When last I left you, I was going to spend my day yesterday doing yard work. But then it rained all day so I ended up running errands with SweetiePie. While we were out, she reminded me that the big annual Very Bradley sale was this weekend, and “Hey Look! We’re right across the street, we should go check it out!”
Do you all know about Vera Bradley? They’re a quilted handbag company that was started here in Ft. Wayne, Indiana by two women. They’ve since added home accessories and personal items like umbrellas, luggage, etc. and every year they have a huge sale of seconds and close outs. It’s a pretty big deal and women come from far and wide (some even on bus trips — I imagine like going to a quilt show) to shop the deals. (And something new I just learned, supposedly there are big Vera Bradley sales in other cities like Charlotte, Atlanta, Northern California…who knew???)
Anyway, I would have completely forgotten about the sale (among other things, I kind of enjoy making my own quilted bags.) I went to the sale once or twice, years ago, and it was a miserable experience. Big crowds with all their associated problems and bags that I didn’t really find appealing. So, I’ve never been back since. But things are different now — I have a blog and thought maybe I should take a few pictures for posterity — and you LOL!
When you enter the sale, these pink ribbons line the barriers between people going in to the sale and people leaving the sale. Vera Bradley has been a HUGE supporter of breast cancer research.
I didn’t really get a good picture of all the rows of tables — I needed a chair to stand on for a pseudo-aerial view, but I only saw three chairs and they were occupied by tired women. But here you can see the crowd — it was definitely more crowded that I expected. Friday was the third day of the sale so I didn’t think there would be many people there.
I guess part of the reason people still come after the first day is because they apparently drop the prices each day. I don’t remember them doing that years ago — maybe they did and I just didn’t know it.
SweetiePie and I were standing off to the side watching people and these two guys came walking up with a bin full of stuff. They were pretty funny — they had big smiles on their faces and they were trying to strategically place this bin as if it was a big joke — then they stepped back and watched the feeding frenzy.
This is an area where you are allowed to sit down and figure out what you want to buy. (They keep making announcements that you aren’t allowed to sit on the floor because it’s a safety hazard.) When you enter the sale, they hand you big pink plastic bags to collect items in. At some point you have to stop and take inventory of all the stuff you grabbed off of those tables.
This was a sign on the way to the cashier. People used to come and buy tens of thousands of dollars worth of stuff and then re-sell it on ebay. Not anymore though — now they have a limit. SweetiePie and I were laughing at the thought of spending $2500 on quilted bags — in spite of how much we love fabric and bags.
This is the checkout area and it’s a terrible picture. I couldn’t get good perspective to show you how big the area is — it’s in a separate big room from the merchandise. I’m guessing there were 30 – 50 checkout lines. But, hey — I’m a terrible guesser, so take that for what it’s worth!
This is just some random woman and her purchases. That’s a lot of bags for all the sisters, daughters, friends, quilty peeps, bloggy peeps, etc. I’d say this is pretty typical though. We saw lots of women leaving with 4 or 5 big shopping bags full of goodies.
So, there you have it. Ft. Wayne’s claim to fame. (Aside from being where tv was invented. And where Johnny Appleseed is buried. And probably a few other things I can’t remember.) Vera Bradley. They’ve just built a big new Vera Bradley factory south of town. I wanted to drive out there and take a picture for you (they have pretty lamp poles) but, gas prices being what they are, I decided that was a bit wasteful. You’ll just have to make do with pictures of this year’s sale.