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CEO Empowers Women With Big Feet, Forgotten Shoe Sizes

For Vaila Shoes CEO Ahriana Edwards, her business-lifestyle shoe retailer was born out of transforming her biggest inconvenience into a solution.

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This story originally appeared on Black Enterprise

For Vaila Shoes CEO Ahriana Edwards, her business-lifestyle shoe retailer was born out of transforming her biggest inconvenience into a solution for women with extended shoe sizes.

"The idea for Vaila Shoes came from the exhaustion of never being able to find my shoe size in quality high heels," said Edwards in a statement, per her company's website.

"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."

The Florida entrepreneur has strived to become a game changer in the fashion industry since she can remember. Once Edwards decided to combine her passion, business knowledge, and desire to provide a solution to the problem, her vision became a reality at the height of chaos in the world.

"I felt left out because the most fashionable shoes rarely came in my size. Frustrated because why shouldn't my size be catered to just as much as smaller sizes? Baffled in the way that fashion has begun 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."

Vaila Shoes was established in 2020, thanks to many pitch competitions like the Black Ambition Prize, founded by Pharrell Williams. Edwards takes pride in building a brand into the go-to place for business women who want to "show up and own every room she walks in," especially in a pair of quality heels that fit, as explained on her website.

Vaila Shoes wants to empower women to reclaim their femininity from pumps and sandals to slingbacks. The stunning collection of sophisticated dress shoes is designed for sizes nine through 14. As per the website, the products are engineered to have a "thicker heel base, spacious toe boxes, and insoles that actually cover your foot." These quality solutions aim to "finally provide you with the support and durability that you need at a comfortable heel height of four inches and lower."

"Whether you are working for a Fortune 500 company or running your own business, you should be able to buy and wear fashionable heels to carry you through your day," said Edwards.

"And not just any heels, but fashionable heels that make just as much of a statement as you do when you walk in any room."

According to WKMG ClickOrlando, Edwards is collaborating with a retail giant to get her products on their shelves by spring 2023. Plans are in motion, and the location is set in Orlando.

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