Vera Bradley Design family member visits downtown Rockford

Sassy Pants Boutique now carries Vera Bradley’s new line for mom and baby.

Lynette Bowser, owner of Sassy Pants Boutique, is pictured with Vera Bradley granddaughter Kathy Reedy Ray. Ray visited Rockford to celebrate the store’s carrying Vera Bradley’s new line for moms and babies.
Lynette Bowser, owner of Sassy Pants Boutique, is pictured with Vera Bradley granddaughter Kathy Reedy Ray. Ray visited Rockford to celebrate the store’s carrying Vera Bradley’s new line for moms and babies.

Vera Bradley Designs has added to its family. After nearly 31 years as a handbag, accessory and gift designer and retailer, Vera Bradley launched a baby collection, which is now carried by downtown Rockford shop Sassy Pants Boutique. To commemorate the event, Kathy Reedy Ray, granddaughter of the line’s founder, personally visited the shop during a trunk show Wednesday, April 24.

“Baby is a natural fit for Vera Bradley,” said Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, co-founder and chief creative officer. “We have an annual baby shower at our company to celebrate our employees who have had babies that year. Our fans love sharing Vera Bradley, and Vera Bradley Baby is another gift giving opportunity.”

Sassy Pants Boutique now carries the entire line for moms and babies. “It is beyond a perfect fit for our boutique,” said owner Lynette Bowser. Sassy Pants held a welcome Vera Bradley Baby party that was thrown like a baby shower.

“Several of our customers came out to celebrate with us. It was such a fun time!” Lynette stated. She described the event as another example when downtown Rockford merchants join together to help each other and to better serve their customers. “The Twisted Vine catered the event, Polly from Polly’s Passions shared her amazing chocolates and beautiful flower bouquets were donated from Rockford Flower Shop, but I have to say the highlight of the party was having Vera Bradley’s granddaughter Kathy Reedy Ray attend.”

Ray came and brought a bunch of Baby Vera goodies to give to our guests as well as some great stories to share. She was even asked to autograph a few pieces by our guests, which she happily did.

“We laughed a lot, ate, and shopped the new line,” said Lynette. Ray told great stories about her mom, aunt and grandma during the early years. Her mom and aunt shopped back in the day at Joanne Fabrics and sewed at their house. They decided to borrow $250 each from their husbands to get started, and the rest as they say, is history. She shared how her grandma was so dedicated to the company and enjoyed what she did so much. “Ray said her grandfather was in the hospital one time and her grandmother, Vera was downstairs selling Vera Bradley to the gift shop. That’s drive and dedication!”

Sassy Pants is thrilled to have Vera Bradley’s latest for mom and baby. Vera Bradley Baby includes apparel items, baby gifts and several baby bag styles. Customers also have the ability to personalize two items, the plush blanket and lovey bunny with initials or a name.

Sassy Pants Boutique, located at 51 ½ East Bridge Street in Rockford, is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm with new extended hours coming soon. Apparel, accessories and gifts are available for boys up to size 4 and girls up to size 8. Additional information and featured boutique items are available on Sassy Pants Boutique’s website at and on their Facebook and Pinterest pages. Lynette opened Sassy Pants Boutique in 2010 to share her affection for one-of-a-kind items for infants and children, as they are individually unique blessings.

“We’re thrilled to offer Vera Bradley Baby to our customers,” said Lynette. “This will be something special for women of all generations to share.” The new Vera Bradley Baby line features new patterns Lilli Bell and Tutti Frutti, and design elements center around a tale of friendship called “Bunny and Bear.”

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