Jewelry retailer Pura Vida has a compelling story to tell. The company began with two Americans, Griffin Thall and Paul Goodman, who were visiting Costa Rica on a post-college surfing vacation. To help defray the costs of the trip, they decided to see if locally hand-crafted bracelets would sell well back in their home town of San Diego. The 400 bracelets they placed in a bowl at a local boutique sold out quickly, and a business was born.
Now, six years later, Pura Vida (Spanish for "pure life") has grown large enough to provide dozens of well-paying jobs for artisans in Costa Rica. The bracelets and other items, including apparel, are sold online and in approximately 2,500 retail locations, such as small boutiques and natural food stores.