Attention Shoppers: Vera Bradley Outlet Sale for You

It took me awhile to recognize the Vera Bradley label belongs on a dizzying array of quilted fabric accessories but, as soon as I did, I understood the appeal of the Queen of Fort Wayne and her famous outlet sale.

There are hundreds of vivid patterns used in Vera Bradley accessories,
There are hundreds of vivid patterns used in Vera Bradley accessories, so shoppers love matching them at the Vera Bradley outlet sale. Photo by Jasmine Bejar, c.

Vera Bradley’s Pucci-like bright-colored, floral and paisley-patterned fabric totes, purses, and laptop bags are ubiquitous… and expensive. And her famous Spring outlet sale, postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, is rescheduled for April 7 – 11, 2021.

The Cult of Vera Bradley

Now a tote-carrying member of the cult of VBistas, it’s no surprise that the brand is behind the largest tourism event in Fort Wayne, Indiana: the annual Vera Bradley Outlet Sale.

Although manufacturing is now done in China, partners Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and her neighbor, Patricia Miller, began their sewn handbag business in the basement of the Bradley family’s Fort Wayne home; their very first ‘sale’ was in the backyard.

At this annual extravaganza — now held in more than 100,000 square-feet of the Coliseum — up to 45,000 acolytes from 50 states and several foreign countries revel in 40% to 60% off retail prices of handbags, luggage, stationary, clothes and myriad accessories. Additionally, the VB design team releases a new pattern done just for the event. It’s crazy.

Just take a look at our video:

Made in Fort Wayne Products Join the Fun

Nicolas Perego welcomes shoppers to his family-owned company's outlet sale.
Nicolas Perego welcomes shoppers to his family-owned company’s outlet sale.

The VB outlet sale spurs other local businesses to do sales, too. First, check out the Vera Bradley retail store in the Jefferson Pointe Mall, which is offering 25% off all items if you can show proof of having shopped the outlet first. Of course, the mall has lots of other great shops.

For sales, count on Peg Perego, the high-end Italian baby goods company, whose stroller is like the Maserati of baby carriages. All the baby items manufactured by the Perego family in Italy are sold at 20% off during the mid April outlet sale.

Best yet, the adorable ride-on toys such as John Deere tractors and Polaris ATVs made in their Fort Wayne factory, are discounted up to 50%. All year long, the company gives free factory tours of their Fort Wayne facilities, really fun for children and their grownups. Plus, Nicolas Perego, grandson of founder Guiseppe “Peg” Perego, personally greets every customer who visits.

Love factory tours? Sweetwater, the world’s largest online retailer of musical instruments and gear founded by local Chuck Surack in 1979, welcomes visitors to their distribution warehouse every day. A musical instrument sale is not necessarily one when the others are, but it’s fun to watch amps go by on the conveyor belt. You can spend a half day at the café, retail shop, kids’ rock music academy and just admiring the amazing employee facilities like a fitness center, medical clinic and concierge service to handle daily chores.

Additonally, the businesses who are most proud to say “made in Fort Wayne” offer free tours of the premises, though some require advance registration online. Debrand Fine Chocolates is a tasty option, as is the Country Heritage Winery and Three Rivers Distilling Company.

Plannng A Girls Getaway Galore

Mom and daughter pick out latest Vera Bradely handbags.
Mom and daughter pick out latest styles in handbags from the Vera Bradley sale. Photo by Jasmine Bejar, c.

The biggest local announcement is a 124-key hotel opening under the aegis of Barbara Bradley Baekgaard (Vera Bradley co-founder) and Provenance Hotels, set to open by early 2021. The hotel will be located by the new Riverfront Development and The Landing. We are looking forward to some colorful decor and great views from the planned rooftop bar.

Keep in mind that Vera Bradley’s famous sale takes place every April at the Memorial Coliseum, so room rates rise during that time. To shop, everyone must register for the event and timed entry tickets can be acquired online. Paid tickets are required Wednesday through Friday, and cost $5 for each 2-hour session. Trust us, that’s about as long as you’ll last… unless you really want that vintage February 2012 tote your neighbor found on e-Bay.

Go early! Saturday and Sunday the tickets are free; sessions are open to the raving masses of local public and thrifty fans. Too busy for those shoppers with a curatorial eye!

The Visit Fort Wayne and Vera Bradley websites offer information on Fort Wayne area hotels that are celebrating this shopfest, with specials designed for femme warriors in mind. Book early. And of course, Fort Wayne has lots of other family attractions and activities to do when you’re all shopped out.

Ready to shop till you drop? Save some energy to share your top finds with us.

Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.

3 Replies to “Vera Bradley, Queen of Fort Wayne, Indiana Outlet Sales”

  • Devesh

    I really like your post!

  • aryne

    Thanks for such a beautiful post, very informative and useful article

  • alli65

    The Vera Bradley outlet sale sounds like a midwestern version on Filene’s Running of the Brides!  It sounds like a paisley lovers dream and a fun Mother/Daughter bonding event.  Thanks for sharing!