Davia Allen is the owner of the brand new, downtown Dayton fashion store, Vidia's Closet. SARAH FRANKS/STAFF
“I just wanted to allow women to come in and be able to just find what they’re looking for,” Allen said, “like if you’re going on a date with your significant other, going to church or going into corporate America.”
Allen is a mother of three, a wife and one of three devoted sisters. The oldest sister, Vidia LaKisha Foster, unexpectedly died in 2013. Vidia was a supervisor at the YWCA Dayton and an advocate for teens.
The three sisters would often take girls' road trips to cities across the country, never missing an opportunity to stop in a local boutique along the way.
“We love fashion,” Allen said. “I’ve always loved fashion, playing with fashion, and I think it goes hand in hand with me doing hair and makeup and everything. I’ve always just had an eye and when she passed away, I wanted to do something that kept her name and legacy alive, something that we enjoyed doing and doing together.”
Vidia’s closet offers stylish fashions for women of all sizes, with many of the clothes being sourced from Las Vegas where Allen regularly attends a twice-a-year fashion show.
"My sister’s motto was, ‘When you look good, you feel good.’ Allen said. “So, I think that’s something that we can keep going, too. Because that’s something I always say (too). It’s not about just looking good on the outside; it’s feeling good on the inside.”
Last Saturday, Allen was already feeling the support of the other women business owners from St. Clair Lofts when they came down to the sidewalk sale happening in the Oregon District, where Allen was selling goods from her store.
“They came down and congratulated me with a little gift,” Allen said. “So it’s like, OK, let’s go. I’m empowered and just so excited to be here and take off. ... They welcomed me with open arms."
Vidia’s Closet is joining the St. Clair Loft “merchants row” where Grace Lane Boutique, Salon J Ladner, Space Three gym, Now and Zen DIY Studio and Twist Cupcakery already operate, with more to open very soon, according to the Downtown Dayton Partnership.
“The momentum of our small business community is building after the shutdown, and adding to the density of our shopping areas in downtown will help this,” said Allison Swanson, Downtown Dayton Partnership marketing manager.