Our Story



Many years ago I purchased an expensive pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses prior to a bareboat charter in the BVI. Knowing myself and my penchant for jumping overboard without remembering to secure my glasses, I fastened a wine cork to an existing lanyard and —voila!

Well, not exactly. The cork wouldn’t float my sunglasses, but it would slow their descent (which buys you some time when you’re frantically chasing them to the ocean floor). More notably, people would comment on how cool the cork looked dangling from behind.

The multiple responses from complete strangers gave me an “Aha!” moment, so when we returned home I started working on 3 aspects of the idea: buoyancy, attachment and printing. The first two issues were fairly easy to resolve, but it took several evolutions and a dollop of happenstance to remedy the printing issue. We tried everything from branding the ends to indelible ink pads and stamps, to no avail.

Then I saw an article about a local manufacturer of sunglasses made from river wood (wood pulled from the bottom of the Cape Fear river). Thinking I could pick his brain regarding the eyewear biz, I scheduled a visit to his shop. It was there that he demonstrated how he printed his brand name on the side of the wooden frames. Turns out, he didn’t print; he engraved the frames with a laser. ( Aha! #2 ) Yadda yadda yadda…skip ahead, skip ahead, and for almost a decade now we’ve been assembling KORKZ custom sunglass straps with quality materials and ink-free engraving. It’s a modus operandi that’s served us well, and we think Socrates would approve.


Ron & Katharine Hesmer

"Such a great gift for any occasion!"

Elizabeth Ham
// Google Review

Amazing service! My daughter loves our KORKZ and always grabs them for herself.  I asked about kids sizes and Ron was able to shorten the lanyard to better fit her. They arrived just a few days later and they’re perfect!

Nature Lover
// Google Review

KORKZ is the absolute best.  I initially ordered the package containing two "floaters."  They are made in such fine style, that I needed just one more to gift to my sons.  He made that second order a seamless transaction.  If Ron is awake, he will most likely answer your inquiry immediately. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

Melissa Ramos
// Google Review

BEST PRODUCT! Such a great gift for any occasion - love the customization capabilities! CEO couldn’t be nicer. Functional, durable, and definitely a great conversation piece!

Caitlin Robinson
// Google Review

This company has AMAZING customer service. Their website didn't indicate if I could get overnight/expedited shipping for an order for a family vacation, so I emailed their general email and they got back to me right away. Ron helped me in just a few short emails to not only ensure that they would ship the package priority, but also to place the order for me, and to initiate a PayPal request so I didn't even have to return to the website and place an order! I am very excited to give these out to my family on our Lake Powell trip next week. Thank you, KORKZ!

April Kelly
// Google Review

What do you give a relative for a gift that is an avid beach-goer, lives on the water and fishes a lot, and has everything he wants?  I had no idea, but a few years ago, I gave this to my family member and he's been wearing it every day. He has been asking where I got it from because he wanted to get himself another one.  Well, I decided to contact the company on-line to make this one more customized for him, and they got back to me immediately within a few minutes, made sure my order was exactly how I wanted it, and had it ready for shipment within no time at all!!  Thank you for the great customer service KORKZ!

Johnny Jennings
// Google Review

The KORKZ merchandise is customizable and amazing!  We have placed 2 orders - the quality is awesome and turn around time is fast.  GREAT job KORKZ!