One of the highlights of my trip to Fort Wayne, Indiana was visiting the Vera Bradley Design Center. We had the chance to meet with a designer, walk through the center, see their upcoming products and so much more.
Prior to visiting Fort Wayne, I must admit I did not own any Vera Bradley products. I have coveted them for years but for some reason never let myself buy one. I have looked at them in every shape and size and always wanted one. Well after visiting Fort Wayne I am now the proud owner of three Vera Bradley pieces and I have a few more that I hope to join the collection soon.
I love the bright colors and patterns of Vera Bradley products. Walking through the airport you can't miss Vera Bradley products. I was always worried that the patterns needed to match everything I was carrying or wearing. Now I feel like they are the perfect bright fun accessory for any day!
Did you know that Vera Bradley has an outlet sale each year? I have the dates for 2016 blocked off on my calendar already! Oh my goodness rows and rows of Vera Bradley products on sale at a great discount. YES PLEASE! The first outlet sale was a tent sale in 1983. It was held in a 10X10 tent. Now more than 40,000 people attend the event annually. The sale extends for five days now. The first three days are for ticket holders. Don't worry tickets are only $5.
During our visit to the Vera Bradley Design Center, we learned that the Fall 2015 line marks a transition for the brand. They are adding in new fabrics, revamping the look of the cotton line, adding new looks and freshness to the designs. The new leather collection started in Fall 2014. The line carries on the quilted look of Vera Bradley but in leather. Keep an eye out for a happy design surprise on the inside of the bags.
I was really excited that Vera Bradley will be increasing their travel bag line! The line includes anti-microbial fabric for travel. No carrying along yuckiness from one airport to the next. Vera Bradley is focused on elevating their look as they look ahead with their designs.
Sadly there is no camera bag in the works right now but we can all keep hoping!
Vera Bradley started as a wallpaper business. The co-creators were traveling in the Atlanta airport and noticed that luggage was not very pretty. They wondered why they had to carry ugly bags. They started the company in 1982 in their 40's. Vera Bradley was named after co-creator Barbara's mom. The creators didn't want their name in the company name in case their friends didn't like their bags.
Barbara's Mom Vera Bradley was an Elizabeth Arden model and very beautiful. She is the perfect inspiration for the brand.
One of the cool things we learned during our tour is Vera Bradley has a happy committee for their employees. The happy committee puts together surprises, random outings, and birthday treats for employees. Each employee receives $50 on their birthday to treat themselves to something special.
The Vera Bradley Foundation for breast cancer has given more than $23 million to breast cancer research. The company focused on giving back from the beginning. There is now a 40 person team on the Vera Bradley Foundation.