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Mom turns $775 in a $65mn company. She only needed five years

Julie Deane, founder and CEO of The Cambridge Satchel Company, managed to turn $775 into a $65mn company in only five years after her idea took off in a way she could have never imagined.

Julie Deane‘s daughter was being bullied at school and one day she even came back home with bruises. When she saw this, Julie told her, “You’re never coming back here, you’re going to the best school ever”.

She quickly realised, though, that she needed £12,000 for that, money that Julie did not have at the moment.


What she did have, though, were £600 ($775) that she could use for investing, so she started looking for a gap in the market. She soon realised that although she loved wearing satchels as a child, these “most British backpacks ever” were not available anymore. It was the gap she was looking for.

After starting up the company, “The Cambridge Satchel Company”, Julie asked for her mother’s help and used her own children as models in order to save money. She then tested the waters with six satchels, which sold really quickly.

Soon after the company started, Julie read about fashion bloggers being the future of the industry, so she decided to contact as many bloggers as possible and show them her products. It was a successful strategy. Fashion bloggers then wore the satchels to high-profile events such as the New York Fashion Week, and the business sky-rocketed.

At the moment, The Cambridge Satchel Company sells satchels in 120 countries and has 147 employees. Moreover, celebrities such as Zooey Deschanel and Taylor Swift wear Julie Deane’s satchels.

Lydia Peirce