Vera Bradley - A short History

Let me introduce you to Barbara Bradley Baekgaard! She is today's late bloomer story!


As part of my Women's history month series, I am dedicating this week to spotlighting women who didn't make their mark on the world until later in life. Today, I would love to introduce you to Barbara Bradley Baekgaard.


BBB and her friend Patricia Miller wanted to create bags and luggage for women that stood out and were as interesting as their personalities. So, in 1982, when BBB was 42 years old, the duo borrowed $250 each to buy fabric and supplies and started Vera Bradley. The name was to honor BBB mother. 


BBB and Patricia crafted handbags in BBB basement in Indiana. Thinking that their hustle was more of a hobby than a business, BBB attended SCORE, a non-profit dedicated to teaching entrepreneurs the skills they need to find business success. Vera Bradley reached $1mil in sales three years later, and the rest is history!


Vera Bradley brings in over $500mil yearly, and BBB worth is estimated at $210mil. Although she has stepped down from her CEO role, BBB is still active in many philanthropic endeavors, including Vera Bradley Foundation for breast cancer.


Whatever idea you have at any age is not stupid, far-fetched, or impossible! Barbara Bradley Baekgaard started her company with a friend and $500 making quilted cotton handbags that she thought no one would want. 


What brings you joy? What have you always wanted to do? I would love to hear your ideas!