Cambridge Satchel Company
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" 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." Her colourful handmade leather satchels are all based on an original Oxford and Cambridge satchel design and 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".
An early boost came from being featured in the 2009 Guardian Christmas Gift Guide (as a men's accessory), which triggered "an avalanche of orders".
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. The company ultimately started their own Cambridge Satchel factory near Leicester. By 2011 they were making over 3,000 bags a week in the UK and selling to 86 countries. By 2014 they were making 500 bags a day, with 2013 sales of ₤13 million.
- Rickey, Melanie (3 June 2011). "British satchel maker takes fashion world by storm". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- McLean, Don (19 March 2013). "Branding the Cambridge Satchel Company: An Exclusive Interview with Founder Julie Deane". Talent Zoo. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- "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
- Wood, Zoe (24 January 2014). "Satchel firm bags $21m investment for expansion". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
- "NatWest Startups Business of the Year 2011: The Cambridge Satchel Company". Startups.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-05-06.