Behind the Seams with summer intern Stephanie Flint

Hi! I'm Stephanie, a senior at Butler University and the Human Resources intern in the Fort Wayne office. As long as I can remember, I have enjoyed collecting Vera Bradley, and I am extremely excited about this summer. Check back to follow what's happening behind the seams at Vera Bradley!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Store Opening!

Last week, I was lucky enough to attend a new Vera Bradley Store opening in Ohio, at Beachwood Place Mall. Joined by two of my co-workers from Human Resources, Ryan and Amy, I was thrilled to finally be attending one of these events. For months, I've read all of the tweets about each new store, wishing I lived closer. While in Cleveland, we attended the Friends and Family event and the Grand Opening.

Day 1: Friends and Family

We were greeted by this adorable Boysenberry sign (pictured below), a helpful guide to the new location. We were beyond excited, considering this was the first store opening for each of us.

Whatever expectations we had were completely blown away by how busy the store was when we arrived. The lines of people waiting to checkout and to get in were evidence of the amazing job the team did setting up the new location. Everything looked beautiful!

There were so many dedicated Vera Bradley fans that came out for the first night, they didn't even mind waiting in the checkout line!

Though the evening was titled "Friends and Family Night," everyone was welcome to come in. There were loyal Vera Bradley fans carrying classic prints like Medallion, little girls with their moms holding their Caitlyns and even some ladies who were visiting a Vera Bradley Store for the very first time. Guests and fans new and old snacked on Boysenberry cupcakes almost too beautiful to bite and sipped from Viva la Vera water bottles.

The delicious Boysenberry cupcakes from the White Flower Cake Shoppe.

These little bottles of water were so cute, some people kept theirs as a keepsake!

The evening turned out to be the biggest store opening in Vera Bradley history, and I loved being a part of it.

Day 2: Grand Opening

The official opening was the next morning, so we arrived early to help with last-minute preparations, and to attend the ribbon cutting. The team had restocked the shelves and made sure everything looked absolutely perfect before the doors opened.

Oh, the colors ...

I was constantly making my own Wish List in my head as I walked around the store ...

This was my favorite product display - I just love Lemon Parfait!

Arvin, the Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives, had the honor of being the one to perform the ribbon cutting, and posing for all the pictures beforehand.

The beautiful staff members before the opening.

Arvin, announcing the 43rd Vera Bradley retail store, in Beachwood Place Mall.

These are the dedicated Vera Bradley fans that got to enter the store first, after waiting in line.

Once the ribbon was cut, the store was officially open and it was time to shop. We helped customers find the right bag and color, which I thought was so much fun! First, the back room is amazing. Just imagine ... every bag in every pattern. Second, I loved getting to hear the customers' stories. Whether they were waxing poetic and reminiscing about patterns, reliving a trip they made to the Outlet Sale or rehashing how they were introduced to our products, everyone had something special to share.

Just shopping away!

Checking out some of the City Look products.

Before we knew it, it was time to head back to Fort Wayne. It is safe to say that our trip to Cleveland was a success, and such a good time! I loved seeing how the retail side of the business functions. As an avid shopper, seeing the details of a store opening from behind the scenes was a great insight into how a company creates a great customer experience.


  1. So fun! There's really nothing like bonding with the locals over cupcakes and cute bags :-)

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  3. And where do you get those artichoke lamps that are in the stores on the east coast?

  4. Their products look so organized! Who would've thought that cupcakes and bags can be sold in one store? That's actually a clever idea. People seemed to enjoy the opening.