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The official Vera Bradley blog

The Gallatin Collection

Gallatin CollectionThere are a few things that get better with age: a great denim jacket, fine wine and our new casual leather collection – Colorful, printed pouches and pockets line the vegetable-tanned leather pieces for a vintage meets Vera Bradley feel. The name “Gallatin” comes from Gallatin County, Montana, a location dear to co-founder Barbara Bradley Baekgaard. Featuring beautiful vistas of mountains and plains and the big sky Montana is known for, Gallatin invokes the beautiful, casual feeling of this collection. Trends and Materials Associate, Rachel breaks down more reasons to love the new leather.

Gallatin Collection

What is the best part about Gallatin?
The smell! You’ll have to buy it to sniff for yourself.

What sets Gallatin apart from other leather products?
This is a vegetable-tanned leather, so not only is it super soft, but it is environmentally friendly and has great durability. Gallatin will soften and gain character over time because of how it was tanned.

Gallatin Collection

What is your favorite bag?
The Canyon Tote. It’s a core style that I will use forever. It’s not structured, so it has a slouchy, relaxed feel but it still has a zip-closure on the inside that keeps everything organized.

Gallatin Collection

Shop the Gallatin Collection

The Intern Diaries

Do you dream of spending the summer surrounded by all things Vera Bradley?  Shruti Sharma, one of Vera Bradley’s summer interns, is living that dream!  Shruti is interning in the Product Development department this summer.
Take a peek into the life of a Vera Bradley intern.

Vera Bradley Intern Profile

Quick Facts:
Hometown: New Delhi, India
College: Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
Major: Industrial Design
Favorite Vera Bradley pattern: Lucky You
Hobbies: learning guitar, watching “Friends” and Bollywood movies

What drew you to Vera Bradley?
I’ve owned a lot of Vera Bradley products throughout the years, but the “moment” I was really sold as a designer was when I had a project in one of my classes to take a toy apart and see how it was made. After that project, I decided I wanted to see how Vera Bradley bags were designed and constructed.

What has been your favorite part about working here?
It’s a close tie between my mentor and the people here, with my mentor just a little ahead! The first day, my mentor took me to lunch with a few other people, and we were talking like best friends. I told her I wanted to volunteer at the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Classic. She offered to pick me up since I’m still getting used to driving here, and we volunteered together. The people have made me feel so comfortable here. Even on the first day, I didn’t feel like an outsider.

Vera Bradley Intern Profile

How did you become interested in product design?
I love to make things with my hands, design, solve problems and work with colors. That’s essentially what product design is.

How does product development fit into the Vera Bradley business?
First, the Trend team picks trends for the season. Once we have the trends, the CAD team develops patterns for that season, and the Materials team works on developing new hardware, trims and fabrications, as well as existing components in new colors. The Design team creates concepts, gets trend translation prototypes made and creates tech packs to send to the vendors for sampling. The Product Development team receives the first samples, reviews them, makes corrections, sends them back to the vendor and repeats the process until everything is finalized. During this process, we ask people to test the products and report their feedback.

What is your summer project?
I’m reviewing all the materials we’ve used for handbags, as well as all the quilting patterns. By the end of the internship, I will have developed a new quilting pattern and designed “halo” (elevated seasonal concepts) bags for Fall 2017. My mentor also helps me learn her responsibilities, takes me to conferences and connects me with other teams.

What is something you think Vera Bradley fans may not know?
We change styles, patterns, colors, trends and so much more every season, and it takes so many people and a lot of time to come up with fresh and unique designs.

What is your dream job?
To be a designer who creates products that really make a difference in this world and in people’s hearts. If that doesn’t work out, plan B is to be an Indian rock star!

If you had any advice for future interns, what would it be?
Learn as much as you possibly can, network and work hard to make your mentor proud.

Vera Bradley Intern Profile2016 Vera Bradley summer interns

Why do you love being a girl?
Girls don’t need to worry if a movie is good or bad … as long as we get to see Shah Rukh Khan or Brad Pitt for three hours!

