Get to know more about the people and passions behind Pura Vida…
Pura Vida is all about people and their passions. It’s about travel and music, fashion and food, fitness and cocktails. It’s about style with soul! So where did the influences for Pura Vida come from and what quirky and interesting stories can the people behind Pura Vida share with you?
Here Maria, the originator of Pura Vida (and cat-lover as you might have noticed from her Instagram and Twitter feeds!), tells us about her nomadic life, her favourite way to spend a Saturday, reveals her quarter life crisis and her off-beat taste in movies…
Where did Pura Vida Come from?
I got the idea to do Pura Vida in 2010 when I moved to Spain. I already had the logo and the main concept ready around 2011, but it took me a good three years to build the ideas and pushing my brother (Ranko) to build me the custom blog I wanted to start. I didn’t want to use WordPress and I had too many weird requirements - so it could be exactly like I had it in my head. Finally in 2014 it was ready.
I always wanted to have a partner to share it with though, so when I met Luca and realised that he has the coolest sister with similar interests I felt that it was finally time to start! I asked if Bianca wanted to join – she did, and the rest is history.
Everyone uses social media, everyone has photo albums, everyone has recipe books and everyone loves to travel. This is just taking it to the next level with collecting all our passions together on one site and hopefully helping other people to reach their own Pura Vida as well. In a way it helps me. I look at my passions, and I ask myself what could I do better, what could I learn, what would be interesting to share with other people like myself?
What does Pura Vida mean to you?
It is something that is mine, something where I share the craziness that is in my head with the world. Pura Vida is the place where I collect all my memories and dreams to remind myself, and others, what it is all about.
Tell us about you?
I was born on a cold snow-stormy night in Tallinn, Estonia. I was an extremely outgoing and hyper child. When I was 20 I moved to Spain for three years, where I did all my partying, and exploring of the new world I had opened for myself with travelling. Then, after a while I calmed down a bit and moved to London, by now I have lived here for three years with my kick-ass future husband Luca. He is half Italian-half South African, so it was like getting to know a totally different culture once again. Oh, and I also have a super awesome big brother Ranko (he thought that I'm hinting on his weight here, hihii) - lots to brag about, haha!
I feel connected with so many countries, that I don’t even understand anymore where am I from. The travelling kind of developed multiple personalities for myself – one in each language. It is very strange, but I have to say I like my English one the most. All this moving around has changed me so much, that I wouldn't even recognise the person who was packing to leave Estonia six years ago. But when I go back to Estonia, I see myself acting a bit like I used to be in the past when I used to live there. When I go back to Spain I start thinking like I used to think when I used to live there. I’m not sure how to explain that - it is the weirdest feeling. I wonder if I will ever get a 4th me? Travelling just makes my heart sing! Discovering new things is the best feeling in the world!
I used to eat to live, now I live to eat (blame Luca). I used to love cocktails and drinks, now I'm mainly on water (blame health). I was the most hyper, and black-and-white thinking person, now I'm super calm and chilled with an open mind, not afraid of anything – bring it on! I'm a world traveller in training.
Describe yourself in three words…
Patient, optimistic, honest.
Complete this sentence “When I grow up I want to be…”
A superhero? At least for someone! … And a happy big kid. If I have to name an occupation I would be a Professional Gift Buyer.
Who or what are your biggest influences?
I believe in three things: what goes around comes around; time is the most important thing in life; you should give everyone a chance until they prove you wrong.
As to who - it would most definitely be my parents, lots of wisdom to share here in the future. My father taught me how to stand up for myself, be fearless and not to care what anyone thinks. My mother taught me how to understand other people and see good in everything.
What’s your day job?
Huuuuh, the question would be ‘what isn’t my day job?’
I’m on a mission learning to do every job that is out there while having my quarter life crisis! I work for a fashion brand four days a week, and for three days a week I do accounting for a classic car dealership. A couple of times a year I spend a week being a Medical PA for two consultants, and every now and then I do social media marketing for different companies. I've also been a model, worked in TV, been a cocktail bartender, sold real estate, had my own shop and web design company. I haven't yet stumbled upon anything to commit to and why should I? I like keeping things interesting. If I would have to choose a future career it would be in digital marketing. I just wish I had more time to deal with my favourite of them all - Pura Vida!
“The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.” Robert Frost
Name the different places you have lived?
Tallinn, Estonia. Altea, Spain. London, UK.
Favourite place to travel/holiday?
Since I have friends and family in Estonia and Spain we always end up going there, but I would really like to explore some more of Luca's heritage in Italy and do a proper USA road trip soon.
Favourite place in London?
In three years, I’ve lived and/or worked in Greenwich, Clapton, Bank, Park Royal, Wembley, Chiswick, Sheen, Fulham and Wimbledon. Spending so much time in all these very different areas I have most certainly decided that I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in London than WIMBLEDON, but for a daytime stroll I also enjoy the South Kensington and Chelsea area.
