TODAY COSTA RICA, Tamarindo – You will very rarely see the lovely Kristina Hughes without her little half miniature pincher/chihuahua dog.
That’s because Hughes is full of love, for her dog, as well as slew of friends she’s met in her 10 years living in Tamarindo after moving here from Seattle, Washington.
Yet, don’t be fooled. She is also creative, intelligent, and a savvy business woman who has found the secret of working hard while enjoying Paradise.
The Tamarindo News talked with Kristina in an effort to share her spirit here.
The Tamarindo News (TTN): Can you please explain to the layman what it is you do for a living?
Kristina Hughes (KH): I offer internet marketing services. These services include paid search (PPC) where you pay to advertise on Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Search engine optimization (SEO) where you optimize a website for keywords and create links so the site appears higher up in the organic search results of Google. Social media that entails increasing your followers, engagement, brand awareness, and visitors to your site via social media platforms. I also assist clients with location marketing—which is physical marketing in town here—optimizing travel sites and brand consulting.
TTN: Tell me a little bit about your business?
KH: Pure Marketing is an internet marketing company that offers SEO, PPC, social media, location marketing, and brand consulting. Most of my clients are in the Tamarindo area with several in the United States. I wanted to start my own company and be able to offer my services to companies in Tamarindo and the surrounding area where I live.
TTN: What is your background professionally?
KH: I studied Advertising and Marketing in college and once I arrived here and fell in love with Tamarindo I knew I had to get a real job. I started a babysitting company but then slow season arrived and the business also got slow. I walked by a sign that said internet marketing and went in and introduced myself to them. It was crazy cause one guy went to the same college as me at Pepperdine University, another was from Seattle and another guy had a girlfriend named Kristina. I thought it was a sign, but they were not hiring. So I went back home to Seattle and got a sales job but still reached out the internet marketing agency in Tamarindo every so often until after 4 months they created a position for me and I was able to move back down to Tamarindo. They ended up closing the office in Tamarindo about a year after and my superior then started his own company and I began working for him doing SEO and PPC for about 8 years. TTN: Why did you settle in Tamarindo?
KH: I always wanted to go to Costa Rica since high school. I came here after college and traveled around Costa Rica. My best friend and I decided to come back down for just 3 months to Tamarindo because it was a relaxed beach town and everyone was so friendly. Now I am on my 10th year.
TTN: I see you at a lot of fundraisers for our community and organizing events aswell.Why do you do this?
KH: I love to support the community and do what I can to give back even if it small. We have to take care of each other and the town to keep it beautiful and as the beach town that I fell in love with when I first arrived.
TTN: I see you with Hercules all the time. Do you take him to work and business meetings? What is the reception? Is that one of the advantages of the atmosphere in Tamarindo?
KH: Hercules is my partner! He’s my half miniature pincher/chihuahua dog. If the client does not mind I will bring him with me. He is very relaxed and will just sleep by my feet and loves to get attention from anyone that will give it to him. This is definitely an advantage for Tamarindo vs working back home. Everyone is more laid back but working hard. Clients don’t mind if you are heading to the gym after your meeting or taking Hercules for a walk on the beach.
TTN: Howisit possible toworkwith clientsin the United States and live here?
KH: Clients do not mind if I am down in Costa Rica and they are in the US. We do conference calls via Skype or phone calls. I work the same hours if not more when I am here and able to respond to questions via emails or just hop on a call. It has never been a problem for a client and I am very thankful for that!
TN: What do you do for fun? KH: For fun I love to go to the beaches and surrounding areas around Tamarindo and relax. My passion is traveling so I love to see new places around Costa Rica and internationally. I also enjoy spending time with friends and family, playing futbol, going to music festivals, etc.
TTN: You have a close group of girlfriends. Tell me about them. KH: I have met some of the most amazing and interesting friends from around the world. When I first came down here I met a group of girls but then people come and go. It’s always hard to see them leave but then they always find a way back to either visit or give it another try. My group of friends have all been down here for some time and own businesses or know the way Tamarindo works. We are always supporting and motivating each other on our ventures and/or planning our next trip or event
TTN: What do you see for yourself in the future?
KH: I would like to grow my business in Costa Rica and then internationally. I also would like to travel more around the world and see new places like Vietnam, India, Fiji, New Zealand, South Africa, etc. Big plans!!
Article by Ellen Zoe Golden originally appeared on Tamarindonews.com; Photos courtesy Kristina Hughes