Kickass Entrepreneur: Pura Vida Bracelets
They’re fashionable, they’re colorful and they stand for a great cause. Pura Vida Bracelets have become a fashion trend that shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
Pura Vida sprang to life following a graduation trip to Costa Rica. During their trip, friends Griffin Thall and Paul Goodman happened upon two men selling the chic, colorful bracelets on the streets in a small town.
Goodman and Thall realized that the men, Jorge and Joaquin, were living in a single room with three beds shared by several other family members. So they decided to buy 400 of the hand-made bracelets and take them back to the United States.
From there, Goodman and Thall sold the bracelets in a San Diego boutique, and before they knew it, the trinkets sold out. The friends realized that they had two opportunities in front of them: creating a profitable business and providing jobs for artisans in Costa Rica. Artisans Jorge and Joaquin went from selling a few bracelets a week to more than 20,000 a week. Their bracelets are now sold in more than 2,500 surf shops, boutiques, college bookstores, and chain stores around the world.
Q: What was the inspiration behind Pura Vida?
Goodman: We started Pura Vida after a college graduation surf trip to Costa Rica. We were traveling around down there, hanging out on the beaches, and taking in the surf when we met two local artisans hand-making bracelets and selling them to tourists. We decided we wanted to bring back the bracelets with us as a way to share our journey with everyone back home and also help out the artisans in Costa Rica.
Thall: We wanted to make a difference and share our journey from Costa Rica with the world.
Q: What’s your favorite bracelet design and why?
Goodman: My favorite bracelet design is the original collection. I keep it classic and simple.
Thall: My favorite bracelet design is the Flat Braided Collection because of its thicker look and intricate design.
Q: If you could be a superhero, who would it be and why?
Goodman: Gotta go with Superman. To be able to fly would just be epic.
Thall: Remy from “Ratatouille.”
Q: What’s your favorite thing about traveling to Costa Rica?
Goodman: The beaches and visiting with the team. The beaches are some of the best beaches in the world, and our team is constantly growing down there. So to visit with them, it is always cool to see how everything has grown since we first started.
Thall: The easy-going, laid-back vibe of the entire culture.
Q: What’s the best part about doing business in San Diego?
Goodman: The best part of doing business in San Diego is the close-knit group of entrepreneurs that come together to work and build great companies. Everyone bounces ideas off each other and it is a great group to work with.
Thall: I love doing business in San Diego because of the weather, surf, and all my friends live here.
Q: What motto or quote do you try to live by?
Goodman: To being, you must begin.
Thall: Live free, pura vida.
Q: What are your favorite hobbies in San Diego?
Goodman: Golf, ride my motorcycle, and, of course, the beach.
Thall: I love taking photos on my Canon 6D and aerial photography on my DJI Inspire 1 Drone. I also love to play golf, surf, and hang at the beach.
Q: Three things you would take to a deserted island?
Goodman: Some Pura Vidas, a couple of beers, and a beach chair.
Thall: My cellphone, my camera, and a towel.