next 4 weeks which is hugely exciting.


Please check out their website here! And give them a follow on Facebook and Instagram.

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