Story by Morgan Gstalter
Photo Courtesy Emily VanSchmus
Take Emily VanSchmus, for example. Her love for pigs has led to an interesting and adorable collection.
“A friend told me about a breed of miniature pigs and I really wanted one, but pigs as pets were illegal in my town at the time, so I started collecting the figurines,” VanSchmus said.
With numbers reaching close to 150, she has a few to decorate her dorm, but the majority is back at home. While she admits to shelling out too much cash on the little piggies, she feels no shame in going to extreme lengths to deliver her barnyard friends home safely.
“A few years ago, I bought a fragile pig figurine in Central America and held it on my lap for the eight-hour flight home,” VanSchmus said.
While VanSchmus spends her time with her pink, little friends, Erin Donegan spends her time looking for the colorful creations of designer Vera Bradley.
“Contrary to popular belief, Vera Bradley is much more than just purses and totes. I collect purses, totes, overnight bags, suitcases, makeup bags, room accessories, lunch boxes, office supplies and much more,” Donegan said. “I have an entire shelf in my closet dedicated to my Vera totes and overnight bags. Everything else is scattered across my room.”
Even though Vera Bradley items are a lot more accessible than pig-related items, sometimes other collectors beat Donegan and her mother to the accesories.
“I’d say my mom and I are a little obsessed, because we go to any lengths to get good deals on our Vera bags,” Donegan said.Sometimes, when there’s a sale going on, if we can’t get the bag we want online, we’ll drive over an hour to go to the closest Vera Bradley store or outlet to get the bag we want.”