Individuality & Female Empowerment
● By Jacqueline Gonzalez
By: Jacqueline Gonzalez Photos by: Rachel Benavides
If you’re a fan of Frida Kahlo, you’ll be happy to know that a new pop-up shop, paying homage to Kahlo’s life and quintessential imagination, opened up on Alameda Street just off Antique Lane. The Frida Store carries an assortment of Frida-inspired items from places like Europe, London, Spain, and Italy.
Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter, who became famous for her dark self-portraits inspired by nature and Mexican artifacts. Her rebellious behavior towards the societal norms of her time earned Kahlo popularity harnessed by feminism and a championing fight for individuality.
When Catherine Vega, owner of The Frida Store, became interested in opening a Mexican import store in Miami, Florida, friends quickly mentioned that having Frida Kahlo items in her store was a must. The shock value of Vega’s initial reaction to Kahlo’s work prompted her to seek out more information. After meeting with Beatrice, a relative of Kahlo, Vega learned of an entire world dominated by Frida, her artwork, and her warrior-like presence. Her interest was piqued – and after many meetings with the Frida Corporation, Vega quickly learned that an online and storefront presence was missing. Although the corporation was not on board with opening a permanent storefront location at the time, Vega suggested pop-up shops, and her new venture began. Creating pop-up shops as a starting point provided a doorway to bring in many of these exclusive new brands – some of which have never been sold in the United States.
Vega and her business partner, Jennifer Sanchez, hold the official license for The Frida Store – a unique license that allows them to import merchandise from all around the world and sell it in the United States.
Although the corporation is in Miami, events like Frida Fest, which brings in over 35,000 people, are held in Texas. During their travels to Texas, Catherine and Jennifer felt the passion and desire for cultural growth in Corpus Christi, and decided the Coastal Bend would be the perfect place for their storefront.
The shop successfully embraces Frida’s love of color, culture, and individuality through the artfully arranged displays of clothing, home décor, dolls, jewelry, housewares, and beauty products, many of them limited edition items. “We carry a variety of merchandise, but we don’t carry any of her artwork,” explains Vega. “Her artwork is part of the national treasure, and when it sells, royalties are paid to the Mexican government to pay for vaccines and healthcare, as requested by Frida’s family and Diego Rivera, her lover.” Although the shop does not carry the artwork, Kahlo’s image lights up through every image and every story shared by fans.
Not only is the shop overflowing in culture and color, it also encourages female empowerment in the Coastal Bend. Together, Vega, Sanchez, and Sanchez’s daughter, Anna Garcia, are helping spread Frida’s message by providing a sanctuary for women to embrace their culture, individuality, and love of art.
Vega enjoys interacting with each person who walks through her doors as she proudly states, “We don’t have customers; we have fans!” Many women relate to Kahlo and embrace who she was and what she stood for, and The Frida Store is the perfect place to release that energy. After all, “there is only one Frida, there is only one Frida store.”
4407 S Alameda St., Corpus Christi, TX | thefridastore.net