From Frustration to a Growing Business — Vaila Shoes’ Origin Story

From Frustration to a Growing Business — Vaila Shoes’ Origin Story

Vaila Shoes’ CEO and founder Ahriana Edwards with heels from the Executive Collection displayed behind her.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a difficult time finding shoes that actually came in my size and fit comfortably. Over the years the frustration I’ve had due to the lack of shoe size inclusivity drove me into a passion. The idea for Vaila Shoes came from the exhaustion of never being able to find my shoe size in quality high heels. I am someone who has always had a larger foot than the average woman and for years it has left me feeling left out, frustrated, and baffled. Most fashionable shoes rarely come in any sizes bigger than a true 9. I began to think, why shouldn’t my size be catered to just as much as smaller sizes? 

Fashion appeared to evolve into being inclusive, but has yet to address the issue it is to find fashionable and great quality heels in extended shoe sizes. The growing demand for quality heels for women with extended shoe sizes were and are at an all time high. However, the demand wasn’t being met, because the majority of businesses are not accommodating to the need. Every woman looking for quality, luxurious heels that fit properly should be able to do so with ease.

The deciding factor to pursue this passion of mine came at a time where the world’s chaos was at an all time high, but my vision became clear as day. I had to realize that I possessed everything needed to produce a brand that catered to women with extended shoe sizes and then some. Once I did, I got to work for us.

I set off to create Vaila to give us aVAILAbility and inclusivity in quality shoes. I had the vision, the concept, and the reasoning behind the brand I wanted to build for us. I had the foundation and the support from hundreds of women to prove that this concept needed to exist. All I had to do then was find the funding to begin transforming from a vision to a business.

My advice for women entrepreneurs and anyone thinking of taking the entrepreneurial route — do it scared. To read more of Ahriana’s story click here for her latest interview with Shoutout Atlanta.

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