Many of you have already heard of Pura Vida Bracelets. This company is well deserving of the first feature of my new Young & Inspiring Series for many reasons. Pura Vida Bracelets was started by a couple of young bucks straight out of college after they snagged a few hundred bracelets off a street artisan in Costa Rica. They turned a simple idea into a philanthropic phenomenon.
So who are the faces behind the bright and colorful bracelets? Meet Paul & Griffin. Paul, Griffin and I all went to college in the sunkissed city of San Diego. I met Paul after sharing just about every class together during our senior year as Finance Majors. I can still remember the endless hours of studyiing together and daydreaming about our future careers as our graduation date quickly approached. I was already set to move to Los Angeles to start working with a Wealth Management Firm and Paul was lined up with a position at an Accounting Firm in San Diego.
Just a few months after graduating, I get a visit from Paul at my office in LA. He had just gotten back from a surf trip down in Costa Rica and wanted to show me his new business venture. From the back of his car he pulled out a box of what I thought were colorful strings. After hearing the concept behind Pura Vida Bracelets and that he was putting his careeer on hold, I practically shook him in hope that he would wake up from his daydream and face reality. “You’re crazy. Get a job Paul.” And then I made my way back up the stairs to my crowded desk at a job I hated.
Fast forward to present day and Pura Vida Bracelets has almost 45,000 Facebook Fans and they continue to introduce new and trendy products that are all crafted by local artisans in Costa Rica. I’ve already got their new Hippie Headbands for Coachella! This dynamic entrepreneurial duo now employs 15 full-time artisans as well as a staff just as large in San Diego to manage the incredible demand. Not only are they helping support Costa Ricans but they also partner with 1% For the Planet and donate proceeds to the Surfrider Foundation helping protect beaches and oceans worldwide. They have also been incredbly generous by donating bracelets for my own fundraising efforts for Peruvian Hearts.
Paul and Griffin’s story is truly inspiring and shows that sometimes we just need to follow our hearts. Shortly after walking back up those stairs to the job I hated, I also walked away from a future that I knew wasn’t right for me and began to pursue my dream of “The Blonde Abroad”… even if it seemed like a long-shot. Enjoying life slowly, celebrating good fortune and not taking anything for granted embodies the Pura Vida Lifestyle. Pura Vida for Life!
“I get to go to work in flip flops and shorts every day and we are changing peoples lives. It feels amazing.” -Paul Goodman, Co-Founder of Pura Vida Bracelets
I always travel wearing a Pura Vida Bracelet! Please help support the Pura Vida cause and look great while doing it visit www.PuraVidaBracelets.com
Photos by: Brita Potenza