Don't get me wrong, I never lacked for anything growing up. My dad did buy me the much coveted Sketchers and Converse (shoes, and Dad buying something, were an exception to my self-imposed no labels rule), but besides the uniforms, most of my clothes were "consignment" (the nice word for thrift-store), hand me downs, or Wal-mart. I was really happy when my mom discovered Target.
Once I graduated high school and started working and paying (some of) my own bills, shopping was a true pleasure. It is definitely still on of my vices if I am not careful. Thanks to my mom I will still never pay the highest price on the tag though. I always go straight to the clearance racks. These days who doesn't? But those first Vera bags? Well, lets just say, sometimes labels can be nice.
A little after that Christmas I decided to buy my first Vera Bradley purse with some of my Christmas money, a cross body, also in Purple Punch, on clearance of course. It's a nice bag and one I know I will keep for a long time. The following Christmas my mom decided that a Vera purse was what she wanted so my Dad and I went and got her one. She loves it so much that she has used it for 10 months straight. When my daughter was born and I stopped carrying a purse altogether. I just put everything I needed in the diaper bag. A few months ago I found this backpack at a yard sale for $1 and it finally confirmed my decision that it was time for mine and my daughter's stuff to part ways. And thus, the hunt for thrifted Vera Bradley began. Besides the first bag I also found a ditty bag for $2 in need of a little repair and then yesterday, my latest find.
When I got home I looked online at how to stop a fake and most clear differences were how the zipper pulls were supposed to be, (mine didn't have any) and how there was always a different lining fabric. Mine was lined in the same fabric as the outside. I did a little more searching and somehow came up with a name for the pattern - Petal Power. Searching for that gave me a lot more results but all of them on E-bay or similar sites, and people were still debating whether or not this was an actual pattern. Finally I got smart and decided to e-mail the company. Success! It is real. It was a limited edition pattern and thus not listed under their retired list. Moral of the story? When in doubt, go to the source.
Oh, and I did find the the different lining fabric after all.