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Healthy Cells is a local health magazine with most of the articles written by local professionals. People love to read about healthcare from their local health professionals. Each month includes a wide variety of articles on various topics.
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Fashion Meets Function

If you’ve ever waited for luggage while watching the parade of drab colors spinning around an airport baggage carousel, you’ll understand the inspiration for the vibrantly patterned, quilted-cotton bags and accessories created by Vera Bradley. Two longtime friends, Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia R. Miller, noticed the lack of feminine-looking luggage on their way back from vacation almost thirty years ago and created a company named after Barbara’s mother.

    Years ago, some of the designs seemed to scream “old lady,” but the company continually adapts to women’s tastes and lifestyles. Today’s vibrant hues and modern patterns have replaced the muted tones and animal prints of yesteryear. “I wouldn’t have carried the bags ten years ago,” says store employee of the Mole Hole, exclusive area retailer of the Vera Bradley line, which they also sell from their sister store, Uptown Gifts and Accessories in Normal. “Now, it’s all I pick. They’re the rage for my daughters, too, who range in age from fifteen to twenty-five.”
    The demand for the fashionable designs that are also practical has grown, and they are now hugely popular among all age groups. Made with long-lasting, sturdy construction, most bags are cold-water machine washable, so they continue to look nice (vinegar sets the color and line drying keeps the shape). Incorporating customers’ suggestions makes them more functional, like adding pockets galore, cross-body straps for security, or sizes that hold as much, or as little, as one needs.
    Julie points out the local favorites, some of which make nice gifts for less than twenty to about thirty dollars. “The Vera Bag, All-In-One Wristlets, and Large Duffle are huge on college campuses. New drivers in high school love the Zip ID, which holds keys, a license, and cash. The Laptop Attaché is perfect for work. I take the Weekender Bag on the train for overnight trips to Chicago.”
    The company updates the line each season, launching four new patterns along with styles to compliment the latest fashions.
    Part of the allure comes from anticipating the newest introductions, as designs incorporate a fun, colorful vibe or solid tones in plums, browns, and black for those who prefer a more subdued look. It’s not just the motifs that change each quarter, but styles and types of products too, as summer’s oversized canvas totes make way for fall’s comfy, cozy stadium blankets, for example.
    From back-to-school binder clips to travel basics, the wide variety of Vera Bradley products make them an easy choice for almost every need and price point. Vera Bradley’s winter launch was scheduled for September 22, when the latest, soon-to-be favorites hit store shelves, so both loyal customers and new fans could enjoy more varieties of affordable, functional fashion.
    The Mole Hole and Uptown Gifts and Accessories are the exclusive regional retailers for Vera Bradley products in Bloomington-Normal. You can find them in Eastland Mall, at their newer location close to the old Penney's also in Uptown Normal, on Facebook, or call The Mole Hole at 663-2241 or Uptown Gifts and Accessories at 452-7999.


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