Job goals! If you’d love to live the dream at Vera Bradley, be sure to check out our current job postings

How-to: Host an Outdoor Party

Throwing a summer party
We believe that the best thing about summer memories is making them. There is nothing better than a beautiful backyard, a warm night and a cool bottle of your favorite wine (cheese helps, too).

Hosting patio parties is one of the items on our annual summer bucket list. This year, we pulled together the three essentials for hosting the perfect al fresco experience. Bucket list? Checked!

1. Set the mood.

Do you want an elegant soiree or a laid-back barbecue on the lawn? The mood dictates the style of the evening, the food you serve and the spirits you drink. We went for a casual ambiance, using our latest pattern, Lilac Tapestry, as inspiration for the atmosphere. The galactic-inspired tapestry provided the perfect color scheme for ladies’ night at twilight.

Throwing a summer partyShop the Throw Blanket in Lilac Tapestery

back patio style

2. Dine al fresco.

If you’re hosting an outdoor party, you’ll need to have food to fit the atmosphere. Will you have dinner by candlelight or a charcuterie board with string lights? We chose the famous cheese board filled with fruits and finger foods that can be easily eaten in between laughter and rosé.

Throwing a summer party

3. Select your spirits.

Cocktail chic or vintage with vino? We think there is something lovely about sipping wine with your best girlfriends surrounded by twinkling lights. Whatever drink you choose, greet your guests with it at the door. Pro tip: Everyone loves a striped straw or fun fruit in their drink. Wine isn’t your thing? Stir up another of our favorites.

Throwing a summer party
Shop Napkins in Lilac Tapestery

There are so many summer evenings left to spend with girlfriends enjoying great conversation. If this party isn’t your style, see How to Host an Outdoor Party like an Instagram Goddess.

Whatever you choose, toast to making summer memories.

Throwing a summer party

How to Style Your Backpack

Now that college has ended, you were probably thinking your backpack days were over. Think again. Backpacks have become more mainstream for twentysomethings in recent years. The versatility of an all-in-one bag is appealing for millennials who are constantly on the go. Backpacks have the ability to work triple duty: purse, work tote and overnight bag. We’re sharing our favorite new backpacks that you can use all summer long.

Preppy Poly Backpack

1. Preppy Poly Backpack

Summertime is made for lounging poolside and afternoon bike rides – and so is this Preppy Poly Backpack. This backpack is incredibly lightweight, so you won’t feel weighed down with all-day wear. You can fit your necessities inside, with a secret pocket in front to stash your phone (and your sunscreen). It’s also water resistant, so feel free to ride your bike through that sprinkler. Our social media team loved using the Preppy Poly backpack for the local biking pub crawl.

Preppy Poly Backpack

Campus Tech Backpack

2. Campus Tech Backpack

If you’re notorious for working on the weekends, the Campus Tech Backpack is the one for you. With all the functionality you could ever dream of, this backpack has pockets and compartments galore. It has a separate laptop sleeve to keep your computer secured, plus a front zip pocket for easy access to your phone, keys and snacks. Our favorite part of this backpack is the tech outlet to feed your headphones through so you can discreetly jam to Beyoncé on your morning walk to the coffee shop.

Campus Tech Backpack

Leighton Backpack

3. Leighton Backpack

For weekends spent with your girlfriends in the city, you’ll want something that feels as fierce as your calf-hair sandals. Fashionistas will fawn over our new Leighton Backpack. This leather backpack has plenty of functionality and a luxurious exterior. Bring it on your next girls’ getaway, and check out our packing tips for a weekend trip.

Leighton Backpack

Shop Backpacks online and in Stores

Pack Like a Pro: Overnight Stay

Campus Tech Backpack
Summer is packed with opportunities for short getaways and weekend trips. For many of us, summer is also an extremely busy time between work, countless weddings and happy hours al fresco. Sometimes you need to get away, but don’t have the entire weekend to give up. For these quick trips, you need to pack much lighter.

