Company has style and charity at hand

Company has style and charity at hand

by Chelsea Baer

After graduating from San Diego State in 2010, Griffin Thall and his best friend Paul Goodman took a five-week trip to Costa Rica. During their vacation, they met two men braiding bracelets on the beach. Little did they know this chance encounter would lead to an amazing business venture that today is partnered with more than 100 charities and provides jobs for dozens of underprivileged Costa Ricans.

This is probably not your first time hearing about Pura Vida. Just walk around campus and you can spot someone with one of these handcrafted beauties wrapped around their wrists. Pura Vida makes more than just bracelets. They have recently expanded to hair ties, beanies, clothes and more.

As its website explains, Pura Vida, which translates to “pure life” in English, is about “enjoying life slowly, celebrating good fortune and not taking anything for granted … It’s about being free and living life to it’s fullest with no regrets or taking anything for granted; it’s an attitude.”

Goodman and Thall are always brainstorming new product ideas and styles in their La Jolla showroom. When coming out with new designs, they do so without straying too far from the original style that the bracelets were built upon.

People buy Pura Vida products for more than just the color or design, there is also the philanthropic element. Because Pura Vida partners with charities, including the Surfrider Foundation, every time you make a purchase you can feel good knowing a portion of the proceeds will go to a great cause.

You don’t have to travel far to pick up a Pura Vida product. They are sold at a variety of stores, including Pacsun, Nordstrom, Sacs and smaller boutiques. They have even been advertised in a segment on Good Morning America.

The fact that these products can be found anywhere from a bohemian boutique to high-end department stores is a testament to the hard work and marketing done by the Pura Vida team. The common thread that ties the stores that sell Pura Vida products together is the appreciation for a quality product that was ethically produced.

The list of celebrities who support the brand is impressive: Robert Downey Jr., David Beckham, Rob Kardashian, and various Victoria’s Secret models proudly wear the bracelets on the same arm as their Rolex or Cartier accessories.

If you connect with the Pura Vida message and want to get involved with the company, you can become an intern or a campus representative for SDSU. Simply visit the website and fill out an application. Or if you want to show off your love for the products, post a photo on instagram with the hashtag “#puravidabracelets” and it may be posted on the official company account.

Pura Vida is a flourishing business built on a foundation of charity and hard work. The range of customers and vendors is a testament to the great message the products embody.

Photo by Monica Linzmeier, photo editor