Stories from the Workshop

For many years now, we have been lucky to have our very own workshop based in Leicestershire, where some of Britain’s most talented, dedicated and caring craftsmen and women create each and every one of our leather bags and accessories. We believe that our workshop is our biggest asset, but it wouldn’t be what it is without the people who work there. 

Many of our makers have been with us since we first opened our workshop in 2011. In this article, we’d like to tell the stories of David, Martin, Louise and Ben, who make up a large part of the Cambridge Satchel Co. family, but who are family in a literal sense, too!

This is our Workshop Manager, Martin (right), joined by our Manufacturing & Supply Chain Director, Mark (left). Martin is in his 12th year at The Cambridge Satchel Co., but he started his working life in the footwear industry. He spent 19 years in the manufacturing of leather goods and sales aids/portfolios, 12 years in logistics and fulfilment and finally he joined us as Workshop Manager here at The Cambridge Satchel Co., looking after the best part of 40 staff and overseeing all production. 

Martin’s wife, Louise, also works for the business, and is in her 11th year at the workshop, predominantly working in quality control. For many years, she worked as part of our pick/pack team, fulfilling daily orders worldwide. She remains an essential part of the team, and we’re thankful for what she does every day.

Their son, Ben, is in his second year with the company, after successfully completing his university BTEC in sports science. Ben is very skilled in manual work and originally aimed to become a qualified masseur, but has really settled into a manufacturing environment here at The Cambridge Satchel Co. He is truly thriving and has been learning new skills all the time. He quickly found out that there is a different skill set needed from using his hands on muscles and tendons than there is cutting and manufacturing leather!

The family story doesn’t stop there, as Ben’s uncle (and Martin’s brother), David, is also part of the team. You may have noticed David popping up on our website and socials, and that’s because we think the work he does for The Cambridge Satchel Co. deserves so much recognition. 

David originally started his working life in a traditional British manufacturing setting, producing high quality knitwear and fabrics for what was then a booming textile industry in the UK. He spent many years being responsible for the setting and running of multiple knitting machines, producing very high volumes. When the textile industry in the UK fell on difficult times, David ventured out into logistics, operating vehicles from small vans to 18 tonne class 2 vehicles, moving goods around the country from Cornwall to Scotland, working long days and clocking up the miles. 

When the opportunity came, David moved back into British manufacturing with The Cambridge Satchel Co., and he has been with us for just over three years now. He has the huge responsibility of looking after all of our stocks of materials and leather. David starts The Cambridge Satchel Co. manufacturing ball rolling at our workshop, issuing materials into our cutting team, which is our first process in the manufacturing of our products. As well as forklift driving, housekeeping and recycling on site, David is always willing to turn his hands to most things, promotes teamwork and is very proud to be part of a great team. 

Although Martin, Louise, Ben and David are family, there are other staff here who are related. In Martin’s words, ‘It’s great to work for a company that promotes a great family environment, and we are very proud to be related to a much bigger family in The Cambridge Satchel Co.’.