8 min 54 sec

Frustrated Employee Finds Inspiration in Frida Kahlo Instagram Account

When a tech worker finds herself dissatisfied, she starts an Instagram account that turns into an online store and a social mission.
instagram Niche Ideas Power of Observation Product Social Media

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What It's About

A personal hero inspires an ongoing, profitable art project.

Business Model
Social Media
Skills Required
Design & Marketing
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

Tatiana says that many of the products for sale on Frida Vibes are “print-on-demand.” This means that they are only created when they are ordered. This has caused the inventory risk to go down, which in turn allows Tatiana to take more chances on new artists and products.

Fun Fact

At some point, Frida Kahlo decided that she wanted to change her birthday. She changed it to three years later than her biological birthday so it coincided with the Mexican Revolution and the birthday of modern Mexico.

Notes from Chris

Episode 1041
In August of 2016, Tatiana Figueiredo was looking for a change. She was on a tech team for a growing startup, but the fast paced, all-consuming nature of the job was causing her to lose enthusiasm.

At some point, she realized that she was taking work too seriously … and her life outside of work not seriously enough. She decided to leave her job and began a journey of rediscovering what inspired her.

Tatiana thought back to what made her excited in high school, and the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo immediately came to mind. When she first learned about Kahlo in her art history class, she was amazed. Kahlo was one of the only women artists that they discussed in class and she was Latina, just like Tatiana.

After that, Tatiana spent time learning whatever she could about Kahlo’s life story. And now, years later, she thought about how she could make Kahlo a bigger piece of her life. She enjoyed looking at the portraits that other artists created of Frida Kahlo on Instagram. That’s when she decided to create an Instagram account solely for artwork in her image, and she decided to name it Frida Vibes.

She made the account and began to repost artwork. Many of the artists she featured were very appreciative of her giving them more exposure. In turn, they would repost Tatiana’s repost. This caused both the artist and Tatiana’s account to reach more viewers. Soon, Frida Vibes began to accumulate a following.

Once Tatiana hit one thousand followers, she could tell she was really onto something. She had already gained an audience without researching anything about Instagram. She had a feeling that if she learned some techniques, she could grow her following even more.

Tatiana says that ultimately, to grow your following fast, get very specific like she did, know your audience, and post images that people will want to repost.

As her account grew and she began to interact with more artists, she started to build a community around Frida Vibes. Tatiana says her “could this be a business” antenna went up. She wondered what kinds of struggles this community of artists faced, so she began asking them what they wanted to do with their work and what obstacles they experienced.

There were two answers that she got the most. The first was that they would love for more people to enjoy their work. The second was that they wanted to make more money from their art.

This got her thinking. She wanted to solve these problems, but wasn’t sure how. Then, Tatiana realized that she could open up an online shop. She could sell people’s Frida-themed artwork and pay the artist royalties.

At that point, she decided to start a store on Shopify called Frida Pop-Up. She had never used Shopify before, but her background in tech helped her teach herself how to use it.

By Black Friday of 2017, Tatiana officially launched her store. At the time, her 10,000 Instagram followers were her first customers.

Since then, Frida Vibes’ Instagram followers have nearly doubled. She has been working with a variety of artists to sell their products—and she says that she measures her success by the amount of royalties she can pay those artists. Those royalties are in the thousands of dollars. She typically gives them 10-20% royalties on every product that is sold on her shop, which means that she is also earning a good profit.

With all the growth, Tatiana is now working with even more artists. Although she ended up getting another full time job as a technology consulting, she loves running Frida Vibes on the side to recharge, promote artists, and make a little cash at the same time. Running the shop has added more color to her life—in more ways than one.



Yours in the revolution,


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Quote of the Day
"I saw the opportunity of turning this side hustle into a small resistance by always working WITH artists and paying them generous royalties for every sale."
—Tatiana Figueiredo #SideHustleSchool

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