When I started The Cambridge Satchel Company back in 2008 I had a vision to bring back the classic British satchel which had all but been forgotten. Now you see satchels everywhere, but back then I couldn’t find one anywhere for my children to use at school. Fast forward nine years and we are still making those very same satchels, still here in the UK along with a wider collection of styles, colours and finishes that I could never have imagined back then.
Throughout the journey, one thing has always remained important to me – to make quality products, here in the UK, that hard working people could all afford. I started the business with just £600 so it wouldn’t make sense for us to charge anywhere near that for a bag. It would have been easy to move all our manufacturing abroad to save costs to keep our prices down for you, but I truly believe that traditional British bags deserve to be made in Britain.
However, some of our costs have crept up along the way. I’ve spoken about the challenges we’ve faced as a business over the last few years and I am now working hard to simplify our operations and cut out some of the layers. As part of this, I’ve been reviewing our prices. Some of our styles are priced higher than I would like and I don’t want anyone to feel that they can’t aspire to own one of our bags. Our average price remained at £120 for a long time – a good price for an authentic, quality product that is made with care and attention so that it will last a lifetime. I’m working to ensure that remains our average price.
I’ve looked particularly at our canvas styles which launched last year. It took us a while to get the canvas right and I was determined we would source the material and manufacture in the UK but that meant working with some of our partners and manufacturing outside of our own factory. We got there in the end but the prices were quite high. We’ve been fortunate that our customers have been so supportive and those bags sold incredibly well. So well that I’d like us to make more. Our factory team at our manufacturing base in Leicestershire has been working hard so we can now make them there and as we know you like them we can make more units, all of which helps to bring the cost down.
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One thing we haven’t been able to make at our factory due to cost constraints is our small leather accessories. We found a fantastic producer and are proud to be working with them. I have taken the decision to price these in line with our belief that great craftsmanship should be affordable so we are reducing our margin, and therefore our prices as we head into Christmas.
I’ll continue to look at our range to ensure it provides quality for a good price. Thank you for your ongoing support. It really means the world to me.
Keep your eyes peeled for some beautiful styles launching for Christmas over the next couple of weeks – the perfect party bags and some fantastic stocking fillers. Plus the launch of our brand new lifestyle range. I’m passionate about the direction we’re heading and think you’ll agree the new products are rather special. We’re also working on some exciting things for our 10 year anniversary next year. Watch this space for ways to get involved!