Cambridge Satchel Company

The Cambridge Satchel Company is a British company that produces satchels and other leather goods.

The Cambridge Satchel Company
FounderJulie Deane and Freda Thomas
Number of locations
4 stores
Area served
Key people
Julie Deane
ProductsLeather goods

The company was founded in 2008, in Cambridge, England, by Julie Deane and her mother Freda Thomas as a way to pay private school fees for Deane's children. She had been looking for a durable, timeless schoolbag for her children, describing her goal as "what Harry and Hermione would have used at Hogwarts"[1] and telling her children "Harry Potter. I am telling you that is a boy that would have had a satchel with that Hogwarts school uniform."[2][3] Her colourful handmade leather satchels are all based on an original Oxford and Cambridge satchel design and were aimed at school children, but met unexpectedly high demand as a fashion accessory, and became, according to The Guardian, "a cult among twenty-something fashion bloggers".[1] The company was started with just £600.[4]

An early boost came from being featured in the 2009 Guardian Christmas Gift Guide (as a men's accessory),[5] which triggered "an avalanche of orders".[6]

Following coverage by international fashion magazines and a collaboration with the fashion brand Comme des Garçons, production of the satchels increased from three homemade items a week to 1,500 in 2011, and turnover increased from £15,000 to an estimated 8 million in 2011.[1] The company ultimately started their own Cambridge Satchel factory near Leicester.[3] By 2011 they were making over 3,000 bags a week in the UK and selling to 86 countries.[7] By 2014 they were making 500 bags a day, with 2013 sales of £13 million.[6]

In 2013 they opened their first physical store,[8] and as of 2015 they had 4 stores in the United Kingdom.[9] In 2015, after focusing on women, the first line aimed exclusively at men was launched, along with the first store specifically targeted at men.[10][11]


  1. ^ a b c Rickey, Melanie (3 June 2011). "British satchel maker takes fashion world by storm". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 May 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ McLean, Don (19 March 2013). "Branding the Cambridge Satchel Company: An Exclusive Interview with Founder Julie Deane". Talent Zoo. Retrieved 17 May 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b "Cambridge Satchel Company: the inspiring story behind month's most affordable 'It-bag,'" Leah Chernikoff and Steff Yotka, Fashionista, October 12, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2011
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b Wood, Zoe (24 January 2014). "Satchel firm bags $21m investment for expansion". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 May 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "NatWest Startups Business of the Year 2011: The Cambridge Satchel Company". Retrieved 2014-05-06. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Hurley, James (2013-02-03). "Cambridge Satchels to open first store". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2016-02-26. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Martin, Jill (2015-06-08). "How Harry Potter inspired a £13m school bag company". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-02-26. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Macnaughten, Holly (2015-06-11). "The Cambridge Satchel Company launch menswear". The Gentlemen's Journal. Archived from the original on 2015-07-15. Retrieved 2016-02-26. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ Maleri, Jayna (2015-06-11). "Wes Anderson Would Love The Cambridge Satchel Company's New Men's Shop". Condé Nast Traveler. Archived from the original on 2015-06-27. Retrieved 2016-02-26. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

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