Painted by Dani

Custom hand-painted reusable water bottle designs

ABOUT ME: Who is Daniela Macaya?

 

Born and raised in Costa Rica, I have grown great admiration for the ocean and its beautiful life. However, every time I go to the beach I see firsthand the increasing amount of contamination and its toll on marine life. I vividly remember an eye-opening experience in 2014 in Playa Grande, Costa Rica. Crouching beneath the bushes, I could hear my heartbeat. My family and I were anxiously awaiting the arrival of the giant leatherback turtles. Despite it being one of the world’s prime nesting sites for these prehistoric giants, we waited all night but were never able to catch a glimpse of them. How could we? They are dying, poisoned by obscene amounts of plastic waste at sea, victims of trawl fishing and rising temperatures - all devastating effects of human avarice and inaction. Only twelve, I was engulfed with a profound sense of loss. Seeing ocean life plummet in front of my eyes was devastating and I decided I wanted to help.

Art has been my outlet and megaphone since I was 8 years old. Wanting to do something meaningful with my talent and help what I love the most, the ocean, I created "Painted by Dani" (followed by many other environmental initiatives featured on this page).

 

It all started during a sleepover with my lifelong friend Lucia in 2018. Halfway through a movie, she took the last sip from her old scratched aluminum water bottle, uttering: “I’m throwing it away. I get plastic water bottles before tennis practice, anyway.” Those words irked my environmental nerve. In a frantic effort to salvage it, I blurted out, “Can I paint it?”. I thought if I tried to fix it by painting it, so there wouldn't be a need to propagate society's throw-away culture and add on to the world's contamination problem.

Instantly liking the idea, she told me to surprise her. That night, as Luchi lay sound asleep, acrylic celestial jellyfish enveloped the bottle. Finished with a protective coating, it looked better than ever! My goal doing this was to remind her every day of the beauty of marine life and the importance of our own actions towards the environment.

Waking up to a completely new and unique bottle, she absolutely loved it and took it everywhere with her. At school, word spread, and requests poured in. Hand-painted capuchin monkeys and humpback whales started drawing people to use these bottles over plastic ones. With a self-designed website, two partnerships with bottle companies, and half a million views on TikTok later, “Painted by Dani” has become a successful social enterprise, donating funds for ocean conservation. I am recruiting a network of talented artists to keep up with international demand.

"Painted by Dani" helps combat society's throw-away culture and consumerism by turning products to their original form and including captivating designs that will make the user want to keep that bottle for a longer time. This also advocates the use of reusable bottles over single-use ones. 10% of earnings are donated to Fundación Amigos Isla del Coco (FAICO).

I'm based in Costa Rica, but I also ship internationally!

Save our oceans before it is too late!

10% of earnings will be donated to Fundación Amigos Isla del Coco (FAICO)