I am excited to introduce a Blog series highlighting the owners/designers of slow fashion brands. The first to be featured is Gabriel Quevedo, the owner of the sustainable wood jewelry line Bossa Mar.
When did you start your business?
We started in the first half of 2019.
What is the spark that pushed you to start?
I was born and raised in Costa Rica. The country is going through a tough situation having the most impact in low income families. We wanted to do something about it, that is why we are working with local artisan entrepreneurs who craft our items.
Did you always want to be an entrepreneur?
Yes, I come from a family of entrepreneurs and helped in the family business when growing up.
What are the three greatest challenges of your business? The three greatest joys?
There is a lot of competition in the jewelry business and it is tough to position a brand primarily when there are many big companies with huge marketing budgets. There are also many complexities of dealing with artisans who are in another country, from design to production to logistics everything must work in synchronicity.
“We get a lot of joy from working with the artisans and seeing their enthusiasm and effort to make each piece.” We get a lot of joy from working with the artisans and seeing their enthusiasm and effort to make each piece. It is also very satisfying to know that we can offer support to their local communities, even if it is on a small scale.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Honestly, I don’t remember, but I think a magician. I used to watch David Copperfield’s shows on TV when I was a kid and then spent some time on the floor trying to levitate haha.
If you could invite a famous public figure (deceased or alive) to lunch, who would it be?
Probably Neil Armstrong or Yuri Gagarin. I’ve always been fascinated with outer space.
What are your favorite three items in your wardrobe and why?
A pair of grey/brown oxford shoes, a navy blue jacket and a black cap. I like them all for the same reason are very simple but stylish to a certain extent.
What current sustainable practices is your company doing, and what do you hope to be doing within the next three years?
We use sustainable wood (wood that is grown solely for the purpose of woodworking) or reclaimed wood.
How did you come up with the name of your line?
Our company is named for bossa nova (Brazilian jazz) and the sea. We feel this captures the Costa Rican lifestyle: natural, rhythmic, and influenced by the coast.
Can you name the ah-ha moment when you received confirmation that you are doing what you are supposed to be doing?
I would say pretty much when we first met a family of artisan entrepreneurs in Costa Rica. I saw how good they were and their potential and was completely sure we could work something out.
If you could tell your 21-year-old self something, what would it be?
That everything happens for a reason and that you really have to pay attention to what you truly want and feel you must do and not follow the hype of the moment or what someone else thinks is best for you.
Where would you like to be in 10 years?
We believe there are many routes we can take with Bossa Mar. I see myself taking the company to the next level and always trying to find ways to help less fortunate communities/people.
What is your favorite item in your line sheet and why?
I really like the Midnight Star earrings. These were one of the first designs and it is really tied to the essence of the company. It is inspired by my memories of going to the beach and staring at the sky in the middle of the night when I was a kid. It really felt magical and it’s something I truly miss.