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Vera Bradley Unveils Major Northeast Indiana Growth Plans

Posted by Heidi Schwartz

Vera Bradley, Inc., a designer of handbags, gifts, travel bags and accessories, has announced plans to expand its operations in Indiana, creating up to 128 new jobs by 2017.

“As I travel across this great Hoosier state, I witness daily the endless possibilities that can result from a terrific idea,” said Gov. Mike Pence. “A great idea by two entrepreneurs led to the global success story of Vera Bradley. I’m proud that because of Indiana’s low tax, pro-growth business climate, the company has been able to grow at an incredible rate right here at home, further proving that Indiana is a state that works for business.”

“We are proud to invest in our home-state,” said Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, chief creative officer and co-founder. “Our design center expansion will bring nearly all of our northeast Indiana employees together on one campus.”

This is Vera Bradley’s second major expansion in northeast Indiana in less than two years. In 2011, the company announced plans to invest $22.5 million to expand its Roanoke distribution center, adding 124 new jobs.

Headquartered in Fort Wayne, the company was founded 31 years ago by Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia R. Miller who were inspired to start the company when they noticed a lack of feminine-looking luggage while waiting at an airport terminal. Today, Vera Bradley is available at 79 Vera Bradley retail stores and 14 outlet stores across the country.

“The county takes great pride in being home to such a great leader in the gift and fashion industry,” said Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters. “We are pleased to watch Vera Bradley’s continued success unfold with this expansion.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Vera Bradley, Inc. up to $1,750,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. Allen County will consider additional property tax abatement at the request of Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance.

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Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager. In September 2012, she transitioned to a new role dedicated to developing online content for Business Facilities and Today's Facility Manager (now Facility Executive). Schwartz can be reached at schwartz@groupc.com.

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