Shawn Johnson East is one of those special celebrities who dedicates a lot of time to giving back. Shawn has teamed up with Vera Bradley to design a limited-edition capsule collection of bags inspired by strong women.
“I’ve been a fan of Vera Bradley since I was little, and it was a dream come true to help design this collection,” Shawn said.
The collection consists of two styles, the ReActive Deluxe Tote and the ReActive Ditty Bag. The bags are available in three colors — Dark Blue Heather, Black, and Star Power.
“I’m obsessed with stars, so you’ll see those celebrated everywhere. We thought through every last detail you could ever need, no matter how you use these styles — whether as your gym bag, diaper bag, or everyday tote.”
Shawn told LittleThings that she got very involved when it came to bringing these designs to life. “I was very involved throughout the whole process — I wanted to make sure these are products that truly represent me and something that I would use every day,” she noted.
“I loved being able to work side by side with the Vera Bradley design team and play around with the different patterns, fabrics, and functionalities. I’ve always been obsessed with stars, and my love for the symbol grew even stronger during my time as an Olympic athlete. From the Star Power pattern that has an Americana look and feel, to the interior lining and quilting, there are stars everywhere you look!”
Shawn detailed which elements of the two bags really make them stand out in her eyes. The sustainability and versatility of both designs were super important to her.
“Both bags are made from Vera Bradley’s sustainable ReActive fabric, which is made from recycled PET bottles and is lightweight, durable, and water-repellent. I also love how functional and versatile both styles are!” she said.
The Ditty Bag, which retails at $30, is a great everyday bag for active people. Its versatile design allows it to be used in two different ways.
“The Ditty Bag features a drawstring closure and wipeable lining, so it can be carried over the shoulder or as a backpack, and you can use it to carry your wet clothes or swimsuit, shoes, toiletries, snacks and more,” Shawn explained.
The Deluxe Tote doesn’t just provide tons of room; it’s got tons of options for customizing.
“The Deluxe Tote comes with two detachable straps in print and solid options, as well as a coordinating pouch that can be worn on its own as a crossbody bag,” Shawn said. “Everyone has the opportunity to customize to really represent their own unique style.”
We asked Shawn what her must-haves in her mom bag are, and like so many moms, she’s got a lot going on in her bag.
“What don’t I have in my bag?” she laughed.
“Aside from my own personal items, I have all of Drew’s essentials — from bottles, to snacks to diapers, baby wipes, and a change of clothes; we’ve always got to be prepared!”
When she’s in mom mode, the Deluxe Tote goes the distance. “With this Vera Bradley ReActive Deluxe Tote, I really wanted to design the ultimate gym bag that could function as your everyday tote,” she said.
“This bag has stretchy mesh pockets, separate compartments with ventilation for gym shoes or worn clothing, as well as an interior key leash and a lined zippered pocket for jewelry or easy-to-misplace belongings.”
This bag is, in part, a celebration of strong women. We asked Shawn how being a mom has helped her appreciate her own strength.
“The long nights of crocodile tears and constantly trying to decipher baby languages really tests a mom’s strength,” she acknowledged.
“But when you wake up every day and see that look on your baby’s face, there is nothing a mom can’t handle.”
Shawn wholeheartedly hopes to pass an important message about strength onto her daughter, 6-month-old Drew Hazel.
“I hope she knows that the world will constantly try to tell you what you can and cannot do, and who you can and cannot become,” she said.
“At the end of the day the only thing that I want my daughter to believe is that she is capable of anything!”
The collection also benefits Blessings in a Backpack, an organization that has expanded its mission of keeping kids fed in the wake of our current global state.
“In 2018, I actually had the opportunity to partner with Vera Bradley to celebrate Blessings in a Backpack’s 10th Anniversary — and now as a mom, I’m even more appreciative of all of the incredible work they do to provide food to children in need all across the country.”
Shawn says that, due to the current health crisis, “the organization updated their services to provide meals during weekdays, because kids need food now more than ever while schools remain closed. It means so much to give back to them with every purchase.”
For every purchase of a product from the Vera Bradley + Shawn Johnson East collection, Vera Bradley and Shawn will donate 5% of the purchase price to Blessings in a Backpack. Not only is it a great way to score a bag that can adapt to your changing life, but it’s also an excellent way to give back. Shawn’s strength as a woman and a mom shines through in the best details of this collection.