What’s your favourite way to spend a Saturday?
When I'm lucky enough to get a Saturday off, then my favourite way is to spend it with Luca – starting with breakfast in bed, then going to explore somewhere new, finding interesting markets and food stalls, doing some food shopping. Then having couple of drinks in a cozy bar, and then going home to spend the rest of the day cooking together in the kitchen with some awesome music on in the background. That is what keeps me going at work, thinking about that Saturday!
Favourite way to workout?
My favourite ways are the ways I almost never get around to – jet skiing, kayaking, swimming, going for long walks.
Top three ‘bad-ass running songs’ at the moment:
The only time in my life I loved running was when I lived by the beach in Spain. There was this perfect running road from Altea to Albir (4km one way) just next to the beach. And the best time for running was between 1-3 am (slow, fast, slow, fast, boom, boom, good for my interval training, hahaha! I just adore these dark, kind of drum and bass-y tunes):
1) Frankee – Deep Down (feat. Caan)
2) Wilkinson – Hopelessly Coping
3) Caan – Into The Night (autoKratz Remix)
Favourite painting, artist or sculpture?
Gustav Klimt – The Kiss
Basil Gimlet in the evening, Bloody Mary at inappropriate o’clock.
For breakfast - Eggs Benedict with turkey ham and cheddar cheese. For lunch - buckwheat porridge with red pepper sauce. For dinner - Luca’s mum's homemade curry.
Favourite ice cream?
I know it’s difficult to trust people who don’t like ice cream…but… I don’t really like ice cream. I'm not a massive fan of sweets, but after a stressful week I'm totally capable of drowning myself in a chocolate cheesecake!
Fun story: One cold winter day at work I got a suprise visit from Bianca.... she bought me hot chocolate, and not only, it was topped with whipped cream! I just looked at it and I was "ewww, but it's pure sugar, how can you drink that!?!?" I felt soooo-soooo bad! But I just can't even force myself to have something so sweet. She was being as sweet as the chocolate, but I wasn't capable of drinking it.
Better question for me would be "What's your favourite cheese?"
Favourite fashion designer?
My new favourite is Antonio Marras, but I can never look away from anything that comes from Frankie Morello (by Maurizio Modica and Pierfrancesco Gigliotti).
Music and Movies…
Both music and movies are like the rest of my life – a perfect mess. I've been through all kinds of phases with age and moving countries that I don't have just one favourite.
I like music from Vivaldi, Edith Piaf and Frank Sinatra to MNEK, Arctic Monkeys and Paolo Nutini; from Deep house to 90s Italian disco. It also depends on the people I spend time with.
Movies? I want to see them all, even the really bad ones, I'm just too curious. What I really like are stories that give me the chills or bring a tear to my eye. It's fun to watch comedies, but they are usually not anything special. I also enjoy interesting movies, watching all the old Luis Bunuel and Frederico Fellini movies give me the weirdest feelings and ideas.
If I had to name my top three movies it would probably be:
1. The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989);
2. Sleuth (1972 & 2007 both);
3. A Single Man (2009).
At the moment - Mads Mikklesen. His performance in Hannibal is just too good to be true.
What’s your favourite movie quote?
“I always tell the truth, even when I lie” Tony Montana.
Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs.
What was your favourite book as a child?
The Rescuers, AristoCats and Lady and the Tramp – mice, cats, dogs – anything goes for little Mammu (Maria) if it has animals in it.
If you were a character in a book (or movie) who would you be?
I wouldn't mind trying the Limitless pill, so Eddie Morra...or Schindler in Schindler's list. But most of my favourite characters have very complicated and sad lives, so I would rather not go there, because therapy is very expensive.
Who would you love to interview for Pura Vida?
Mr Hudson! If it was my call every one our Pura Vida playlists would have him in it. Listening to his music (and Big Kids) while living in Spain made me want to move to London…best decision of my life.
Name one thing on your bucket list?
My ultimate dream? To own a house somewhere warm, on the beach, with a hammock, cocktail bar and the Pura Vida lifestyle ;)
What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
I would love to say that I drink some warm lemon water, cook a healthy breakfast and do some yoga. But that would be a horrible lie and a dream not yet come true. In reality I run around for 5 minutes like a headless chicken and leave with different socks on, to make it to work at least 15 minutes early – I'm still on the “never late, always prepared” list everywhere. And I am not capable of waking up earlier than the last minute - it is just not in my nature.
What are your ‘can’t-live-without’ beauty products?
Neil's Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm & Dior Addict Lip Glow.
Name 5 qualities you admire most in people?
Honesty; a sense of humour; the ability to see someone else’s perspective; gentlemanly/old-school manners; kind to animals.