Dia&Co customer Regina Williams is pushing herself out of her comfort zone and creating a ripple effect by empowering other women in the process.
Spotlight on Regina
Meet Regina Williams, Dia&Co customer and inspiration to countless women in our community. Read on to learn why Regina started taking outfit photos and what’s next on her style journey.
I was born and raised in Durham, NC. It’s a pretty cool place: It’s the home of Duke University, North Carolina Central University—a historically-black university, and Durham Technical Community College. Plus, we have the Durham Bulls baseball team. Durham is really hip, cool, and funky—it’s all of that, and then some.
Keeping it Professional
I work at Duke University in the Cell Culture Facility. I do the ordering for the labs, for their experiments, and the research they conduct. For me, working on a university campus is very casual in terms of style. Most of my jobs before this one were very corporate, and in the corporate world, it’s very conservative. You’re sometimes limited on what you can wear—but there’s always a way to inject your personality. I’m a “girly girl” through and through, so it’s nice to know that I can get up in the morning and, if I wanted to, wear a cute little floral dress and wedges, or leggings and a tee.
My go-to outfit is a really cute maxi dress, which you can dress up or dress down. For work, I’ll add a pair of flats or a pair of heels, then on the weekend, I’ll throw on a pair of tennis shoes and go. In my last Dia Style Box, I got a pair of pink pants and a really cute asymmetrical top. I can style them for work or for going out with friends. Sometimes it’s just a matter of changing up one or two accessories.
My style icons are my grandmother and my mother primarily, but I also love Mo’Nique the comedian. She’s so bold and fearless with her fashion—especially as a plus-size woman. And I love Melissa McCarthy, too. And then there’s my sister, who’s an inspiration to me. There’s also Lisa of “MustangSallyTwo” and Shakira of “The Real Sample Size.” I look to them for inspiration because there are times when I’ll see something and think, “I don’t think I’m going to look good in this.” Then I‘ll see one of them wearing it, and think, “Hey, if she can wear that, so can I!”
Lately, I’ve been going gaga over the flared-sleeve trend, ruffles, and polka dots. It’s so funny because I thought I’d never wear polka dots, and now I have a polka-dot dress in my closet. I’m really into the boldness of fashion right now, and you can’t get any bolder than stripes, polka dots, ruffles, and flared sleeves.
Joining the Community
The Dia Community is all about empowerment. We share our fears and nobody judges or condemns one another. I love that it’s a safe space for anybody to say, “I don’t know if I look good in this,” and then hear someone who doesn’t know you say, “You look wonderful!” And to see women of all ages represented—it blows my mind.
Since joining the Dia Community, I’ve started taking and posting outfit photos on Instagram. But at first, I wasn’t sure about posting them. I realized that once I put my picture out there, I was leaving myself open for comments. For me, it was important to take that step, because I want somebody who wears a size 22 or 24 to see me and say, “Hey, if she can wear that, I can wear that.” So I took a deep breath and decided to just do it. And last summer, after I posted a sleeveless photo for #DiaARMy, my hairstylist told me that seeing me go sleeveless encouraged her to go sleeveless.
Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone
I’ve always loved other people’s style, but I never thought I had any. As a kid, my grandmother was the one who dressed me—and she had style. She would go out and shop for me, and I would just wear what she bought. My grandmother and mother would push me into wearing things I didn’t think I should wear because of my size, like prints or stripes.
My style journey started two years ago with my first Dia Style Box. I wanted to return everything, but my mom and my daughter said, “No, don’t return everything. It all looks good on you!” With Dia&Co, my mom, and a lot of encouragement, I slowly started to find my own style voice. I think we tend to get really comfortable with what we wear because we know what works for us. So I know I’m always going to go to this particular dress, this particular skirt, or these particular shirts. I realized I was kind of getting into a rut, because while it’s good to know what works for you, I feel like we always have to grow.
Now, I’m working on pushing myself out of my comfort zone and being more fearless with my choices. I’ve conquered leggings, and next on my list is accessorizing myself more. After that, I want to wear more animal print. My hairstylist is encouraging me to try jeans because I never wear jeans. My ultimate goal to really step outside my comfort zone is finally conquering a swimsuit. As people, we’re always evolving—and I think our fashion and our style need to reflect our growth, too.
Want to connect with Regina and the other amazing women in the Dia Community? Join our Facebook group today!