Galit Flasterstein: “Costa Rica a country to be emulated in its environmentally friendly mission”

Photo by: Local Keeps

Costa Rican entrepreneur, Galit Flasterstein discusses her latest business venture project and how to improve mental resilience during the “new normal”.

Carolina Rodriguez Hernandez: Could you give us some insights into the creative process behind Local Keeps ?

Galit Flasterstein: Local Keeps was created because I found so many high quality natural products in Costa Rica that were not being sold abroad, that my husband and I decided to launch a company to enable these products and the makers of these products to grow and export. Every time we discover a new product we meet with its maker and apply a thorough test. Each maker fills out a form where they tell us about their beginnings, the mission behind their company, the way they contribute to society and the environmentally friendly processes they carry out. To Local Keeps it is key that the products and companies we represent, are eco-friendly.

CRH: What is the best way to improve people’s mental resilience, health and productivity in the new normal and beyond?  

GF: Creativity needs to be a part of our day to day world, as well as productivity. Feeling useful and purposeful is what gives us that little push in the mornings and throughout the day. Having a WHY in our lives is key: without it, we become lethargic, bored and ultimately, suffer mental decay.

CRH: What is the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you while creating Local Keeps?

GF: I realized, after interviewing enough makers (producers), that most of the products I wanted to include in Local Keeps were made by female owned companies. That really picked my interest and curiosity. And not only that, whenever I interviewed these female entrepreneurs and asked them to tell me their story and missions, they always included among their purpose to give other women, heads of households especially, jobs. That was awe inspiring for sure.

CRH: Is there a person in the world or in the US who you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with and why?

GF: There are so many smart people I would like to meet, but I guess I would be fascinated to chat with the singer Pink. Her strength, smarts and the way she´s carried on with her career, how she’s raising her kids to be empowered people, are all definitely to be admired.

CRH: What does Local Keeps mean for you?

GF: Local Keeps is a way for me to shine a light on small businesses and especially female owned businesses, and give them the opportunity to grow. Most Latam businesses are small or at best, medium sized, and that is because they lack the resources or even the market to grow. And these small businesses are so passionate and driven, and their products are truly special, that they deserve a helping hand. If more small businesses are able to grow and thrive, we’ll be generating more jobs and income for all Latam.

CRH: What is your favorite destination where you can disconnect from work?

GF: Anywhere where I can admire the power of nature.

CRH: What does it mean, Costa Rica in the 21st Century?

GF: Still a developing country with many faults to fix, but definitely a country to be emulated in its environmentally friendly mission and the top quality of service given by its people. A gastronomic mecca in Central America.

CRH: What is your message to entrepreneurs who struggle to launch their ideas?

GF: Do your research first and always. If you have an idea, explore it, yes, but before launching, first make sure you can find a sizable population that will want to buy it and ways to produce what you want to produce that will compete fairly and strongly. And most of all, be sure that you are truly passionate about solving whatever problem you are seeking to solve with this idea: passion and grit will be what will keep you going in the harder emotional times all entrepreneurs go through.

CRH: What are your hobbies ?

GF: I am not much of an athlete, but I do like yoga and walking my dog. I read every single night, mostly fun novels or fiction, just to have my imagination travel to new and exciting places. And I am addicted to Netflix series!

CRH: What is your greatest hope for the future?

GF: That our children grow up to be fairer people than we were, with a larger and more comprehensive conscience.

CRH: What is next for you in your business life?

GF: I still have a long way to go with Local Keeps, I still want to solve the problem, so I will keep looking for ways to make my company grow through the right alliances, help and ideas from my mentors, and enough grit to always find my way.

About the Author
Carolina Rodríguez Hernández is Mexican born, Costa Rican recognized impact journalist, photographer and leader in the social sector for advancing social entrepreneurship as a model for tackling the world’s most pressing problems. She´s also the founder and creative force behind RSChicLux, a Spanish language subscription-based digital media company on social responsibility and impact investing issues around the world. RSChicLux will publish daily articles and will not have any ads on its site. Carolina currently is doing her undergraduate studies on social responsibility at the Jewish ORT University and previously take courses in photography.