Young, mature, sophisticated, playful... women of all ages love Vera Bradley! And our phenomenal growth rate for the past five years shows this!
Our Beginning: Established in 1982, Vera Bradley was created by Barbara Bradley Backgaard and Patricia R. Miller and named after Barbara's mother.
Our Mission: To design, manufacture and internationally market a distinctive line of superior quality handbags, travel items, stationery, eyewear and accessories that convey the Vera Bradley image and unique lifestyle. Currently, we release new colors and styles each season.
The Vera Bradley Timeline
While waiting in the Atlanta airport, Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia R. Miller notice a need for feminine luggage. Investing $250 each, they begins a cottage industry in their hometown, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
The business moves from Barbara's basement to a rented space in a local paper company's building.
With steady growth, a new building is erected and the company moves into a 15,538 square-foot facility in Fort Wayne.
What started as a small, annual outlet sale in a rented tent space grows so big, the company decides to move it to the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne.
Barbara and Patricia established a women's ProAm charitable golf event, The Vera Bradley Classic. The benefit raises $64,000 for the American Cancer Society.
With continuing growth of the company, the building is remodeled and expanded, providing 27,848 total square feet.
Patricia and Barbara establish the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. The Foundation pledges $1.2 million over the next five years to Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. The pledge endows a chair in oncology for breast cancer research.
Vera Bradley launches its first special pattern to raise funds for breast cancer. More than $126,000 is raised for the Foundation. From its humble beginnings 17 years ago, Vera Bradley is now sold in all 50 states, as well as Europe and Japan.
Vera Bradley staff grows from 60 to 90 employees. The seventh annual Vera Bradley Classic raises $385,000, bringing the total money raised to $1.5 million.
Barbara meets President George W. Bush at a Trade Promotion Authority meeting at the White House. The company also introduces its second pattern to benefit breast cancer research. Linda Malkas, Ph.D. is named the Vera Bradley Chair in Oncology and brings her research team to the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Seventy five Sales Representatives now service Vera Bradley accounts nationally. The ninth Vera Bradley Classic raises $475,000, surpassing $2 million to date.
The first Vera Bradley Signature Store opens, Vera Bradley at Clay Terrace in Carmel, Indiana.
Vera Bradley introduces the pattern Java Blue, our best-selling color to date. The Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer makes a $6.8 million pledge to the Indiana University Cancer Center bringing their total giving to $10 million.
Vera Bradley celebrates its 25th birthday with a 25th Anniversary Collection. Ten more Vera Bradley Signature Stores open across the country. Vera Bradley attends the Super Bowl in Miami and the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, to give gifts in the celebrity lounges. More than 40,000 women from across the nation travel to Fort Wayne for our annual Outlet Sale, our largest crowd to date.
Vera Bradley attends the Daytime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles and the Tony Awards in New York City to give gifts in the celebrity lounges.
Vera Bradley participates in the Tournament of Roses™ Rose Parade™ with the Hope Garden float. Breast cancer survivor and actress Cynthia Nixon along with other survivors rides on the float. To date, 3,000 independent retailers carry our products across the nation.