15 April 2013

Vera Bradley Outlet Sale Recap

We moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana, about six months ago.  Since then, I have found out there are only about two things Fort Wayne is known for. One is General Motors. It's not quite the Motor City of Detroit, but trucks are being assembled here every day by the fine hands of the United Auto Workers. (My husband could tell you more about that, though.) The other notable business around these parts is the queen of quilted handbags, Vera Bradley. Their impressive headquarters can be seen from I-69 as you come upon the city from the south.

Since I was never quite interested in a GMC pickup truck, I decided to explore the avenue more fitted to me. Vera Bradley has a multi-day outlet sale once a year, and I decided to dive in head-first and see what it was all about.

First of all, I had no idea that Vera Bradley had so many die-hard fans. Until Saturday, I only owned one Vera Bradley item, which was a Christmas gift from my husband. However, women come to town from all over the country to attend this sale. It's a huge boost to the economy here, since their main goal is to spend money! The outlet sale is at our Memorial Coliseum, which is where the hockey team and big music stars play.
My one and only Vera Bradley item, pre-Saturday.
I got there around 10:45am on Saturday, which was probably a huge mistake. They can only let so many people on the floor at a time, so we waited for over an hour. I was probably the only one there by myself. And I didn't bring anything to entertain me. Seriously. No smartphone, no book, no e-reader, no mp3 player, not even a rosary, and I wasn't really in the mood to chat up the people around me or do a rosary on my fingers. I just had to make due. When's the last time anyone my age did that, really? I played this game in my head where I thought of a famous person then had to think of another famous person whose name started with the first letter of their last name (i.e., Barry Manilow to Martin Van Buren to Vanna White to Whitney Houston, etc.) We had also been given a shopping guide that had the names, locations, and prices of all the bags available at the sale. I spent a few minutes circling the ones I wanted to look at (hey, I did bring a pen!).

After the long wait where most of us ended up sitting on the painted concrete floor, we were let into the sale! We noticed as we filtered in there that we probably had the longest wait. There were only a few people trickling in at that point, and they had changed how they did the lines based on numbers. I actually found out that my husband's aunt went on Friday afternoon around 3pm and said she didn't have to wait at all. Lesson learned.

I spent over an hour on the floor looking for awesome deals and pretty patterns. It was a bit overwhelming, but I took my time with it. Checkout was an absolute breeze, so that was a major plus. I impressively did not buy anything over $20. I wasn't really looking for big-ticket items, since as I've said I'm not a die-hard. But I did end up calling both my mom and mother-in-law to see if they wanted anything. I ended up buying a lot of Cosmetic Trios! Everyone is getting cosmetic bags!

Alright, alright, I'm sure you want to see my haul:
While I drove there, I heard an ad on the radio for the sale where a woman said, "It's not how much you spend, it's how much you save, right, ladies?" Yeah, we're gonna go with that logic today.

The Carnaby print bag (lower left) is now my 'baby/kid' bag that we throw toys and food in to take to church or wherever. (I have been keeping a diaper bag in the car for the past few months in case of emergency, but I don't really need to drag it everywhere any more.) The Espresso purse (top left) is my 'class it up' bag when I need to look more polished and it is my hands-down favorite buy of the day ($20!). Just a gorgeous bag! The column on the right is four sets of Cosmetic Trios, with the Priscilla Pink one at the bottom being mine. And the scarf in Portobello Road got worn yesterday to church.

Overall, I had a good time at the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale 2013. I will do a few things differently if I go in the future, though. First, I will find a friend to go with (I'm still working on making friends in this town). If that doesn't pan out, I will bring a book. I also won't go in the 10am hour on Saturday. When I was leaving around 2pm, it had really cleared out. The employees were still opening boxes to restock, though. I'm sure there are some cool things that go quickly, but most of it probably went to the die-hards who bought tickets and came the 3 days before. (I saw some headbands on another blog that I would have bought in a heartbeat!)

To top off my experience, I am going to give away some of my great finds! Come back tomorrow for your chance to win!


  1. So fun! If I lived closer, I would TOTALLY go with you next year. Fer. Sher.

  2. I'd go with you too if I lived closer! I like Vera Bradley though I'm not a die hard fan. I do enjoy going to the outlet near my mom's when I visit her.

    I love the brown bag!