Sunday, June 7, 2009

Cora Jacob - Designer, Entrepreneur

Cora Jacob, former criminal lawyer, now an internationally reknown handbag designer, was in London this week to speak at the "Power of the Purse" conference celebrating the empowerment of women. Cora's story is fascinating--she started Cojac Leather products while still practicing law some 30 years ago and experimented in using indigenous materials and leather in her native Philippines. She first sold her bags door to door, and in 1982, she got her break when Princess Stephanie of Monaco, who was a buyer for Christian Dior, saw her bags at a trade show. Cora received the Golden Shell Award in 1982 for marketing and export excellence. She is also admired for her focus on empowering women--her non-profit foundation, Cora Cares, trains women to make bags so they can support themselves. After a decade away from the company due to health issues, Cora came back, and with the help of her daughters, formed La Cora Creatives, which has four lines of designer handbags, one of which is designed by her youngest daughter, Pinky. I was lucky enough to meet Cora, and see her designs first hand, and they are stunning, as the photos below demonstrate.
Her line of evening bags made from shells are beautiful works of art
These bags are woven from plant fibres and incorporate shells and leather


  1. Dear Mrs. Cora Jacob,
    Glad to hear about you again. I try to contact you, but seems you disappear somewhere.
    Your designs still beautiful as before.
    We still works with rattan and other natural materials for handbags. We just launched a new brand last month, the Borneo Chic. If we had time, we want to meet you. Please give me your address. Hopefully we can meet again in the near future.
    Hope to hear from you soon.
    Warm regards,
    Alty and Rudy Utama
    Jl. Cendrawasih 53 B, Pontianak
    Tel.Fax : 62-561-732097
    email :

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  4. who was a buyer for Christian Dior, saw her bags at a trade show.

  5. I would like to call Cora Jacob an inspiration for me. Her entrepreneur mistakes taught me plenty and these are the things to take experience from. So I'm really happy I had the chance to reflect on her life.

  6. Hi Cora, greetings from Marbella, Spain. I wonder when exactly and why closed your shop here, at the Puente Romano hotel, and what is doing the charming french lady that use to run it. Best regards

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  8. She passed away already. May she rest in peace.

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