Who leaves their country for another one? Who leaves a secure job for uncertainty? This is the story of Dani (Brazilian) and Mariano (Argentinian), who left their countries to venture into a smaller one, the one they wanted to explore together. Their desire to do something different, lead them to leave everything to move to Costa Rica.
Mariano visited CR in 2013 while vacationing with friends and upon his return to Sao Paolo, he spent an entire year telling Dani about the most beautiful country in the world, the most peaceful, the cleanest one and about its beautiful beaches. As Dani states it, it was a whole year talking about Costa Rica and preparing her for their 2014 visit. After 20 days in Costa Rica they were in love with our country, “something clicked inside us” Dani said. Mariano defines it as the Truman show syndrome: “you walk and the sun or rain accompanies you… and if your car brakes down, there is always someone there to help… everything is set up for you to have a great time in Costa Rica.
Back in Brazil, they spent nights thinking on what to do to make a living in Costa Rica. They both had jobs in television for important companies and were looking to do something different. They came across a few videos on how to make flip-flops and decided they wanted to do that. During six months they talked about nothing but flip-flops, they researched, experimented, showed the progress to their friends. The name Freak-Flops was born amongst friends and colleagues at the Venice Festival, where Mariano was working for HBO. His friends new Mariano was going to start selling flip-flops in Costa Rica and needed a name for the brand.
With two suitcases filled with 1000 flip-flops and enough money to buy a car, a printer and a sublimation machine, they arrived at Costa Rica in December 2014. In Atenas they met with one of those persons who is always willing to help. She offered them a space in her office and one fine morning they began selling their dreams imprinted in flip-flops.
Even though they come from an industry where people work up to 20 hours a day, Dani and Mariano told us they had never work as hard as when starting a new business and that’s because every single pair of flip-flops passes through their hands. Dani finds inspiration in her garden, she makes photographs of the nature that surrounds her and then works in Photoshop (self-taught). After creating the design, choosing the style and color palette, they print the design which Mariano sublimates into the flip-flop. Everything, from the logo to their social media pictures are done by them. Just a few months ago they hired their first helper, Marco, who also posed for our camera.
We love stories that are different, stories that lift up the spirit and inspire people to move. Those stories that seem like they were created in the mind of a writer and are not of this world. We are romantic and dreamers, we believe in a good future no matter what comes along. We have faith in ourselves. We hope you too believe in yourself, in your passions and venture just like Dani and Mariano to make changes, to sell everything you own and cross borders, if necessary, to pursuit your dreams.
PS: Colors of Costa Rica may not be held responsible for the outcome of selling your house and car. Do at your own risk ;)
Remember to follow Freak Flops on social media and place your orders. It’s really worth it to support this type of business that focuses on local and fair trade. You can be sure you’re getting a quality product and know where it comes from, who made it and the wonderful story behind each pair of Freak Flops.
Thanks Dani and Mariano for inviting us to your home. It was a pleasure to meet you. Our best wishes with all of your projects.
Text: William Víquez and Aurola Wedman