Big shoes to fill: Florida entrepreneur caters to women with plus size feet

Ahriana Edwards runs Vaila, an online shoe company that caters to women who wear sizes 9 - 14

Tampa entrepreneur says her plus size shoe business was born out of necessity.

TAMPA, Fla. – “Cat’s out the bag, I have a large foot,” says Vaila CEO, Ahriana Edwards.

The Tampa entrepreneur said her business was born out of necessity

Edwards said the problem started when she was just a child. At 9 years old, she said she already wore a size 9.

“When it came down to just finding a nice pair of shoes for school or just some tennis shoes it was always like hard to find the girlie stuff,” Edwards said.

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Her foot ultimately grew to a size 12 and when she graduated from college, her options were limited.

“I was shopping for shoes, and I was like ‘Oh no!’ I need to be fly. They need to see that I came out of this pandemic surviving and still thriving. So, I definitely couldn’t find the shoes then,” she said.

Shoes from Vaila (Vaila Shoes)

So, she used her entrepreneurship degree and decided to open Vaila, an online shoe company that caters to women who wear sizes 9 - 14.

Edwards said things are going very well and that she is working with a large retailer that plans to carry her products starting in Spring 2023. She couldn’t talk a lot about it but said there is a location in Orlando.

Edwards said her business is about serving others and making sure the next generation has access to the things she did not.

“I always said that when it is time for me to have a child myself, I don’t want my daughter to have to go through an identity crisis or feeling insecure for something that’s not on the shelf,” she said.

You can check out her shoes here.

Ahriana Edwards, Vaila CEO (Vaila Shoes)

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Tiffany produces the News 6+ Takeover at 5:30 p.m., Florida's Fourth Estate and Talk to Tom.