Beauty Inspired by Costa Rica - Interview with People en Español

Patricia, founder of Tap Tap Organics, was interviewed by People en Español on what inspired her to start a skincare line, what her brand values and what is means to be a Latina founder. Here's the English version of the interview!

Her homeland and her first pregnancy inspired this Costa Rican to create her organic beauty brand. Patricia Fonseca turned her hobby into a business when she was expecting her first daughter. She now spreads the "Pura Vida" mantra with Tap Tap Organics.

When Costa Rican Patricia Fonseca, was pregnant with her first daughter she discovered how well our skin absorbs the chemicals present in commercial skincare products. She became determined to make her own and from there it became a new passion. 

Patricia developed Tap Tap Organics with two challenges in mind; formulate highly effective products and ensure the packaging was as environmentally friendly as possible. Today the brand transmits the mantra of her homeland "Pura Vida" through her botanical products, including a rare ingredient from her country: wild-harvested, virgin coconut oil. She also joins the global zero waste movement to reduce plastic waste in our oceans and her brand even promotes a free program to return the packaging so that they can be reused.

Portrait of Patricia Fonseca, founder of Tap Tap Organics. She is sitting on a stool, with a blue dress and small smile.

When and why did you decide to create Tap Tap Organics?

I started officially at the end of 2018. I had already been making my own products for many years before that and it grew into a passion that I could not put aside.

It all started when I was pregnant with our first daughter. I believed I had a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby but then I discovered that our skin, the largest organ in our body, can very quickly absorb the chemicals found in our everyday beauty products. Also, I was very concerned about the global plastic crisis that our oceans are facing. I realized that there were very few options for natural beauty products that were also not packaged in plastic and I decided to create my own.

Where does the name Tap Tap come from?

I wanted a name that reflected my roots and was fun at the same time. In San Francisco, where I live now, there is a flock of wild, tropical parrots flying all over the city. They’re beautiful and every time I hear and see them, they remind me of Costa Rica. When my daughter was young she used to say “tap tap, tap tap” every time she saw the birds. And that's where the name Tap Tap Organics comes from!

How would you say that being a Latina has influenced the creation of Tap Tap?

My experience as a Tica (Costa Rican) is the essence of Tap Tap Organics. My goal is that people who use my products will be on a sensorial journey to the tropical paradise that is Costa Rica. The blue sea, the green forest, the tropical fruits, the smell of coconut ... I try to capture it all in each jar and bottle of my products. Also, I use our famous mantra "Pura Vida" in the brand philosophy. For me, "Pura Vida" is a lifestyle that celebrates living in the moment, respecting our planet, and living in harmony.

How do you decide what products to launch?

I actually started with the products that I needed! That's how I began with Head To Toe Beauty Butter, which is a multi-purpose moisturizer that I use all over my body, face, and even hair. Then, I wanted to create a natural deodorant because there were no options in the market that actually worked and didn't use plastic packaging. The Regenerate Beauty Oil is my most luxurious product and I created it because I also needed a high-quality facial oil and serum.

Tell us about the process to define and find the right ingredients for each product.

One of my main criteria when choosing ingredients is that they have to be produced in Costa Rica or Latin America. The main ingredient in Head To Toe Beauty Butter is a virgin coconut oil, wild-harvested and produced in Costa Rica. Also, most of my ingredients are certified organic which is not only good for our skin but also beneficial for the producers and our environment.

What kind of people are your products aimed at?

Although my products can be used by anyone and are unisex, most of my clients are eco-conscious women like me who want high-quality products that work for the whole family. 

The packaging is minimal, why did you choose to do it that way? What message do you want to share?

We are experiencing a waste crisis. For example, experts estimate that by 2050 there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish. Beauty and personal care products alone produce 142 billion tons of plastic each year. But if we choose products that have a low plastic content and reusable containers, we can greatly reduce our impact on the environment. That is why I have a return program for our glass jars and bottles. My customers can request a shipping label to return their empties, totally free. And because our packaging is mainly glass, it’s easily reusable.

What would you say are the biggest challenges when creating a sustainable brand?

I believe that it is important that sustainable brands are also high quality and deliver results. Sustainable brands sometimes have a reputation for not being as efficacious as commercial/traditional brands. I am very proud to hear that my clients see real results when using my products.

What future plans do you have? Are you going to develop more products?

My goal is to grow and to be recognized as one of the main brands in the circular beauty or sustainable skincare space. I am very happy with the range of products that I have so far and I don’t plan to launch new products at the moment. I’d much rather focus on the core products that I have already developed and continue to promote them.

Read the original Spanish version of the article here by Pilar Sopeséns.

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