Inside Stitch

The official Vera Bradley blog

3 Tips to Taking Better Photos

3 tips to taking better photos
Let’s be honest, double taps and positive emojis on our posts make us feel all the love. Of course, we can’t forget about the ultimate form of flattery­­­­ – a feature from your favorite brand.  If you want your photos to catch our attention, follow these three tips for a double-tap-worthy work of art:

ONE

Nothing beats natural light. Take your photo by a window or head outside.

   3 tips to taking better photos
3 tips to taking better photos

TWO

Clear the clutter. Whether you’re featuring your new shoes or a cute clutch, make sure to show off it off against a clean and simple background.

  
3 tips to taking better photos
3 tips to taking better photos

THREE

Use the hashtag #verabradley with all of your posts featuring our product so that we can find and feature your photos! Bonus tip: We can’t find your photo if your account is private, so make sure it is set to public.

Snap and share your best looks with us and maybe you’ll see them right here or here.

The Look Out, World! Sweepstakes is officially underway and we want to see photos of your greatest accomplishment. Use the hashtags #vbcelebrate and #entry on your photos for a chance to win a customized prize package and a feature on our social pages. After posting your photos, go to verabradley.com/lookoutworld to complete your entry.

Hey Jill: How Do I Finally Get That Promotion?

Hey Jill
There’s something about spring that makes us desire a fresh start. From reorganizing our desks to color-coding our closets, we have a newfound motivation this time of year — and with graduations this month, we have careers on the mind. Whether you’re fresh out of college or you’re refreshing your résumé, it’s always a good idea to listen to some quality career advice. It’s hard to know what to expect for an interview or your first day on the job, which is why we went straight to the source: we met with our own Human Resources Business Partner, Jill, to answer your burning questions on how to finally get that promotion.

VB: If an associate is excelling in their position, what are the top things managers look for to determine if they are ready for a promotion?

Jill: There are a few things managers take into consideration. First, is the associate mastering their current role and working at the next level up? Second, does the associate go above and beyond? This could include volunteering for a special project or taking on additional tasks relevant to the next-level position. Lastly, a positive, can-do attitude never hurts.

 
ask Jill

VB: Is it taboo for an associate to ask about a promotion timeline?

Jill: It is not taboo, but the associate should keep the overall state of the business in mind. Is the company announcing growth plans or has there been downsizing? Understand that a promotion timeline may change from year to year as the business state changes, and that there must be a business need for the role or an open position.

VB: How do you recommend bringing up the question of a promotion timeline?

Jill: I would encourage the associate to have a conversation with their manager about the type of work they enjoy doing. They can ask if there are ways to become more involved in a project or if they can take on additional responsibilities.

 
hey Jill

VB: Do you have any go-to websites for career tips?

Jill: I love looking at The Muse and LinkedIn.

If you just landed the job and are ready to start your first day, here are five things to remember. Still in need of interview tips? We’ve got you.

Have an accomplishment that deserves to be shared with the world? Enter our Look Out World Sweepstakes for a chance to win a customized Vera Bradley prize package and a Fuji Instant Camera.

Hey Jill: What Should I Know About My First Day of Work?

hey JillThere’s something about spring that makes us desire a fresh start. From reorganizing our desks to color-coding our closets, we have a newfound motivation this time of year — and with graduations this month, we have careers on the mind. Whether you’re fresh out of college or you’re refreshing your résumé, it’s always a good idea to listen to some quality career advice. It’s hard to know what to expect for an interview or your first day on the job, which is why we went straight to the source: we met with our own Human Resources Business Partner, Jill, to get the scoop on the ins and outs of your first day on the job.

VB: They nailed the interview and landed the job. How should a new hire prepare for their first day?

Jill: Pay attention to the details you received from your new Manager or the HR department. From the time to arrive, whom to ask for and the documents required for your new hire paperwork, there is a lot to keep track of. Make sure you are clear on what is required and the details of your first day.

VB: What should a new hire bring with them on the first day?

Jill: You’ll want to bring a tote that can fit everything you’ll need for the day, like the Hadley East West Tote. Definitely pack a notebook and pen so you can start taking notes, as well as a tumbler to stay hydrated throughout the day. You’ll get a sense of how much space your desk offers on the first day, but feel free to throw in something small like a colorful Note Cube to add personality to your space.

 
ask Jill

VB: What is the biggest mistake new hires make on their first day?

Jill: Not taking notes! Not only will it help you remember information, but also it shows you are interested in the topic being discussed.

VB: What are your top two pieces of advice for going into the first day on the job?

Jill: First, be patient! You won’t know everything right away and you aren’t expected to — understand it may take several weeks or months until things really start to click. Second, be curious. Companies use jargon and acronyms that may mean nothing to a new associate, so it may seem like things are moving 100 mph! Speak up and ask for clarification to show you are engaged and want to better understand.

 
ask Jill

VB: How should a new hire dress for their first day at a new job to make the best impression?

Jill: It’s appropriate to ask during your offer process what the dress code is and plan accordingly. It’s a good idea to err on the side of caution and dress one step above what you think the dress code is, just to be safe.

