The story behind The Cambridge Satchel Company is one of sheer admiration and one that bloggers such as myself played a huge part of their business growth. In 2008 their business was started by Julie Deane and her mother Freda with £600, an idea, a whole lot of hope and hard work. Their business idea really resonates with me, pick a classic piece of clothing (or in this case leather satchels), redesign it with modern methods of manufacturing, improve on small fashion, design touches and you have a great product to take to market and something with a nostalgic following. A very similar model I used with the Pin Collar Shirt and Hawkins & Shepherd.
A question I get asked a lot is "What would I do differently if I could go back and start Hawkins & Shepherd again from scratch?". Being in business now for about 4 years, I have noticed a lot of small things that I would have changed back then but without a doubt that main one would be to have better cost control. So going back to The Cambridge Satchel Company, starting with a small £600 budget was possibly one of the best things that could have happened. It means you scrutinise every penny, every decision in much more depth than if you have a £20K startup budget for example. You'll find that often money gets wasted on meaningless clutter, such as branded headed paper, expensive business cards to name a couple of things. Whereas in reality, these are things that can be improved on in the future and are not a necessity at the start. What is important, is creating a perfect product and then let the market decide how to shape the business in the early years.
The Cambridge Satchel Company started their collection with 6 very classic coloured, perfectly (not over engineered) designs which sold very quickly which meant they quickly expanded into some more daring colours and designs. This bold move excited editors of major magazines, fashion bloggers became fascinated by the product, celebrities started buying it for themselves and therefore pushed the brands profile to a new level.
Today The Cambridge Satchel Company is a true British success story, a global brand and I would personally like to wish them all the success in the future because what Julie and her family have achieved in such a short time is truly inspiring to small business owners like myself. Putting on my blogger hat, I think their brand story also shows how brands can work hand-in-hand with journalists and bloggers together to achieve a common marketing goal and more should be done to align these two industries in the future.
So on to what I wore yesterday on a typical Spring day in London, a little bit chilly in the shade but in the afternoon sunshine, it was actually quite pleasant and finally what felt like a very cold windy evening. I've already got quite a lot of tan, brown, black and grey bags so wanted to pick a satchel that would really stand out and something that I haven't already got in my wardrobe. So I went for a burgundy style unisex backpack. I paired the satchel with a cream longline knit from a brand that is new on my radar, Samsoe & Samsoe. their clothing is incredible in quality and design, it's a brand that can easily become a favourite of mine - so expect them to feature in my outfit posts more in the future.
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Photography by Carl Cunard