As I have always said, I love it when shopping local goes hand-in-hand with buying pretty name-brand things. Nowhere in Fresno is there a better example of this than the marriage of national accessories brand Vera Bradley and local shop Top Drawer.
Top Drawer is a stationery and accessories store that sells, among other adorable things, the full line of Vera Bradley bags and accessories (the only store in Fresno to do so). Store owner Jane has such a good relationship with the brand that she is one of a select few Vera Bradley retailers in the country who sits on an advisory board for the company.
Jane opened Top Drawer at Fig Garden Village back in 2010, on the Monday after Easter. This week, six years later, she opened a second Top Drawer store on the Monday after Easter, this time at River Park (in the space formerly occupied by The Ivy).
The new store will also carry Vera Bradley. In fact, a visual merchandiser from the brand flew in last week to help Jane set up her sleek new cabinets and fill them with the latest that Vera Bradley has to offer. While Vera Bradley has traditionally been known for its bright, pretty patterns and quilted fabrics, many of the bags at the second store will cater more to River Park’s diverse and more modern clientele.
In celebration of their growing partnership, Vera Bradley co-founder and Chief Creative Officer Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and CEO Robert Wallstrom will be coming to Fresno for a day chock full of fun events that will both highlight Top Drawer and give back to the community.
On April 20, Barbara and Robert will be hosting a meet-and-greet coffee event from 9 to 11 a.m. at Top Drawer Fig Garden, which will be open to all interested shoppers. There will be giveaways and a silent auction benefiting the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. A portion of all sales at both stores that day will also be donated to the foundation. From 5 to 7 p.m., the Vera Bradley executives will be at a champagne reception at the new River Park Top Drawer, with all the same fun stuff as the morning event (but with bubbly)!
In between all of this is another very special opportunity to hear more from Barbara and Robert. At 11:30 a.m., they will be speaking at Fresno State as part of the Lyle’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s “Pay It Forward Luncheon Series.” The series is focused on bringing together Fresno State students and female business leaders. Barbara will be speaking about her entrepreneurial journey, as well as the importance of corporate culture to business success. Robert will discuss the importance of continual innovation to Vera Bradley’s long-term strategic growth plans. The luncheon is free of charge and open to all who may be interested. You can register for a spot here.
As a female fashionista, I am super excited to hear from such a trailblazing business woman! For those of you other business women who will be working during the first two events, I highly encourage that you head to the champagne reception to meet the Vera Bradley team and check out the new Top Drawer! While you’re there, you’ll notice something, though. For as much as I’ve been talking about Vera Bradley (because, c’mon, how exciting!) the majority of the second store is actually dedicated to Top Drawer’s other love: stationery.
“There was a need for a very nice stationery store [at River Park],” Jane said. “I love my Fig Garden store, but we didn’t have enough space.”
I love, love, LOVE this aspect of the store. It was already what kept me going back to the original Top Drawer up to twice a month. I’ve always been a sucker for cute office supplies, etc. and the new Top Drawer has even more of it. I am especially obsessed with the selection of Kate Spade and a new line I’ve discovered at the store called Curly Girl.
But what I really buy most often at Top Drawer are the cards. I’ve made a conscious decision this year to send more good old fashioned mail to my friends. As such, I’ve needed a lot more cards. And I’m really picky about cards, as I am about most things in life. I like them to have the perfect message, heartfelt but not sappy. Usually quirky. Real and honest. Top Drawer carries all those types of cards and many, many more. And really, where else is there a local card store like this in Fresno? Shop local for the win once again!
So anyway, all this to say that I’m clearly very excited that there’s now two Top Drawer stores in Fresno. I love to see a local lady like Jane find so much success, and once you meet her and check out one of the shops, I know you’ll want to support her, too! Head to Top Drawer now!!!