So, if you're a girl of a certain age (college), especially in Indiana, you know all about Vera Bradley. Brightly colored bags, purses, wallets and every kind of accessory under the sun.
Vera Bradley is designed and headquartered in Fort Wayne, IN, which is a couple of hours from my house. Yearly, the company holds a massive warehouse sale with lots of stuff at closeout prices. Women line up for hours to get the brightly-colored bags are closeout prices.
Vera Bradley is popular all over the country, but it's really an Indiana Thing. And if you tell me it's not popular all over the country - go to an international airport and look for American tourists. You'll find them holding the Vera Bradley totes.
And with good reason - the totes are amazing. They are thick and durable and hold up even in the worst conditions. Not only that, but after you get tired of them, they are so collectible that you can turn around and sell them on eBay later. Win win.
So when my friends told me they wanted to go to the outlet sale... I was scared. I had heard stories of waiting in hour-long lines for massive discounts, and I was scared.
We made the drive to Fort Wayne (my first time ever in this lovely city) and popped out into a line wrapping around the War Memorial Coliseum. As in, the building that will hold an Elton John concert this Saturday. This place is massive.
We had tickets for the 11 o'clock session and it was 11 on the dot. We stood... and stood. And stood. I'm not entirely sure what happened.... but we entered the building at noon. We had until 1:30 pm to shop, so we knew we were at a slight disadvantage.
I walked into the building and the wranglers (and multiple police officers) pointed us in the right direction. They offered us pink garbage bags to shop with and a map. My friends declined the map and jumped right in... and I panicked.
There were bags and bags and bags and bags. And this picture shows what must be the end of a session... when you walk in, it is WALL TO WALL people. EVERYWHERE. I couldn't really see anything, or where I was going.
Amateur hour, I should have grabbed a map. Anyways, I took a quick lap of the building to see where the major swarms were... and then I dove in. Grabbed a bag for Mr. RH's younger older sister.
I had requests from a couple friends so I went in search of those next. I finished my shopping within an hour, but I missed a LOT of tables because I got so disoriented.
I grabbed a couple of items for myself, but most of it was for gifts.
One of the big requests was a large duffle (not to be confused for the XL duffle) for Mr. RH's oldest sister. I have seen my friends tote these duffles for YEARS and YEARS so I grabbed one for myself. The question is... which one for me and which one for her? I can't decide. Tell me which one. The top one is Folkloric and the bottom one is Tea Garden. (Original retail price $85, sale price $64, I paid $50.)
For Mr. RH's younger sister, I got the Vera bag. I have one of these totes and it's seriously THE BEST BAG. I've used it as a school bag, as an overnight bag, a work bag, whatever. It has pockets and a sturdy bottom and it is the best tote bag I've ever used. TRUTH. Only place I'd never take it is the beach... the sand might be too much. (Original retail $80, sale price $60, I paid $50)
You win some, you lose some, right??
All-in-all, it was a good experience. The worst part of the day was waiting over an hour to go inside to a ticketed-session. As in, I had tickets to enter at 11 am... so I'm not sure why I had to wait outside for an hour. I realize that buildings have capacities and such... but it seems like that would be factored into the equation. If a 3 hour session can only hold 700 people... why sell 1000 tickets, ya know?
Weird, but I'm sure it's a kink that will get worked out. The checkout line, which I had heard was a horror in years previous, wasn't too bad. I think we waited less than an hour and the line was moving the whole time.
I'm not going to lie... I intended to dress in theme with such a colorful outfit. I was pretty stoked about this picture.
Soo.... have you ever indulged in any shopping madness?? It was my first time and I as totally unprepared... but I'd soo do it again.
Also, which duffle bag to I keep? Priorities, people.