The company was founded in 2008, in Cambridge, England, by Julie Deane and her mother Freda Thomas as a way to pay private school fees for Deane's children. She had been looking for a durable, timeless schoolbag for her children, describing her goal as "what Harry and Hermione would have used at Hogwarts" and telling her children "Harry Potter. I am telling you that is a boy that would have had a satchel with that Hogwarts school uniform." Her colourful handmade leather satchels are all based on an original Oxford and Cambridge satchel design and aimed at school children, but met unexpectedly high demand as a fashion accessory and became, according to The Guardian "a cult among twenty-something fashion bloggers".
Julie Deane started as making school bags for her kids and other school children but now it it known as a fashion accessory. She showed great determination and pride in her work. This took great passion and pride from Julie Deane. She is now multi-millionaire and the founder of the Cambridge Satchel company.