BURRILLVILLE – It was a change of direction inspired by the birth of her first child that led Gina DiBiasio to open a boutique in Burrillville’s Herald Square.
Now locals can find one-of-a-kind gifts and browse a wide selection of new and personalized products assembled by the former online entrepreneur at her friendly physical store in Pascoag.
Victoria’s Closet opened on Monday April 18 in the village square right next to DP Fitness Studio, and is now open six days a week selling new jewelry, clothing, accessories and more.
The retail store merges two business concepts for the former healthcare worker/bartender, who says the pandemic, combined with a desire to be there for her young daughter Victoria, caused her to change careers.
DiBiasio, a Coventry resident who spent 23 years in the medical field, had what was once a side job selling products both online and at various events, going by the nickname “The Crazy Craft Chick”. As a frequent seller at fairs and festivals, she sold handmade items such as wreaths and ornaments, and also began producing novelties, including T-shirts and coffee mugs with unique printed slogans.
When DiBiasio found out she was pregnant in November 2019, she was working full-time at Women & Infants Hospital. A fear of minor complications led her to quit her job as a precaution, and she launched as her second online business reselling products purchased during closeouts, oversales and discontinued inventory from major retailers under the name “Victoria’s Closet”.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 had added new concerns to the equation, shutting down his longtime bartending job as well. After a brief break, she decided to return to the hospital on a daily basis in the pre-surgical ward.
“I was very nervous coming back,” DiBiasio said. “I thought it would be a bit safer, but over time it wasn’t anymore.”
At the same time, both companies’ online sales were taking off.
“It was really growing,” she said of the companies.
Her daughter Victoria was born with Down syndrome in July 2020, giving her yet another reason to assess her schedule. She says that while she never regretted her choice to work in healthcare, the demanding work often came with long hours and delays – and many missed vacations.
“I missed it so much,” DiBiasio said, adding of Victoria, “I didn’t want to do this to her growing up.”
“It’s time,” she said of the move to full-time business ownership. “I have to do it for her.”
Through his successful online ventures, DiBiasio already had the merchandise, ranging from a variety of women’s and children’s clothing, to t-shirts, bags and coffee mugs branded with phrases such as “Cheer Mom” or “Nurse: A Title Above Queen”. .”
The result is a boutique that offers “a little bit of everything,” with jewelry, accessories, tote bags, diaper cakes, personalized aprons and linens, and other novelties. The store already has a wide selection of affordable gifts, and DiBiasio plans to add new items every week, with menswear stock coming soon.
“I actually have a ton of things that haven’t even come out yet,” she said this week, in a space featuring “something for everyone,” ranging from cute dresses, shoes and swimwear swimwear tops offering prices as low as $10.
“I don’t think there’s anything like that in town,” she said, noting that all of her products are new, unused items. “It’s not a consignment.”
She also started taking custom orders for her various t-shirts and bags, from customers looking for ways to mark special occasions such as league games or bachelorette parties. DiBiasio said she also does tarot readings and plans to add the service by appointment in the near future.
On Sunday, May 1, it will host a grand opening celebration with special discounts, food, drinks, raffles and more from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. She hopes it will be an opportunity to meet more members of her new community and let people see all the business has to offer.
“There are a lot of things here,” she said with a smile.
Victoria’s Closet at 74 North Main St. is now open Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The owner notes that temporary schedules are subject to change once she establishes a permanent schedule.