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My Journey from Fintech to Fine Art

Me in Charyn Canyon, Kazakhstan

Before studying business, I studied art. For the last 8 years, I’ve put art to one side in the pursuit of financial stability. It wasn’t something I had growing up, but I knew I wanted to return my focus to art once I had it. 

My return to art began when I visited Ukraine in 2018. It started with a single poster from a flea market in Kiev, and kept growing. Over the last two years, I’ve explored many of the countries that make up the former USSR, buying thousands of vintage posters along the way. 

Comrade Kiev started as a side hustle. A way to be close to art and to make a little extra money. When the world went into lockdown in March, I expected our sales to drop. But the opposite happened. We were selling more posters than before. I began to question whether it could be something more.

In May, I made the decision to make my side hustle a full-time focus at the end of 2020. I would spend the next 6 months planning in the evenings and weekends how to be my own boss for the first time. All that changed just over a month ago when I was made redundant. It meant I had to accelerate my plans.  

I going to take what I’ve learnt working for other businesses, and build my own, with art at its core. A business that stands true to the values I hold close. Welcome Comrade!

Further Reading


Celebrating 60 Years of Humans in Space with a New Tour

60 years ago today, humans left Earth for the first time. On 12th April 1961, Soviet cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, achieved Godlike status when he orbited the earth for 1 hour and 48 minutes onboard the Vostok 1. From outer space, borders vanish; and the conflicts that divide nations fade away. Space is our future.


Announcing Sustainable, Ethical, Design-led Tours to the Former USSR

Posters tell the stories of the USSR. But not the whole story. The rest needs to be experienced. I’ve had several customers ask for advice on travelling to the former Soviet republics. In my own experience, I’ve found that travelling to many of these countries is often difficult. I wanted to change that.


How We're Building a Purpose Led Business

In 2019, we made the decision to donate 1% of all Comrade Kiev’s revenue to causes that align to our values. Every year, we’re increasing that percentage by 1% until 10% of revenue goes towards supporting impactful causes As a small business, every dollar counts, but our moral obligation cannot wait.


We’ve Integrated with Klarna to Make Art More Accessible

Soviet posters were often printed by their thousands. But most were thrown away when the movie or movement was over. The rest usually ended off in attics or basements where water, termites and time slowly destroyed them. The posters that survive today, in good condition, are increasingly rare.
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