Meet Michelle Brown: mother, successful business woman, and survivor. Currently residing in New York City, Michelle lives there with her husband, two sons, and rescue dog. She is also the owner of All Cork, a company that sells luxurious handbags, wallets, and accessories made out of cork.
Michelle’s desire to work with cork started on a visit to Portugal in 2009. While there, she was introduced to cork items and could not wait to spread the word about the unique, versatile material. Unbeknownst to many, cork harvesting does not harm the tree in any way; instead, the bark is extracted entirely by hand by skilled, trained technicians—no machines needed! The first harvest occurs when the tree is approximately 25 years of age, and the bark regenerates so harvesting can continue every 9-12 years until the tree is approximately 150-200 years old.
The idea that cork is a sustainable and renewable resource is exciting because Michelle has a deep love for the environment; it is important to her that her company be eco-friendly and has as little damaging impact on the environment as possible.
Michelle’s passion for the environment extends to her desire to help others. In June 2008, Michelle was diagnosed with leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant to survive. With no potential matches in her family, Michelle was forced to turn to the public registry and rely on the generosity of a complete stranger to save her life. She received a transplant five months later and anticipates a day where she can thank her hero in person.
She feels blessed to have received a second chance at life and is using her business to give back. Michelle is generously donating a portion of her company’s proceeds to Gift of Life. She said, “Gift of Life has been a huge source of support for my family through my illness, transplant, and recovery. It is an organization that is dear to my heart.”
In addition to giving back through All Cork, Michelle will be running a bone marrow recruitment drive in September at the Hamptons Marathon. Her hope is that everyone participating and cheering the runners will also join the registry and have the potential to save a life!
For more information on All Cork, visit www.allcork.com