Hello! I'm Daren, owner and operator of Pura Vida Home and Gift. I've always wanted to open my own store. Having been in retail my entire life, I felt it was time to put my skills to the test. So when a perfect opportunity presented itself, I took it. The historic characteristics of the space were exactly what I envisioned for the store. I was given a blank slate to develop a store any way I wanted. Am I in Heaven? I designed the layout, chose the paint colors, handpicked every piece of product and merchandised the entire store. I enjoyed every minute of it!
As I said, I have been in retail my entire life. I began my retail career by working in the shipping department (part of my job was installing sensor-matics on clothing). From there I have worked in Sales, Management, Visual Merchandising, and Buying. The only thing I had not done is manage the entire business. Now that I have that opportunity, I'm learning the rest of the puzzle. I'm getting hands-on lessons in social marketing, accounting, and website building.
Being in business for myself gives me the greatest reward, making customers happy! I love the one on one interaction. It allows me the opportunity to talk about the products, answer questions and hear feedback from each and every customer. My goals are to offer products that are American made, present a store worth visiting, support local artisans and craftsmen, and most importantly, give the customer something they will be proud to show in their homes or give as a gift.
I live in Boston, but have a Southern accent. Customers always ask me where I'm from. That's a hard question to answer as my Dad was in the Army. We moved every 1 - 3 years. Before I moved to Boston, I lived in New Orleans for 10 years and loved it! The history and mystique of the city intrigued me (and it was really fun). For those reasons, and its proximity to Biloxi, MS, (my birth place) I consider myself from New Orleans. It's a fun, casual, relaxed city, which matches my personality.