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Costa Rica bracelets do big business in US

March 9, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
What started as a relaxing vacation turned into a booming business for two local men.

They met a struggling bracelet vendor in Costa Rica and teamed up with him to sell the bracelets in the U.S. And now business has taken off, and that has changed the Costa Rican man's life.

College buddies Griffin Thall and Paul Goodman went on a surfing vacation in Costa Rica after graduation. They figured they'd start looking for jobs when they came home. But a chance encounter with a Costa Rican named Jorge sparked a business idea.

The guys figured the man's colorful handmade bracelets might be popular, so they bought several.

Back home in California, they sold the bracelets for $5 each, and they sold fast. So they ordered another thousand and started Pura Vida Bracelets. Pura Vida means "Pure Life" in Spanish.

Jorge enlisted a friend to help him make the bracelets.

Paul and Griffin put their accounting and marketing degrees to good use to build their new business.

Jorge's life has changed for the better as a result.