Choosing the perfect bag and styling outfits is our forte, so we wanted to give you a little outfit inspiration to get you started.

outfit inspo for your first day

Looking for more first day advice? Here are the five things to remember. If you haven’t landed the job yet and are in need of some major interview tips, you’ll want to check out Jill’s advice.

Have an accomplishment that deserves to be shared with the world? Enter our Look Out World Sweepstakes for a chance to win a customized Vera Bradley prize package and a Fuji Instant Camera.

Hey Jill: What Are The Dos and Don’ts of Interviewing?

ask Jill
There’s something about spring that makes us desire a fresh start. From reorganizing our desks to color-coding our closets, we have a newfound motivation this time of year — and with graduations this month, we have careers on the mind. Whether you’re fresh out of college or you’re refreshing your résumé, it’s always a good idea to listen to some quality career advice. It’s hard to know what to expect for an interview or your first day on the job, which is why we went straight to the source: we met with our own Human Resources Business Partner, Jill, to get the scoop on the dos and don’ts of interviewing.

VB: Let’s start with phone interviews. How should a candidate prepare for this first interview?

Jill: There are four things that candidates should do to prep for that first phone interview: visit the company’s website, review the job posting, refresh yourself on your résumé and think of at least two questions to ask the interviewer.

VB: How does the preparation for an in-person interview differ from a phone interview?

Jill: In-person interviews will be more specific and dig deeper into experience and skills, whereas phone interviews are a little more general and gather just the surface information. For your in-person interview, prepare for those situational questions like, “Tell me about a time when you were faced with a difficult situation and how you solved it.” Compensation expectations are also typically discussed in the in-person interview, if not previously touched on in the phone interview.

VB: What are some of the best questions candidates have asked on their interviews?

Jill: Two of my favorite questions have been “How will success be measured in this position?” and “What would you like to see accomplished in my first 90 days?”.

 
ask Jill

VB: What questions, if any, should candidates avoid asking in an interview?

Jill: I would refrain from asking about other positions in the company or how quickly you could move into a different role. This may come off as a lack of interest in the role you are applying for.

VB: On a similar note, what is one BIG mistake you’ve seen made in interviews that should be avoided?

Jill: Not doing their homework! We have interviewed candidates that didn’t know we were a handbag and accessories company or that our headquarters are based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Do your research and come up with a system to organize the jobs you’re applying for so you can easily reference it when you are called for an interview.

VB: How should a candidate dress for an in-person interview?

Jill: As long as you keep it professional with a blazer over a dress or pants and a blouse, that’s great. It’s always a good idea to bring a bag, like the Hadley Tote, to hold your personal items as well as your portfolio and extra copies of your résumé.

 
ask Jill

VB: Lastly, what is your #1 tip for a successful interview?

Jill: Prepare! When you are knowledgeable about the company and the position you are interviewing for, it makes the conversation flow much more freely.

We just know you’re going to nail that interview! If you have already landed the job and are anxiously awaiting your first day, let us know any questions you have in the comments and Jill might just answer them in our post new week!

Have an accomplishment that deserves to be shared with the world? Enter our Look Out World Sweepstakes for a chance to win a customized Vera Bradley prize package and a Fuji Instant Camera.

Tips to Build Your Girl Boss Empire from KBStyled

There’s something about spring that makes us desire a fresh start. From reorganizing our desks to color-coding our closets, we have a newfound motivation this time of year. With graduations this month, we have careers on the mind. Whether you’re fresh out of college or you’re refreshing your resume, it’s always a good idea to listen to some quality career advice. We met with real-life superwoman and professional girl boss, Brooke Webb, to chat career advice and what she wishes she knew when she first started her career. This mom of two, VP in a Fortune 500 company and successful fashion blogger at KBStyled knows a thing or two about juggling work, family and a side business.

Brooke of KBstyled

Tell us a little about yourself!
“I’m Brooke Webb, the Editor and Creator of a top Nashville-based style, beauty and lifestyle blog, KBStyled! I live just south of Nashville, in Franklin, TN, with my husband, Peter, and our two children, Reins and Addison. Of course, I must mention our fur babies, too — Cali and Carolina. I grew up right outside of Charlotte, NC and graduated from Clemson University. For much of my career, I have worked for a Fortune 500 company as a Vice President, Corporate Recruiter, within Human Resources. A little over two years ago, I launched KBStyled as a platform to inspire other women and to encourage them to find their own personal style. Since then, KBStyled has become a destination for women of all ages to come for style inspiration, as well as fitness, beauty and lifestyle tips!”

What do you look for when selecting a bag for work?
“My ultimate work bag is a tote bag like the Ella Tote. My work bag must be a carryall that is large enough to carry my laptop and to-do list among all of my other workday necessities! It needs to be practical and functional with interior pockets, but most importantly, I must be able to carry it comfortably over my shoulder!”

Brooke of KBstyled

Brooke of KBstyled

Brooke of KBstyled

What surprised you the most about working full-time after graduating?
“I found the long workdays and how tired I was at the end of each day the most surprising. It was quite the adjustment to go from maintaining a class, study and social schedule to managing a work schedule. I could no longer take naps in the middle of my day!”

