Falling for the Lone Star State

If things seemed a bit quiet on the blog late last week, it would be because we were given the opportunity to pack up our matching Roll Along Duffels and head south to the state where everything, especially the personalities, is bigger. That’s right … we went to Texas!


After landing, indulging in two generous meals (breakfast at OldWest Café and rolls at Daan Sushi Asian Bistro & Bar, respectfully) and a quick check in at the Gaylord Texan, we grabbed our totes and let the GPS guide us to Southlake Town Square, a beautiful outdoor shopping center near Grapevine, Texas. First stop? The adorable Vera Bradley Store with a charming red door and friendly staff.

Vera Bradley at Southlake Town Square

Vera Bradley at Southlake Town SquareThe lovely ladies of Vera Bradley at Southlake.

Friday was all about observing another branch of the Bradley family tree. We were privileged enough to spend the day with Joan Reedy, Vera Bradley’s daughter and sister to our Co-founder, Barbara Bradley Baekgaard. If you ever get the chance to visit with Joan, we assure you, you will be entertained. Just as witty and endearing as her sibling, Joan tours various cities sharing photos and stories about growing up with Vera, Barbie (as she calls her) and being a part of the history of the company so many have grown to love.

Welcome Joan Reedy

Joan ReedyJoan Reedy shares the history of Vera Bradley with guests at The Vintage House in Carrollton.

The Vera Bradley Story

The Vera Bradley Story

A short jaunt off the Texas highway system brought us to an enchanting pink house on a corner in Carrollton. The excited guests were already chatting with Joan and circling the snack table in a tent outside. We walked up to see, among other culinary treats, the most exquisite recreation of a piece of Boysenberry Rolling Luggage we had ever seen, in cake form. We were told the end product – crafted by Christy, a local decorator – weighed in at an impressive 30 pounds, and included every detail, down to the stitching and zipper pulls.

The Vintage House in Carrollton, Texas

Rolling Luggage cake at The Vintage House in Carrollton, TexasThe sun was shining on The Vintage House, as guests relished homemade handbag cookies and the breath-taking Boysenberry Rolling Luggage cake.

Cookies at The Vintage House in Carrollton, Texas

Just when we thought the endearing, small-town charm of The Vintage House couldn’t make us smile any wider, we met Nan Walvoord, the owner. This is a woman who never met a stranger; a fact reflected in her unbelievably loyal clientele.  We spent a little over two hours mingling with the Carrollton ladies, and watching Joan and Nan make people’s day, over and over again.

Nan Walvoord, owner of The Vintage House in Carrollton, TexasThe Vintage House owner Nan Walvoord was in high demand during the event.

The Vintage House in Carrollton, TexasNan pictured with Web Copywriter Courtney Leach, South Region Sales Consultant Melissa Steele, Joan Reedy and Senior Web Designer Nissa Otero

The Vintage House in Carrollton, TexasNan and longtime fan Severina Ware sporting Fashionable Straw Hats in Viva la Vera.

It was time to jump back on the road and journey to The Store in Lake Highlands, owned and operated by Cheryl Calvin. We nestled into a cozy corner and listened to Joan recount tales of water skiing home from school with her sisters and watching the shipping department grow from one person, to the vast facility we now employ at our Stonebridge location. Eager guests would come over to have their picture taken, listen for a bit and have Joan sign their journals.

The Store in Lake Highlands

The Store in Lake Highlands

The Store in Lake HighlandsJoan mingled with a steady stream of fans of all ages at The Store in Lake Highlands.

The Vera Bradley Story

The Store at Lake HighlandsThe day was a thrill for store owner Cheryl Calvin

While the stories leave you with a sense of wonderment and appreciation for what Vera Bradley has become and how it evolved, it was Joan’s approachable nature and razor-sharp wit that left the deepest impression. She’s a testament to the amazing family that is such a large part of the foundation on which this company was built.

We capped the day, and our visit to the Lone Star State, off with an Italian meal in Dallas at Penne Pomodoro, in the company of those we met on our trip. We chatted and laughed, and ended the dinner in the most fitting style … with a piece of Boysenberry Rolling Luggage cake and a round of hugs.

See all of our Texas locations and plan your own southern getaway!

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15 Responses to Falling for the Lone Star State

  1. pam says:

    that cake is amazing!!! i love the pink shoppe, its so cute.

  2. Julie Jones says:

    The cake is so cute! Yep it looks just like my Vera luggage.

  3. Jeanan Hamilton says:

    Thank you Courtney & Nissa!!! Absolutely LOVE your post!!! Hope you girls will come back to Texas again!

  4. Ashley (futurewriter13) says:

    i loved reading this post! the cake is so beautiful and it looks delicious! thanks for sharing! 🙂

  5. Tiffany says:

    HOWDY! I’m glad y’all loved it here in Texas! I was so sad last Friday when I was driving through DFW decided to go to the Ivy Cottage in Grapevine instead of Vintage House in Carrollton or the Southlake Sig Store because it was the least out of the way. 😦 The gals at the Ivy Cottage told me what I was missing and I nearly wept! Beautiful cake by the way. They have some FABULOUS bakers up in Dallas!

  6. Jennifer says:

    the cake and cookies are adorbale. I am having a fit to get the Rolling Luggage! So glad the Lone Star State visit was wonderful but it comes as no surprise. Love all the Vera stores in the metroplex and always find the staff to be the nicest, most helpful and seriously as in love with the products as I am.

  7. Cheryl Calvin says:

    Courtney and Nissa, Thanks so much for coming to Texas! Joan was delightful and we had so much fun! It was so fun to read your post this morning.

  8. Tara says:

    Fabulous post and it was a fabulous party at The Pink House – THE best place to shop for Vera Bradley! See y’all soon back in Texas!!

  9. Libby Bates says:

    Southlake.. oh the memories 🙂 Good times! And I LOVE the flag picture (animated GIF?)

    Great post!

  10. Courtney says:

    That cake is adorable! And as a native Texan, I agree, nothing beats the Lone Star state! 😉

  11. Cindy M says:

    What a fabulous experience!! Looking forward to some day going to Texas!! 🙂

  12. That cake is AMAZING! I had to look close b/c it looks so real!!!

  13. Severina says:

    YAY for The Vintage House! Nan is seriously one of the sweetest women I have ever meet and was so excited to have Joan Reedy come and visit her little shop. I’m so glad you all had a great time in Texas and please do come back.

  14. Elizabeth C. says:

    What a beautiful cake!!

  15. Nan Walvoord says:

    Hugs to you from The Lone Star State. Memories of the fun day are still on our minds. Thank you Courtney and Nissa for the great post. Everything Vera is very special…products and people. Come to see us anytime and bring friends with you.

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