Like many people, the Cambridge Satchel Company first came to my attention when during a visit the cinema, the Google Chrome Advert was shown. My friend, ‘Bird’ and I were immediately excited, having been fans of the latest trend for the satchel, we both were keen to go for the original and best.
Julie Deane had been looking for a good quality satchel for her children as her son and daughter were both keen for bags like the characters in ‘Harry Potter’. Meanwhile, her daughter was being viciously bullied at school and Julie wanted nothing more than to send her to the local private school. It was because of this, that on her list of ideas to raise the money for the £12,000 a year fees, she wrote ‘sell traditional satchels’. She started the company with a meagre £600 and was selling one bag a week. Now, the company has its own shop in Covent Garden, makes £12 Million a year, and 900 bags a day of all colours and sizes, not just the original traditional style.
I have always wanted a satchel style bag, even when in school, but settled for whatever was available and a good enough brand to not be laughed at or picked on myself. Maybe for me too it was the Harry Potter effect, but perhaps also a bit of OCD – I like to neatly organise everything in my handbag in order of size and like it to stay that way, in the position in which I have placed it. It frequently irritates me when they slip down or get moved around. I love the idea that with the rigid style satchel, everything will stay neatly where it’s been placed. Now, as a ‘grown up’ (allegedly I am, though I’m shocked too) I really, really want one.
Unfortunately, having visited the site repeatedly and also having visited ASOS, one of their retailers, I have been shocked by the price. I have watched several videos on YouTube all made with the last year, some 6 months old, to see what can be fit into the different sizes to get an idea of which to buy. The bag size I like appears to have been almost £20 cheaper within this time. Personally I, being of a low-end budget, find this to be an incredibly steep increase. A bag which would have cost roughly £80 then, is now £98 (and that’s just for the classic style, expect to pay a chunk more for the other designs/styles). That price difference would have paid for the embossing and personalisation of the bag that I clearly will have to go for (no point doing it by halves). Though in comparison to the top designers, this is actually a bargain especially for such a good quality, British made bag that will in fact last a very long time and often look even better with signs of aging, I just happen to be of limited means.
I quite like the look of a vintage 13”, the traditional chestnut-brown coloured bag which would be perfect for work, with silver embossing on it. Though, I have since seen several purple with the silver and they look stunning. Now at that price, I doubt I can afford one without selling part of my liver (I am saving my kidney for a special occasion) so there is next to no chance I would be buying two. Vintage, would be more traditional, probably go with more outfits, but purple seems more personal and more exciting, a bit more unique. Though, the vintage would add to the ‘Paddington Bear’ theme I have going on with the red Doc Martens. Regardless, my choice of bag may be have to be limited to be affordable…enter the clearance section!
This genius little part of their site (which can be found at https://www.cambridgesatchel.com/clearance/) houses bags which are at the end of their line such as limited editions and nearly perfect bags that have marks or scuffs or wonky stitching etc. but at a lovely discounted price. The section is updated twice weekly with new additions and others being removed once they have been claimed. So ladies and gents (as these bags are fabulously unisex) if you like me, are of a low budget but want one of these beauties, keep your eyes peeled and you could grab yourself a bargain! I however, will be scrimping, saving, praying to the lottery Gods and generally scheming to get my mitts on one (unless some kind soul out there decides to treat me…)
The Cambridge Satchel Company https://www.cambridgesatchel.com/ accessed 07/05/13
Daily Mail: Mum who couldn’t afford daughter’s school fees makes £12million a year selling satchels http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2245651/Cambridge-Satchel-Company-mum-afford-daughters-school-fees-makes-12m-year.html accessed 07/05/13
The Cambridge Satchel Company’s starring role http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/news-features/TMG9511851/The-Cambridge-Satchel-Companys-starring-role.html accessed 07/05/13