Campus Tech Backpack

For overnight stays, we like using something a little smaller with a lot of function. Our Campus Tech Backpack is the perfect size for a night at the lake house. There are plenty of pockets to tuck away your toiletries, as well as a separate laptop compartment if you need to stay plugged in for work. Spacious for its size, this backpack can fit a change of clothes with room to spare.

Campus Tech Backpack

Overnight trips can be really simple to pack for, so it’s best not to overcomplicate. The best way to save space is to minimize what you bring altogether. Be mindful of your traveling outfit and try to get the most out of what you’re already wearing. For example, it would be a big space saver to use the same shoes and shorts both days. This just leaves packing pajamas, a swimsuit, undergarments and a top for the next day. Pro tip: Roll the clothing you do pack – it takes up less space and resists wrinkles.

Campus Tech Backpack
For anything besides clothing, we recommend using cosmetic cases to keep it all neat and organized . These cases are not only spill proof for your liquids, but they also fit everything from your hairbrush to your sunscreen.

If your short getaway happens to include a plane ride, you’ll want to use these tips for packing a carry-on.

Campus Tech Backpack

Now it’s your turn! Name your savviest packing tip below in the comments.

Pack Like a Pro: Weekend Getaway

Pack like a pro: Weekend getaway
Summer means long weekends by the lake and short weeks in the office. Taking a vacation day on a Friday or Monday to extend your time away from work makes the weekend feel luxurious. A weekend getaway is one of our favorite ways to make the most of the long days of summer. Our least favorite? Packing a bag to fit all of the outfit choices you need for three days. We’ve compiled the best travel tips for what to pack and how to fit it all in for a stress-free weekend getaway.

First, find your bag. We recommend one The Lighten Up Ultimate Sport Bag. Whether you’re planning to squeeze in a work out while you’re away or just planning to work on your tan, this bag doesn’t discriminate. It’s lightweight enough to carry up the steps at the lake cottage and large enough to fit your sandals, wedges and your tennis shoes (just in case you decide to go for a run).

Pack like a pro: Weekend getaway

If your weekend getaway involves a road trip, we love this list of foolproof hacks to make traveling just as fun as the destination.

Pack like a pro: Weekend getaway

Shop Travel online and in Stores

Pack Like a Pro: Seven Day Trip

You’ve been counting down for months and it’s finally here: summer vacation. One week of no-stress, carefree, soaking-in-the-sun “you time.” You love the idea of relaxation and getting away for the week, but the idea of packing? Not always the case. Choosing what to pack for an entire week can be difficult. You want to be prepared for any weather or occasion that may arise, but you often end up with half of your closet on the floor, trying to zip your overflowing suitcase shut. Note these space-saving hacks for your next big trip.

Pack Like A Pro: Seven Day Trip

The first way to up your packing game is to find the right bag. For a week-long trip, you need space and functionality, enter: The Lighten Up Large Wheeled Duffel. This lightweight rolling luggage doubles as a duffel and packs in plenty of function (pun intended).  When you’re traveling by air and don’t want to check your luggage, you’ll want to use these tips for packing your carry on.

Pack Like A Pro: Seven Day Trip

1. Use your clothes to store your clothes.

Find unique ways to use what you’re already bringing to help pack smaller items. For example, fold your bra in half and put your underwear between the cups: it saves space and helps your bras maintain their shape. Or, stuff your socks in your shoes to eliminate losing a pair.

Pro tip: Wear your sunglasses while traveling, so you can use the empty sunglasses case to store cords like chargers and earbuds.

2. Roll when you can.

You’ll only want to do this with items that don’t wrinkle as easily (i.e. T-shirts, pants, pajamas). For button-down shirts and lightweight dresses; stick to folding.

Pro tip: Use tissue paper between layers when folding to prevent wrinkles.

3. Keep your jewelry organized.

It takes a lot of time to untangle necklaces, bracelets and earrings after they are tossed in one bag. Invest in a travel organizer that will keep pieces separate and neat, while lying flat in your suitcase. Headache averted.

Pro tip: If you’re packing multiple necklaces, use this straw hack to keep chains from tangling.

Looking for more? We love these space-saving hacks.