THE STARTUP THAT LETS YOU SHOP COSTA RICAN SMALL BUSINESSESES – FROM ANYWHERE

Last week I was thrilled to attend a presentation by the Costa Rican startup Local Keeps. Founded by Costa Rican-born Galit Flasterstein and her husband Eric Scharf, Local Keeps is an online store that allows small Costa Rican businesses to sell their wares to customers anywhere in the world.

I’ve interacted with a number of Costa Rican artisans and small business owners in the past and heard, “Ah, I’d love to sell online someday, but I have no idea how” – so I immediately understood that Local Keeps is filling a very necessary role for its “makers,” as it calls its product creators. Two of the makers joined Galit to speak to visitors from Travel with Ann and other students at Personalized Spanish in Trés Rios on Friday: natural cosmetics creator Adriana García and fruit jewelry genius Rosa Montealegre. Rosa is pictured below with her husband, Juan.

Yup, I said fruit jewelry, which has to be seen to be believed (and you can see it here): Rosa and her now 11-person team collect unsold fruit from farmer’s market and create incredible pieces from shaved mango seeds, dried banana slices and other things you could never have imagined as bright, gorgeous rings and necklaces. Meanwhile, Adriana, a one-woman show, whips up lotions and sugar scrubs that smell good enough to eat.

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