BURRILLVILLE – It was a change in focus inspired by the birth of her first child that led Gina DiBiasio to open up shop in Burrillville’s Herald Square.
Now, locals can find unique gifts, and browse a large selection of new and custom goods assembled by the former online entrepreneur at her friendly brick-and-mortar store in Pascoag.
Victoria’s Closet opened its doors on Monday, April 18 in the village plaza just beside 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 present for her young daughter Victoria, led her to a change in career.
DiBiasio, a Coventry resident who spent 23 years in the medical field, had what was once a side job selling goods both online, and at various events, under the moniker, “The Crazy Craft Chick.” As a frequent vendor at fairs and festivals, she sold hand-made items such as wreaths and ornaments, and also began producing novelties including t-shirts and coffee mugs featuring unique printed slogans.
When DiBiasio found out she was pregnant in November of 2019, she was working full time at Women & Infants Hospital. A scare from minor complications caused her to leave the job as a precaution, and she launched as second online business reselling goods purchased from closeouts, overstock sales and discontinued stock from large retailers as, “Victoria’s Closet.”
Meanwhile, COVID-19 had added new concerns to the equation, also shutting down her longtime bartending job. After a brief break, she decided to return to the hospital on a per-diem basis in the pre-surgical department.
“I was very nervous going back,” DiBiasio said. “I thought it would be a little safer, but as time went on, it was not.”
At the same time, online sales from both endeavors were taking off.
“It was really growing,” she said of the businesses.
Her daughter Victoria was born with Down syndrome in July of 2020, giving her yet another reason to evaluate her schedule. She says that while she never regretted her choice to work in the healthcare industry, the demanding job often came with long and late hours – and many missed holidays.
“I missed so much,” DiBiasio said, adding of Victoria, “I didn’t want to do that to her growing up.”
“It’s time,” she said of the move to full-time business owner. “I’ve got to do it for her.”
Thanks to her successful online ventures, DiBiasio already had the goods, from a variety of women’s and children’s clothing, to t-shirts, totes and coffee mugs marked with phrases such as, “Cheer Mom,” or “Nurse: A Title Above Queen.”
The result is a shop that features, “a little of everything,” with jewelry, accessories, tote bags, diaper cakes, custom aprons and linens, and other novelties. The store already has plenty to choose from for affordable gift-giving, and DiBiasio plans to add new items every week, with a stock of men’s clothing items coming soon.
“I actually have a ton of stuff that’s not even out yet,” she said this week, from a space featuring, “something for everyone,” from cute dresses, shoes and bathing suits, to tops featuring prices as low as $10.
“I don’t think there’s anything like this in town,” she said, noting that all of her products are new, unused items. “It’s not consignment.”
She’s also started taking custom orders for her various t-shirts and totes, from patrons looking for ways to mark special occasions such as championship sports 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, she’ll host a grand opening celebration featuring special discounts, food, drinks, raffles and more from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. She hopes it will be a chance to meet more of her new community, and let people see all that the business has to offer.
“There’s a lot of stuff 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 the temporary hours are likely to change once she sets a permanent schedule.