What do you wish you had known when you were applying for your first job?
“I wish I had known that networking plays such an important role in landing a great first job post-graduation. I thought I could do it all on my own and didn’t take the advice of some who encouraged me to network more. I job searched for a while before accepting an offer post-graduation — and the offer I ended up accepting came about through networking with an employee of the company that I was hired by.”

What tips would you give those still job hunting?
“Take your time, don’t settle and get on LinkedIn! It is tempting to rush and make a quick decision so you have a job lined up post-graduation, but there is nothing wrong with working part-time while you job hunt and interview for the right opportunity. Also, network, network, network! Consider joining a young professionals group in the city where you live and utilize social media to your advantage — you should absolutely have a LinkedIn account!”

What advice would you give to recent graduates about to enter their careers?
“Work hard, always be on time and remain confident in your abilities!”

What is the most unusual thing you keep in your everyday bag?
“Baby wipes! Although our children are seven and five and we are well out of the diaper phase, I still carry baby wipes in my Mallory Satchel because I use them to wipe nearly everything down. They are perfect for gentle makeup touch-ups throughout the workday as well!”

Brooke of KBstyled

Lastly, what would you say is your key to success?
“I’d say my key to success is maintaining a work-life balance. I’m able to compartmentalize my day — when I work, I’m dialed in with work and when I’m with my family, they’re my focus. If you don’t balance the many aspects of your life, one area will suffer more than another.”

Brooke of KBstyled

Shop Brooke’s look:

Mallory Satchel

Mallory Satchel

Ella Tote

Ella Tote

Mallory Accordion Wristlet

Mallory Accordion Wristlet

Weekly Desktop Planner

Weekly Desktop Planner

We wish we had Brooke’s advice when we started our own careers! Do you have any other burning interview or career questions? Our own Human Resources guru, Jill, will be answering all of your questions in our next blog series later this week. Comment below and your questions could be answered!

The Ultimate Everyday Bag

The girl on the go, the girl that loves organization, the girl that needs options for her outfit, height and everyday life. There are so many different types of personalities and styles, and we found one bag that works for everyone, every day: the Triple Zip Hipster Crossbody.

Offering hands-free organization, three separate zippered compartments and an adjustable shoulder strap, this bag keeps it together, even when you can’t.

The Ultimate Everyday Bag

Bonus: it comes in multiple patterns and is the perfect gift if you’re still looking for Mom.

Give the moms in your life a shout-out for all of the ways they show their love. From the endless hugs they’ve given to the sleep they’ve lost over the years, say #thankyoumoms with a photo that’s worth a thousand words.

What’s Inside: The Dog Mom Bag

We all know the power of the perfect handbag. You know, the one that fits every outfit, occasion and essential. We know that your beautiful leather clutch can’t double as Fido’s travel bag (he gets his own, obvi), and a crossbody may not hold enough ice cream and wine to cheer up your bestie after a bad breakup. Enter our latest blog series. Each month, we select and assemble a bag that caters to a situation in which you’re bound to find yourself.

With Mother’s Day around the corner, we’ve had mamas on the mind. We recognize there are all kinds of moms out there, from new moms (see the perfect baby bag here) to the moms who swore they’d never get a minivan. Today we’re helping out the dog mom and sharing how to make her day a little more organized. These fur-baby moms came to the rescue for their pup and life has been more hectic (and happier) ever since! Dog Moms, this one’s for you.

We know that your furry friend is along for the ride for most of your outings and needs his own essentials. You’re tired of carrying a separate bag with his toys and treats and are looking for something that conforms to your busy lifestyle and can fit both your and his needs in one bag. Meet the Leighton Backpack. The most compact of our backpack styles, this lightweight bag is hands-free, so you can easily hold onto the leash on his most hyper days, while still fitting everything you need. We know that life can get messy, so you’ll be relieved to toss this in the washing machine to clean up any messes! Now that you have the bag, here’s what you’ll need to pack.

what's inside: dog mom bag

1. Collapsible Water Bowl. One of our favorite hacks for long afternoons out with your dog: collapsible water bowls. We love this keychain version so it can easily hook onto your bag strap or keys. Hot days just got a whole lot easier.

2. Dog Toy. Your pup’s motto? “That’s so fetch.” But seriously — don’t be caught at the dog park without his favorite toy.

3. Treats. Every good boy deserves a few treats now and then.

4. Wet Wipes. Messes happen. You’ll thank us later.

5. Wallet. Although this bag holds all your pup’s goodies, this is still your bag! This is a smaller backpack, but it can still hold so much. No need to downsize to a compact wallet, you can fit your full size to ensure you have everything you need.

6. Flats. We love your strappy, tassel wedges too, but they won’t cut it for an impromptu walk in the park. Toss in your comfiest pair of flats and you’ll never suffer those blisters again.

Give the moms in your life a shout-out for all of the ways they show their love. From the endless hugs they’ve given to the sleep they’ve lost over the years, say #thankyoumoms with a photo that’s worth a thousand words.