Giving Back,Travel

Meet our (Original!) Artisans: Jorge & Joaquín

In the summer of 2010, a college graduation trip to Costa Rica turned into a life-changing business venture for two Southern California friends, Griffin Thall and Paul Goodman. While traveling through Costa Rica, Griffin and Paul crossed paths with two bracelet artisans named Jorge and Joaquín. The colorful handmade bracelets they were selling seemed to capture the essence of their journey. No one would have expected for this casual encounter to grow into the successful partnership that it is today, and we're so proud to say that Jorge and Joaquín are still an integral part of our growth!
Pura Vida's original artisans, Jorge and Joaquín, on the beach in Costa Rica where they first met Paul and Griffin, selling bracelets on their original table, 8 years later!
We could talk all day about how amazing our partnership has been with these two, but we thought it would be more fun to hear the story directly from Jorge and Joaquín, while also getting to know our friends that truly started it all!

Meet Jorge!

Where were you born and raised? Born in San Jose Costa Rica. And raised in San José and Heredia. How long have you and Joaquín known each other? About 15 years. Before Pura Vida Bracelets, what did you do for a living? Travel through Central America selling crafts... Where did you meet Paul and Griffin? In Playa Dominical, in Costa Rica...we were selling on the beach when they embarked with a classic bracelet in his hand and asked to us 300 of them but in many colors. How exactly are the bracelets made? 100% with your hands. A knot for here, a knot for there. You use the chain to make, but the limit is the imagination. You can make an infinite number of designs.... How long have you been making the bracelets? Actually 15 years.... Where did you learn to make them? Joaquin teach me, hahahaha. Joaquín and other friends teach me. But above all Joaquín. Favorite bracelet? Undoubtedly, the black anchor with gray thread.... How has working with Pura Vida impacted your life? Certainly, changed all my life and all the life that surrounds me, family and friends, everything is completely different. Pura Vida helps many people and it is good to know. And it feels so good to be totally involved in that support. What is your favorite part about working with Pura Vida? Freedom. Working with Pura Vida is different, it's like the phrase, It's Pure Life. Sometimes work is hard, but you can feeling good. What does "Pura Vida" mean to you? Basically everything. It's not just a job, It's something that involves everything, not just your family and friends, also all your time, your spaces and even thoughts in day to day. Favorite vacation spot? Or the best place to visit off the beaten track? I like Montezuma beach...but the best place will always be Cahuita in Limón.

Meet Joaquín!

Where were you born and raised? What was that like? I was born in Heredia, Costa Rica which is a lay back place with fresh climate. I was always surrounded by family, friends, music and skateboards. How long have you two known each other? We’ve known each other for 15 years, we used to get together and talk about books, music and crafting. Before Pura Vida Bracelets, what did you do for a living? I used to travel all over Central America with Jorge and other friends selling handicrafts. Where did you meet Paul and Griffin? I met them in Playa Dominical (Dominical beach), we used to visit this place and sell handicrafts, they came up to us with an idea and a proposal and we accepted the challenge. How exactly are the bracelets made? The bracelets are made with raw material on hand, string, scissors, fire and with creativity. How long have you been making them? Hmmm... lots of time. Where did you learn to make them? I used to hang out with friends that are artisans outside the National University and they transmitted the knowledge of crafting. With what I learned I created my own style. Favorite bracelet? My favorite style will always be the classic bracelet, since it was the beginning of all. How has working for Pura Vida impacted your life? The jump has been huge, a lot of responsibilities but most of all the pride of knowing that many people are benefit by this family, friends and artisans. What’s your favorite part about working with Pura Vida? Pura Vida is a company run by two incredible people. It is a pleasure to be able to work with them. What does “Pura Vida” mean to you? Pura Vida is a source of opportunities, it is the smile and pleasure of seeing the artisan take home the results of their effort and the pleasure of knowing that the bracelet makes the bearer smile. Favorite vacation spot? My favorite place is Monteverde, I like places with biodiversity with fresh weather, rain and wild animals.

COmment your favorite bracelet style below, and Check back next week to get to know some of our artisans in Costa Rica!

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