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The Stories Behind Thriving Costa Rica Women Businesses

Fri, Feb 28, 20

The world needs women entrepreneurs. Recent academic studies in areas as diverse as sociology, economics and development have indicated that female-led businesses are bound to improve the economy of the community they live in and influence positively the lives of those people around them. How?

One clear benefit stated in these studies is that women usually cater to different niches, in contrast to business led by men. By doing so, they help strengthen the country’s economy. They are also more likely to reinvest in the community and boost other small businesses. Businesses created by women help them secure their financial independence and take a stronger leadership role.

Also, these businesses are often more innovative. Experiences, needs and perspectives of women entrepreneurs are different, and these differences help support other initiatives and promote a more robust economy. Local Keeps promotes the businesses of dozens of women entrepreneurs. On International Women’s Day, here are some of the most captivating stories.

When Life Gives You Lemons, Turn Them Into Costa Rica Jewelry

Rosa Montenegro’s Joyería Frutal began in 2011, amidst hardships. Unable to continue with her husband’s enterprise due to a back injury, Rosa began to experiment with materials including fruits, setting the grounds to what now is her own business. 

Costa Rica Jewelry

Mango seeds and bananas are key to make each piece.

The fruits used are sun dried for approximately two to three weeks before being dyed, painted, punctured and crafted into wonderful Costa Rica jewelry. Rosa’s fruit business has helped not only her, but also her husband to move on and support themselves, and at the same time create wonderful art in harmony with nature.

Currently, Rosa and her team of 11 people create incredible pieces made from mango seeds, orange peels and banana slices. The team is composed entirely of women, as Rosa is committed to helping other women through her business. 

What started shyly as a way to make an income has now become the main source of revenue for her family. Although the road has been long and winding, Rosa’s vision has not only transformed her life, it has helped her family and the people around her. 

Trash Into Treasure

An important concept within any small business is solving a real problem. In Stella and Marcela’s case, they were concerned with the amount of plastic bag waste generated daily. This is why they decided to start researching various complex processes to give these bags a new life. 

Why did they see this as important? Over 500,000 million plastic bags are used every year. These bags are made from low density polyethylene, high density polyethylene or non-biodegradable plastic. All of them take seconds to make, yet hundreds of years to degrade. What’s worse: only one percent of the bags are recycled. 

Slow Fashion Costa Rica

Their items are so stylish, you’ll find it hard to believe it’s reused plastic!

Trash Lifestyle uses plastic bags and cloth to make handmade gifts for daily use. As a brand committed to preserving the environment, they offer a wide range of products with great attention to detail, design and quality finishes.  From purses to wallets and totes, each product is different, innovative, and has aligned itself with the latest fashion trends. 

Following the Scent of Women Entrepreneurs 

Adriana, the owner of Adriá Handmade Natural Cosmetics, started her businesses 5 years ago out of a life-long fascination. Spending hours in her grandmother’s room, selecting her favorite perfume, helped her develop a special relationship with scents and cosmetics. 

As years went by, Adriana also became interested in nature and healthy living. She began making her own cosmetics, and became so absorbed in her new hobby that slowly became a business. Her main interest, however, is to create products that help people find the perfect balance between mind, body and spirit. 

Adriá products intend to create an emotional connection with the people that use them. The blend of natural ingredients like coconut oil and coffee, with essential oils are bound to create this effect.


Local Keeps is the best Costa Rica Online Shopping place to find quality and impactful handcrafted gifts. Navigate our categories or write to us at galit@localkeeps.com if you have any questions!

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