Julie Deane

Founder of The Cambridge Satchel Company

The Cambridge Satchel Company was founded in 2008 by Julie Deane and her mother Freda Thomas at Julie’s kitchen table just outside Cambridge. Dreaming up business ideas to raise money to send her daughter to private school as she was being bullied, Julie realised she couldn’t find good quality, reasonably priced satchels like the ones worn by Harry Potter and his friends, a book the family were reading at the time. With just £600 to invest, the idea for The Cambridge Satchel Company was born.

The company is now a pioneering enterprise employing more than 70 people, turning over £12million annually and experiencing phenomenally fast growth around the world.

Their colourful bags and inspiring business story recently resulted in them starring in an advert as part of Google Chrome’s ‘the web is what you make of it’ series:

The Cambridge Satchel Company is committed to preserving British manufacturing and is proud to be employing many local men and women in its own Leicester based workshop whilst also supporting independent UK craftsmen. The brand continues to collaborate with prestigious designers and retailers including Comme des Garcons and Christopher Shannon, further securing its role and international acclaim as the ‘Brit It Bag’. A favourite with fashion bloggers, the bags have been seen on the cast of Mad Men and Gossip Girl and have been worn by the likes of Alexa Chung, Rita Ora and Fearne Cotton.

Julie Deane recently won RSM International Entrepreneur of the Year in the European Business Awards 2013, Accessories Brand of the Year at the Drapers Footwear & Accessories Awards 2013 and a prestigious Queen’s Award for her company’s outstanding achievement in international trade – the UK’s highest accolade for business success.

The bags can be bought online at or in the company’s two bricks and mortar stores in London and Cambridge.