A little while ago I got the chance to interview the founder and designer of The Cambridge Satchel Company, Julie Deane. I’m a big fan of the bags due to their really pretty shape as well as the amazing colours they come in, so I wanted to catch up with Julie to see what inspired her and what’s next for the brand! You can read all of the interview inside this post. Also, if you love Cambridge Satchels like I do, I am giving away a 13″ Vintage Brown satchel right now! You can enter here.
Lorna: Hi Julie! I know that you started out with nothing but your Cambridge Satchel idea 4 years ago, what inspired you to want to do satchels?
Julie: I had been looking for a lovely leather satchel for my children and they were no longer available. So I took my pencil and started drawing the one I remembered from school, then brought it bang up to date!
Lorna: You have come such a long way and I am so pleased that your company took off like it did, I’m a big fan of the satchels myself and have been for a couple of years. Did you ever in-vision The Cambridge Satchel Company being as successful as it is today?
Julie: I honestly never thought of it – I hoped that I’d make enough for the school fees but I just kept focused and working as hard as I could. Don’t limit yourself, follow your dream, work hard and see where it takes you..
Lorna: How does it feel when you see a celebrity wearing one of your bags?
Julie: Amazing – to see someone that you’ve seen so often in films or on tv, walking about with a Cambridge Satchel bag – it’s very exciting and it’s a great boost to everyone here to know that of all the bags they could have chosen, it was one of ours that was picked.
Lorna: Do you have any plans to design any other style bags in the future? Or will you stick to satchels?
Julie: We do have two new shapes, both will launch in 2013. We don’t say much as we have so many imitators that we have to be very careful.
Lorna: My favourite bag would be the fluorescent pink 11 inch satchel, do you have a favourite?
Julie: The Downing (oxblood and navy) makes me smile because it’s the one I took to Downing Street when my mum and I were invited as part of the Red magazine awards last year. It was such an honour, and to have my mum with me made it extra special. Every time I carry that bag I relive that day.
Lorna: I know your fluorescent collection took fashion week by storm in New York, did you know that neons were going to be a huge trend again at the time?
Julie: No, but they are exceptional bags. When I see someone with one the bag literally lights up the room – there’s nothing like them. We have some new fluoro colours coming so the summer is likely to be bright again, despite the British weather.
Lorna: What has been your most amazing experience since you founded the company? Do you have that one moment where you look back on it and think ‘wow’?
Julie: Standing in New York last February and seeing bag after bag of ours in Bloomingdales shop windows, with “The Cambridge Satchel Company” etched across the windows – amazing, they really helped make us ‘The Brit It Bag’
Lorna: And lastly, I just wanted to say how I love that the bags represent true English heritage in a way, but is there anything you would like to add that I didn’t ask or you would like to tell my readers?
Julie: I would encourage your readers to stop and ask themselves do they have a dream? an idea they think might just work – and then follow it – do something to make it a reality, it’s never been easier to start a business all you need to do is take that first step.
Lorna: Thank you for doing this interview with me Julie and I hope you have even bigger success!
Julie: Thank you Lorna and a very happy Christmas to you and your readers. J.