The only item from my daughter’s schooldays that’s stood the test of time is her beloved brown leather satchel. I bought it for her when she started school at the age of four - and she still uses it. It’s pretty bashed up these days, but the other week a young woman tapped her on the shoulder in M&S and said: “I love your satchel. Where did you get it from?”
Now an independent student on the verge of moving to Paris, my daughter’s been longing for a new satchel for ages. So when she discovered that the Cambridge Satchel Company was holding a sample sale in Cambridge this weekend we jumped in the car and hared east. Thank you to Liberty London Girl, by the way, for posting the details on Facebook.
The Cambridge Satchel Company was founded by accountant Julie Deane, who loves satchels as much as me and my daughter. “I had a satchel that stayed with me all the way through school,” says Julie, “and the more battered it got the more character it had.”
Looking to start her own business, Julie hit on the idea of selling traditional satchels in zingy colours. The rest is history. Fearne Cotton’s been spotted out and about with a fluorescent yellow satchel and Alexa Chung often sports a navy version. The UK-made satchels sell all over the world and have even appeared in Gossip Girl and Glee.
When we got to the Guildhall in Cambridge, the satchels (above) were selling like hot cakes. I spotted one girl queuing up to buy five, in hues of pale yellow, baby pink, bright green, black and orange. My daughter snapped up a gorgeous silver satchel and even though my student days are long gone I couldn’t resist getting one in navy. The sale (the satchels are selling for up to 60 per cent off) is on again today (August 12), so if you’re anywhere near Cambridge, don’t miss it.