3.29.2010

UPDATED w/ photo 4/1: Clothes Horse now carrying Vera Bradley

Fashionistas with serious brand loyalty now have a new, close-to-home source for Vera Bradley products in the Clothes Horse on Broadway.

The store, a downtown mainstay of women’s clothing, shoes and accessories since 1977, was recently chosen as a seller for Vera Bradley — the trademark American-made handbags that are quilted with brightly hued print designs — store owner Lisa Schroeder said.

The Vera Bradley company is so choosy about where it allows merchandise to be sold that small-business owners like Schroeder have to endure an in-depth application process just to be considered, and then adhere to strict guidelines while working with the vendor. The company strategically spaces out its sellers throughout the country; locally, the next closest source of the brand’s full line is in Greenwich.

Clothes Horse staff are excited about the fresh products, which they have devoted 12 feet of wall space to in the store, Schroeder said.

“When the economy’s not good, you have to be flexible and you have to be willing to freshen up your business to keep it exciting,” she said. “We’ve been downtown for a long time, but for us it’s also going to be bringing in a whole new customer.”

The handbags, wallets, backpacks, lunch bags and more have appeal for babies, teens, grandmothers and everyone in between.

Taking on the line is also part of a conscious effort to seek out companies that are owned by women, Schroeder said.

The Clothes Horse will hold a celebration event to break out the bags (look for giveaway drawings) from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 3. Refreshments and champagne will be served.

For more information, call 587-9667 or go to www.saratogaclotheshorse.com.

Photo: A close-up of several Vera Bradley designs carried at Clothes Horse.

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