What do you know about this amazing company I just fell in love with? In college, one of my besties came by way of Chicago. She always had these cloth bags that looked like a Provencal pattern. She mentioned once or twice and how much she loved the line, but I never thought much about it. To me, it seemed like an ultra-conservative Mid West kind of trend. Living la vida loca in Las Vegas and San Diego, the country-esque looking prints didn’t really seem to fit well with my fashion choices at that moment…I wore skin tight silver pants and a black madriff top to my 21st birthday party. I was more leather and lace than cotton and pearls.
As a thirty-something year old mother, I am finding that, though, I still like to rock the trends and dress a little edgier than most, I also find comfort in the classic, preppy looks that keep me going from coffee meeting to pick-up to grocery store and soccer practice. I wasn’t super familiar with the Vera Bradley line or company until I was invited to attend their travelling fan convention, Be Colorful, that took place in Las Vegas at the Red Rock Hotel and Casino this April.
I had been told it was a “neat” event, and that it was “fun”. So, I penciled it in. I was open to learning more. My nanny plops her light green Vera Bradley tote on my counter every day, and though I thought it was “cute for her,” I didn’t pay much attention to it other than that. Let me tell you, I am now one of Vera’s biggest fans.
Upon walking into the convention room at the Red Rock Casino, immediately my day got brighter. Barb Bradely Baekgaard, Co–founder and Chief Creative Officer of Vera Bradley, was on stage, with a beautiful light green background embellished with the Vera Bradley signature logo. She was sharing stories and chatting the audience up as if they were all BFFs. I sat down and noticed that I was the only woman in the room not carrying several Vera Bradley totes, or even one of them! It was a dreary, rainy day in Las Vegas, so I was dressed in dreary rainy day clothes…denim leggings, taupe sweater, brown cowboy boots. So not Be Colorful chic. Thankfully, shortly after I sat down, each member of the audience was gifted a brand new, colorful scarf from the latest Spring collection…inject color!
As I looked around the room, and listened the the VB fans, I started to miss my daughter. Oddly enough, I ran into my nanny and her mother! And, as the day went on, and more stories were shared from both the audience and the employees, I started to feel like I had really been missing out on something. Heidi Floyd, a Vera Bradley employee, shared her triumph over breast cancer, and how it was a life long journey for her to support others who were affected by it. Her own mother, grandmother and great-grandmother had all died from the disease before the age of 40. She was determined to live her life, and to live one longer than all the women before her had. We were all in tears as she shared not only her story about dealing with the cancer during her pregnancy, but the support she received from her company co-workers and Barb Bradley herself. It was a beautiful story. In fact, the company was so touched by the story, when they were creating Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer, they asked Heidi to become their Ambassador so she could share her stories with millions of women.
Then Kris Connell, from Real Simple magazine, came on the stage to tell us about how to turn Old Things into New Uses. Though she shared some great tips, I think she was even more impressed with the tips from the women in the audience. Speaking of the women in the audience, it was remarkable to note that these women are VB Fans! The Be Colorful tour travels throughout the US with their Flower Power wagon, and they stop every 6 months at a new location giving fans in that neck of the woods a chance to experience Vera Bradley first hand. It’s like a trekky convention but with really sweet, nice women, inspired and fashionably preppy, looking to buy up every last bit of Vera Bradley they can get their hands on. They connect with their sisters, mothers, friends. They connect with the people they met at the last Be Colorful event. They bring their daughters! I really felt the lack of my little girl not being there with me. Especially when they announced the Mission Statement, “To be every girl’s best friend.”
I brought along fellow VegasBlogger, Lala Sams, and we had a fabulous day without the kiddos, I must admit. We enjoyed lunch, we chatted, we shopped, we won prizes. It truly was a great place to be with your BFF. We walked out of there bigger fans than we ever thought we would be. When I got home, I started going through all of my amazing new Vera Bradley pieces, and understood the other reason as to why they were going to be my new BFF. Every piece was carefully thought out, designed and created to work for a woman. Besides the fact that the patterns and colors reflect the latest trends, the pieces work. I love my new Summer Cottage tote. Not only because it’s aethitcally pleasing, but because it has the right amount of pockets on the inside, the exact right size to fit my phone, sunglasses, and Arinca gel (I did mention I’m a thirty-something year old in the midst of a fitness challenge!). The snazy little tablet case I won reminded me of the French provencal patterns from when I studied abroad, but it also has this perfect little pocket for business cards, which I tend to lose. The coin purse has a mini-coin purse inside. Who thinks of these things?!? I’ll give you two answers:
- A Woman
- Your BFF
Mother’s Day is coming up! A Vera Bradley bag is the perfect gift!
I was compensated (2) tickets to attend the Be Colorful event in Las Vegas, along with some really amazing Vera Bradley products. However, all thoughts, opinions and words are all my own.
The Vera Bradley collections have cult-like followings! What is your favorite Vera Bradley piece or pattern?