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East of England

Meet the leader: Julie Deane, The Cambridge Satchel Company

21 Jun 2016
Julie Deane was determined to get into Cambridge University from the age of six, when a friend’s older sister became the centre of attention for doing the same.

Years later, she was motivated to launch the Cambridge Satchel Company by her determination to be able to afford private school fees for her children. Having begun the company in 2008 with just £600, she has since expanded it into a £13m-turnover business employing more than 130 people and selling in 120 countries. Despite this growth she retains her hands-on ethos and still gets involved in the nitty-gritty of the business: “I don’t want to hear ‘It’s not my job’,” she says. “It’s important to me that people I hire – I don’t care how senior – never, ever come out with those words.”

Julie Deane talks about

  • How a summer job waitressing in Greece taught her about customer service
  • Why ‘it’s just a phase’ is the best advice she ever had
  • Why she rejected several offers from venture capitalists
  • How a Google Chrome ad transformed the business
  • The legacy she wants for the Cambridge Satchel Company

Read the full interview here.

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