This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Two weeks ago, Ilse Almazan was laid off from her job as a waitress due to COVID-19.
“It’s scary. It’s the first time I’ve ever been let go. They sent us a letter saying that they couldn’t keep us on payroll anymore and that we would need to be terminated,” Almazan said.
Though the restaurant, located in San Diego, is hoping to hire everyone back, Almazan quickly realized that she needed to come up with a game plan.
Recognizing that other people would also be suffering financially, she decided to create affordable Frida art prints that would bring people joy.
“There is a need for pretty things that are going to offer people some happiness during this time,” Almazan said.
The art prints take her about an hour to create and cost $25. In order to make them more affordable, she sketches them on a postcard size piece of paper using Prisma color markers.
“I wouldn’t want to sell things that are too pricey. So many people are out of work, they aren’t making the same income that they used to. And the income that they do have, they’re going to be spending on necessities,” Almazan said.
Lately, Almazan has seen a significant drop in people buying her art work and jewelry.
In fact, the shop where she sells many of her products and receives the majority of her income, Simón Limón, had to close their storefront and is only offering online orders.
Situations like this make Almazan feel like she needs to lower her prices so that people can keep buying her products.
While she’s definitely open to creating other kinds of commissions, not just Frida prints, she understands that these requests will be less likely during this time.
“For now I’m trying to stay busy and make more things. Doing things to stay positive rather than worry about the future,” Almazan said.
Almazan is currently offering the Frida prints either by free no-contact delivery or shipping throughout the United States for $5. While she can mail her prints internationally, she wants customers to know that shipping could cost as high as $30.
Simón Limón also sells her art prints and T-shirts. To shop their products, send them a direct message here.
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