One of the biggest handbag success stories within the past 20 years is the rise of Vera Bradley handbags. Two neighbors, Barbara Baekgaard and Patricia Miller, discovered they shared a common interest in fashion design and decided to go into business together.
One of the first things they noticed was a complete lack of functional but pretty luggage for women. With the name of Barbara's mother and $500.00 in startup money, these two women started designing quilted bags.
Growing pains for the new Vera Bradley line ranged from finding deals on fabric to discovering seamstresses to meet their high standards. A well written business plan has been their guide to success and in only 3 years sales reached 1 million! The peak of Vera Bradley Designs was in 1987 when Ms. Baekgaard and Ms. Miller won the "Entrepreneur of the Year" award.
Vera Bradley Designs is also a company with a conscience and is heavily into the fight against breast cancer with a $1.2 million dollar endowment for a chair at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Other fund raising events include a golf and tennis tournament which earned a record-breaking $602,645 a few years ago.
Vera Bradley handbags has truly earned it's place in the annals of handbag designers and continues to move forward with new designs and fabrics made with quality materials and care.