Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cork: My New Investment Opportunity

I’ve been busy…

Guess where I was last week?  Again.  Here are some photos to help you out.

I’ll make it even easier on you.  It’s a multiple choice question:

A.      Kuala Lumpur
B.      Abbottabad, Pakistan
C.      Manhattan
D.      Byhalia, Mississippi

I think it’s generally accepted that if you do not know the answer on a multiple choice test, your best chance picking the correct answer is to go with option C. 

Returning from a meeting one afternoon, I snapped these pics on my way back to the hotel.  It’s the best I could do. 

At first, this post had nothing to do with anything, except that I’ve been busy and my postings have caught up with me! 

I don’t normally let my ‘non-blog’ career life and AJBarnes collide, but there’s a connection here – albeit a stretch! 

Since my ‘non-blog’ career is focused on retail design, I pay close attention to what’s happening in the retail world.  From a retail design perspective, Anthropologie is the golden child everyone else is chasing at the moment.  They do a great job with their environment and visual merchandising.  A focus of theirs is to relate to their local audience or city.  I’m not sure how these 30 Rock windows related to NYC, other than there are a lot of restaurants in NYC serving a lot of Vino!  I assumed that was it.    

Or they installed these displays in honor of my visit. 

This looks like my house on a Friday Saturday Tuesday evening!

But, then I had an idea, my mind was racing.  The possibilities!  I’ll recycle the waste bi-product of my number one vice into a tangible sellable product (ok, ok…one of my vices)! 

I can see it now…

Jewelry: i.e.…Dangly chandelier earrings and cork necklaces
Home Décor:  Cork flower vases (I may have to rethink that one)
Fine artwork:  Made from wine labels (although this will be somewhat limited to Pinot Grigio and Chianti Classico)
Garden Sculpture:  Wine Bottle Yard Art (It know it’s been done but I’ll have a fresh new approach) 

It wasn’t until I edited the pics for the blog that I noticed the words on the wine bottle label.  At first I didn’t pay any attention.  But, upon closer observation I realized it read (or at least I think it reads)…

“The most endangered feline in the world, the Iberian Lynx lives amid the cork forest of the Mediterranean basin.  A Protected Home.”

What are they talking about?  What is Anthropologie, who is a very good environmentally conscience retailer trying to tell me?  Are they telling me they’re sorry for mowing down a large chunk of a Mediterranean basin forest for the billion corks required to install their display windows, thus increasing the plight of the Iberian Lynx?  Or, are they telling me to cut back on my wine consumption so the Lynx can flourish?  I’m confused. 

So I googled and according to environmental organizations and and this is what I learned.

‘The rise of inexpensive…wine and convenience-obsessed consumer culture are threatening the ancient and sustainable cork industry. 
…the potential loss of … ‘green jobs’ and … plastic stoppers and screw caps are bad for the environment, the cork industry also sustains large areas of industry-managed forests, which are hotspots for biodiversity.

Cork forest are not cut down, but rather the trees are striped of their soft bark every nine years throughout their 200-year lifespan.  This makes the industry very sustainable because it requires no deforestation or biodiversity loss…

…the WWF estimates that as much as 1/3 of the Mediterranean’s cork forest could be lost if the trend continues…

This just strengthens my new business idea.  Things made of corks!
It will help the Iberian Lynx.  In fact, a percentage of the sales from my cork key chains will go to re-establishing their natural ‘protected home’. 

Once again I’m right on trend!  I’m looking for investors. Let me know if you want in.

Side note:  I’m sure I’ve just pissed someone off – again.  Like the time some nut job got all bent about my zebra rug posting.  Although I made it clear that I was not in favor of a REAL zebra rug (although I was OK with cowhide), this person sent a nasty comment telling me and my ‘design maven friends who had commented on the post’ how awful we were! This person went on for paragraphs about how we were as barbaric as a ‘recently discovered tribe of cannibals.”  I deleted it. 

Later that week Study, a design firm in Chicago listed AJBarnes and the zebra rug posting on their weekly ‘blogs to watch’ list. 

I am very pro-animal rights!  I don’t really care for red meat (except for a good cheese burger).  I believe in free speech and my blog is open to all POVs, but once you get all up in my face and start spouting craziness, I’m going to go Cee Lo on your ass and you will get deleted. 

So here’s to the Iberian Lynx.  I support you. 

Here’s to real wine bottle corks.  Here’s to my new line of cork undergarments.

And most importantly, here’s to the bottle of wine I’m about to drink! 


  1. here's to this post!
    here is NOT to YOU always mentioning how i hate writing words on MY posts. sometimes i write words, mostly i don't. sometimes you have to write words to get a point across bc you have crazy commenters who get allup in your grill bc they are fat and jealous of your cutes.

    moving on- cork.
    i drink wine a lot too. so i am happy to hear i am helping lynxs in the process.
    and lenox mall anthro has that exact same cork display in the window.
    so does the west side store. there is also a bucket inside where they encourage you to bring them YOUR corks for recycling. i.e. craft projects across the land. i am looking forward to walking in with my duffle bag full of corks and seeing their faces.

  2. My best Jen,
    I love your many or as few as you choose to give me...and I'll never bring up the subject again! you do realize you are my hero, wine, chocolate eggs, big boobs and all!

  3. because i am a vegan a lot of people think i leave nasty comments on other people's blogs when they post on zebra rugs and cheeseburgers. but i swear i do not. i never have. people do leave me nasty comments though and i somewhat like them. i don't know why that is.


  4. I'm totally stealing that cork on string idea at somepoint. Hmmm .... a chandelier perhaps?

    Here's the link to the portfolio that had the images you liked! :)

  5. Loved this post great displays and great info too.

  6. Yesssssss. Sign me up for a cork bra por favor. And maybe panties.. well, maybe I'd just need two corks for that job.. Haaaaa. oy.

    And no wonder Anthro is the golden child of window displays, because they always rock my face off. Usually with old books and stuff that is trash, which makes it rock that much more. Next up? an abundance of lynx tails.


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