Dkoko: Our story

 

It all began years ago, when two amigas from Costa Rica dreamed of making the perfect bikini for women who love the wild sea and live to feel the sunshine breeze on our skin.

As avid surfers and active women, we grew intent upon the desire to create swimsuits that fit our bodies and the tropical beach lifestyle we love, so we could surf comfortably and feel confident in figure-flattering designs.

Soon after, thanks to our shared vision and thousands of ocean-loving women around the world, our dream came true.

Our story of creating the perfect bikini reads like an epic adventure tale. Not only has Dkoko grown and matured as a brand throughout the years – we have also been personally blessed with profound life transformations as part of this purposeful journey.

Thanks to Dkoko, we have traveled to tropical paradise lands, surfing waves to our hearts’ content. We have crossed borders to pursue new avenues for socially responsible production. We have lived in other countries, made friends across cultures, and laughed until we cried. We have found love on separate continents, built homes and created families in the process of manifesting our dreams into being.

Dkoko surf bikini story: Costa Rica, designers and inspiration

Of course, as any epic adventure tale would have it, our journey has also been marked with many unforeseen challenges that have led us to learn and improve. Overcoming difficult lessons and celebrating our milestone achievements are the wind in our sails, allowing us to proudly continue doing what we love, now with more strength than ever. The passion of our early years still burns bright in our hearts, while we integrate the lived experience of more than a decade of Dkoko, and counting.

We are two Costa Rican women blessed by birth to live in a tropical paradise that continues to inspire us, and it is our absolute joy to share our inspiration with the world through our brand. Dkoko designs are not just products you wear, but creations of magic that transport women into the world of the empowered feminine, where we feel fancy-free to blend our skin into the sea, living active lives in love with the natural world.

At Dkoko, we believe in doing business in a different way. Our profit model goes beyond efficiency and utility. We are committed to supporting social wellbeing across our supply chain, while lessening our human impact on the global environment we call home.

Dkoko is proud to make a difference in the world by handcrafting our products locally in our very own sewing shop, supporting families in Masaya, Nicaragua. All Dkoko employees receive benefits including social security, two days off per week, a month of paid vacation per year, and double salary in the month of December.

And because we love our planet, Dkoko strives to offer high-quality designs that last through the years as a sustainable alternative to throw-away fast fashion.

At Dkoko, we are two women entrepreneurs passionate about living each day with greater inspiration, helping our business grow in a way that benefits us all.

Thank you for being a part of the Dkoko community, sharing our vision and supporting us in making this dream a living reality for active women like us, in love with the sea.

We invite you to discover the latest Dkoko designs – adding your own personal sparkle to the shared sunlight of this blossoming dream. 

A little bit about us

Dkoko's designer and manager Veronica WesselVeronica Wessel

The surfer girl lifestyle has always been a part of my personal story. As one of five siblings, I grew up watching my older brother surf with his friends, journeying to the most pristine beaches around our paradise country, Costa Rica. I would spend hours daydreaming about what it would feel like to live at the beach and surf in the tropical sunshine, playing fearlessly among the waves.

A decade or so later, life blessed me with the magical opportunity to move from the city of San Jose to the Pacific Coast surfing beaches, where my own surfing journey – and the vision for Dkoko – officially began to take shape.

Before Dkoko, I was always uncomfortable in my bikinis in the surf. If they weren’t squishing my butt and way too tight, they would sag and slip right off with the strength of the waves. In Costa Rica in those days, women’s surfing culture was just beginning. That’s where Michelle and I realized we had the important opportunity to combine our talents and create surf bikinis for women like us who needed suits that were both functional in the sea and feminine in style. 

Back then, we were two surfer-girl friends with the same vision and drive… and now, ten years later, what an incredible journey it has been!

Dkoko is an expression of the love I carry with me for the waves I surf and the meaningful connection I share with nature. Living on a sea-side farm with my husband, where we wake to the sounds of the jungle and the ocean, spending our days caring for the animals and riding horses into the sunset, I feel so blessed to be living the life I could only dream of as a girl.

My adventurous spirit has led me to visit unique places around the world, where my creativity for Dkoko is constantly inspired by the land and waves that beckon my wanderlust curiosity. I could not be happier to transmit this energy, inspired by nature and the sea, through the bikinis and clothing designs we create for surfer girls and beach-lovers like you and me. Each and every day, Dkoko is my dream come true.  

Michelle Rodriguez

Dkoko's designer and creative Michelle RodriguezMy love affair with the ocean began as a young girl, when my mom would drive me from our home in the mountains down to the sunny beaches of Costa Rica. I spent my summer vacations immersed in multiple adventures - playing for hours under the sun, captivated among the sand, warm water and lush rainforest that came to define my wild heart and adventurous spirit.

Chasing my love for the sea, I moved to the beach town of Playa Hermosa when I was 21 years old, where learning to surf changed my life forever. 

When I couldn't find swimwear that stayed on in the surf, I started talking with Veronica about creating our own bikinis to withstand the power of the waves. I was studying Fashion Design at the time, so I put my passion to work and tailored my graduation project to a fitting new endeavor: surf bikinis. 

As Veronica and I developed the business together, Dkoko was born of our shared desire to create a functional, fashionable brand that allows women to mix and match sizes and designs, honoring the beauty in all of our different body shapes and unique approaches to style.

Thanks to Dkoko, I’ve lived amazing adventures in constant search of innovation and improvement, honoring my vision as a designer and stamina as an entrepreneur.  I moved to Nicaragua in 2016 to open Dkoko’s very own sewing shop, where I trained local artisans to develop our designs with the passion and quality Dkoko is known for today. 

Not only did I fall in love with Nicaragua and its perfect waves, I also met the man of my dreams, an Aussie who was living and surfing there at the time, in our home away from home. As the rest becomes history, I’ve since become a mom, and we’ve started our own family of three. We are currently blessed to split time living between Costa Rica and Australia, and thanks to technology and multi-tasking, I’ve managed to continue pouring my heart and soul work into to Dkoko, while also living and working as a full-time mom. 

With Costa Rica in my veins, I live a natural-born love affair with the tropical jungle rainforest - my magic place where I can hide away for a while, roaming the shores in search of inspiration. Wherever my journey takes me across the lands and seas that call to me, my designs always carry the vital energies of the Costa Rican jungle that lives inside me.