Local Keeps introduces Costa Rican artisans to the world
While visiting farmer’s markets and ferias, Galit Flasterstein realized she could use her passion for locally made goods to showcase the talent of the Costa Rican people.
Today, that idea has become a reality through Flasterstein’s new startup, Local Keeps. Co-owned with her husband, Eric Scharf, the online marketplace already features more than 1,000 Costa Rica-made products and is introducing artisanal Tico goods to the world.
And it’s doing so in a way that supports Costa Rican artisans and consumers alike.
“Local Keeps brings you close to the country and its people by curating and recommending the finest expressions of every product,” Flasterstein says.
Local Keeps’ strategy is targeted curation coupled with a global audience, and it all starts from their headquarters near San José. The Local Keeps team explores markets and fairs across Costa Rica to find unique, memorable products.
The Local Keeps staff builds relationships with each company — called “Makers” — to test their creations and ensure ethical business practices. If satisfied with the results, the artisanal “Keeps” appear on the Local Keeps catalogue, an e-commerce store that delivers to tourists and travelers in Costa Rica and worldwide.
From mango-seed necklaces, to traditional chorreador coffee-makers, to hand-stitched bags, Local Keeps highlights Makers with a passion for Costa Rica. They promote small businesses that are eco-conscious and give back to their Tico communities.
“Travelers and adventurers alike look for the same thing wherever they go: to experience the truthfulness of each country they visit,” Local Keeps says.
And Local Keeps aims to provide that truthfulness. Their site features personalized pages for nearly 100 of their Makers. Those stories give a face to the companies and the products they sell.
Local Keeps also offers Makers the tools to expand independently through quarterly workshops on business, marketing and inventory.
Flasterstein hopes Local Keeps will contribute to Costa Rica’s economy by helping artisan companies — some as small as a single person — tap into a global market.
Since sales began earlier this year, Local Keeps has already seen signs of a positive impact.
During a recent trip to Costa Rica, for example, one woman fell in love with a unique all-natural deodorant. After returning home, she purchased a year’s supply through Local Keeps. The international connection was a significant sale for a Costa Rican Maker who previously didn’t market online or abroad.
With Local Keeps, tourists and travelers can receive authentic Costa Rican products wherever they are in the world — from Liberia (Guanacaste) to Liberia (Africa), from San José (Costa Rica) to San Jose (California).
Whether you want to remember a Costa Rican adventure or experience a taste of pura vida from afar, Local Keeps connects Tico Makers with a global audience. And every high-quality Keep comes tested and approved, with the personal touch of a small-business artisan.
“There’s so much excitement when a product goes abroad,” Flasterstein says. “But even as we grow, we want to keep it personal.”
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