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Regina’s Door boutique will empower ‘gorgeously unique’ trafficking survivors

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Regina Evans has woven an inspired vision of offering women vintage glamor, celebrating the uniqueness of every woman’s beauty, loving them through service and respite, and empowering those who are overcoming one of the world’s worst abuses to attain boundless heights. Every element of this pageant bears Evans’ own signature of grace, style, and excellence.

Evans eludes a brief description and professional categorization yet attempts would include award-winning poet, playwright, stage performer, modern day slavery abolitionist, and former owner-operator of The Diva's Closet Vintage Clothing Boutique in Sydney, Australia. Her latest venture, a culmination of aspiration and execution, experience and heart, is Regina’s Door, an Oakland boutique specializing in vintage dresses and gowns from the Victorian Era to the 1980s.

Her refined taste and discerning eye will result in an assortment of dresses and gowns offering a selection from which “women are more likely to find a gorgeously unique piece because the vintage decades have a wide array of silhouettes, shapes, and styles,” Evans explained. She continued, “Many of the vintage dresses were made by individual dressmakers who put their own little spin on each garment, rather than mass produced clothing now.” The conclusion of this formula will complement each individual as Evans asserts that women “are beautiful and one-of-a-kind with a unique heart print.”

Evans’ unique heart print is deeply and permanently embedded with whorls of committed compassion for sex trafficking victims and survivors. So Regina’s Door is an environment where they will be nourished toward robust bloom. Local trafficking survivors served by Bay Area non-profit Love Never Fails will find mentored employment at Regina’s Door that goes beyond an opportunity to earn income, which in itself is quite a blessing in Oakland’s challenged economic climate, especially for those from disadvantaged backgrounds and years of victimization.

Yet Evans’ intent is for these precious young women, “gorgeously unique” themselves, is to learn all the skills necessary to own and operate their own establishment. From business to finance, marketing to merchandising, and buying to managing—staff hires at Regina’s Door will be considered future entrepreneurs and business leaders from the start.

Evans has conscientiously developed a “learning while earning” program that includes modules in entrepreneurship, fashion and design, arts, theater with community partner Virago Theater hosted at The Flight Deck, and even science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through a community partnership with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

The outcome of this equipping is a set of “skills that they can take with them as they go off to greater heights and fullness of life,” Evans predicts. Her perspective is that the process is “a revitalization, one by one, of some amazing youth who deserve a chance at life. I just want to provide a space for them so they can be nurtured into the fullness of their spirit, dreams, and aspirations. And I have no doubt that they will absolutely rock the world with their brilliance and creativity.”

The opportunity to contribute to and be present at the birth of such a grand and glorious undertaking is as rare as Evans' vision. You can do so at the boutique’s fundraiser at The Flight Deck on August 23 featuring Evans herself performing her acclaimed one-woman abolitionist play “52 Letters.” Tickets for it are available here.

Evans’ grand opening of Regina’s Door, which will include an art gallery of pieces created by trafficking survivors, will occur Sept. 20 at the boutique: 352 17th Street in Oakland. Popuphood is the social enterprise business incubator for Regina’s Door.

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