Growing up in Texas, you knew the Vera Bradley design and you wanted a piece of it for yourself. It was as vital as owning a pair of UGGs. Though it was never really cold enough to justify wearing them during the winter, girls still sported them with Soffe shorts, a t-shirt and scarf. (I know that outfit sounds all sorts of tragic… because it was.) The same went for Vera Bradley’s duffle. Many of the users were dancers or cheerleaders, but other times you’d see girls carrying a half empty bag along with their handbag and backpack.
My first VB item was purchased in college; a brown and pink paisley wristlet that I stuffed everything in. If it looked like it couldn’t fit, I’d find a way to shove it inside. I used it for a little over four years (I actually just got rid of it this summer during my seasonal cleaning) because Vera Bradley, as vibrant as the collections are, just seemed too juvenile for my new grown up life. And I don’t think I was the only one to feel that way.
After 30 years of selling to their very loyal followers, Vera Bradley saw they struggled to bring in a new generation of loyal fans. Through consumer research they found that the brand wasn’t holding the same relevancy as it had years ago. CEO Robert Wallstrom said, “Vera Bradley [needed] an evolution, not a revolution.” Basically, they’re not rebranding themselves and forgetting their original foundation. They are expanding on the Vera Bradley world for admirers who are knocking on 30 and aboves door and live in cities like New York or Los Angeles that paisley print totes better be carrying your dirty gym clothes and not the report your set to present to the VP of a Fortune 500. Catch my drift?
For example, imagine a Cheetah print calf-hair and black leather satchel that converts to crossbody if wanted; or a quilted leather tote large enough to fit a laptop and everything else. Plus, the handbags still come adorned with that Vera Bradley print we know and love, but as the interior liner. It’s like a mullet – business in the front, party in the back. Except this party is on the inside!