Vera Bradley

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Vera Bradley
Founded 1982
Founder Patricia Miller and Barbara Bradley Baekgaard
Headquarters Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States
Number of locations


(August 2014) stores+outlets
Key people
Robert Wallstrom (CEO)
Kevin Sierks (CFO)
Kim Colby (EVP of Design)
Matt Wojowuczki (EVP, Operations)
Products handbags, weekend and travel accessories, forks, wallets, watches, scarves, belts, glasses cases, cosmetic cases, umbrellas, napkins, placemats, tableware, bedding, furniture, fine rugs, accessory coverings, and stationery
$46.2M USD[1]
Number of employees
1,427 (regular),[1] 800 (contract)[2]

Vera Bradley is the name of a luggage design company founded by Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia Miller in 1982.[3] It is an American design company best known for its patterned bags.[1] The Fort Wayne, Indiana company produces a variety of products, including quilted cotton luggage, handbags and accessories.


While traveling through the Atlanta, Georgia airport, neighbors Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia Miller noticed the fact that there were no feminine looking luggage styles.[4] They started the company with five hundred dollars, (each contributing $250).[5] The name comes from Baekgaard's mother, Vera, who was a stylish inspiration, formerly a model for Elizabeth Arden.[4] In three years, the company expanded into a multi-million dollar company.[citation needed] Miller and Baekgaard were awarded with Entrepreneur of the Year in 1987.

In March of 2015 Vera Bradley announced that it was eliminating 250 American jobs, closing the New Haven factory, and moving the production to overseas manufacturers. This mimics another cutback of American manufacturing from August 2014 when Vera Bradley ended its second shift and terminated another 150 jobs.[6]


A Vera Bradley store at The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Vera Bradley bags come in several sizes and styles, as well as many different patterns and colors. There are travel duffels, backpacks, laptop backpacks, totes, purses, wallets, eyeglass and sunglass cases, cosmetic cases, wrist accessories and jewelry cases. There are also umbrellas, napkins, placemats, rolling luggage, diaper bags, tableware, rugs, accessories, and stationery. Baby products were added to the line in 2013.

There are more than 3500 retailers of Vera Bradley and stand alone Vera Bradley stores. The company currently provides work for over 900 people through subcontracting as well as direct employment.[1]

The Vera Bradley Foundation[edit]

The Vera Bradley Foundation supports Breast Cancer Research at the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research Laboratories at the Indiana University Cancer Center. Its biggest fund-raising event is the Vera Bradley Classic Women's Golf and Tennis Tournament in Fort Wayne, Indiana, which raised over a million dollars in 2012.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d Wellington, Elizabeth (August 23, 2007). "Vera Bradley bags: Blooming hot". The Philadelphia Inquirer. pp. E01. 
  2. ^ Heher, Ashley (April 24, 2006). "Younger Buyers Fuel Vera Bradley's Growth". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
  3. ^ "Secretary of State Registration". Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  4. ^ a b Trebilcock, Bob. "Vera Bradley’s multi-channel success". MMH Editorial. Modern Materials Handling. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  5. ^ "Patricia R. Miller & Barbara Bradley Baekgaard". Education and Resources. National Women's History Museum. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  6. ^ Slater, Sherry. "Vera Bradley eliminating about 250 jobs". The Journal Gazette. The Journal Gazette. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  7. ^ Cohn, Justin (June 4, 2012). "Vera Bradley Classic raises over a million dollars". Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 

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