Things We Love

The Embellished Handbag For Hand & Lock

At The Cambridge Satchel Company, we love to celebrate craftsmanship. We are proud of the fact that all of our bags are handmade in the UK, so when England’s oldest embroidery house Hand & Lock asked us to join them with their 250th anniversary celebration: ‘The Embellished Handbag: A Celebration of 250 years of Fashion and Embroidery’, we jumped at the chance. Our Poppy Bag in Red received a special Hand & Lock makeover alongside 13 other internationally renowned luxury accessory brands. This one of a kind Poppy Bag is now heading on a global tour to the US and Australia.

The unique embroidered Poppy made its debut at the Victoria and Albert museum in London on Wednesday 1st February 2017. After embarking on the world tour, the embellished handbag will be auctioned, along with the rest of the bags in the showcase, at world renowned auction house Sotheby’s where proceeds will go to the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) and the Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery. QEST strives to make a difference to the lives and careers of crafts people whilst maintaining the very highest standards in craftsmanship. The charity funds talented people, whether they are at entry level, into the industry via their QEST Apprenticeship Scheme, or when they are trying to reach a level of excellence further in to their career, via the QEST Scholar awards. The Prize for Embroidery is an invaluable opportunity for new designers to showcase their finest creations and receive a financial award. Previous prize winners have been able to fund their designs and start their own businesses. We caught up with our Head of Product, Scott Simpson to ask him more about this amazing project.

Cambridge Satchel - Embellished Handbag

(The Embellished Poppy on display at the V&A)


Both our CEO & Founder, Julie Deane OBE, and our Head of Product, Scott Simpson, are Ambassadors for QEST and we were invited by QEST to join the project. We are delighted to be part of this project as it not only supports QEST but it shares our passion for British manufacturing and the unique skills Hand & Lock display with their hand embroidery compliment the handmade quality of our bags.

Cambridge Satchel - Embellished Handbag


Since its launch in the summer of 2016, the Poppy has become one of our best-selling styles. Our Founder Julie created the Poppy with our product team last year after many months of work getting the design just right. Not since we first launched our satchels just over eight years ago have we seen such a buzz around one of our styles. Julie wanted to showcase the Poppy with it being adorned with hand-embroidered poppy flowers (what else!) created by Hand & Lock.

Cambridge Satchel - Embellished Handbag


The Poppy, like all of our bags, is a reinvention of a classic. Julie wanted a bag based on the traditional doctor’s bag that had a modern update with the inclusion of our signature push-lock closure. It is the perfect bag for this collaboration and has been decorated with embroidered poppies created using a luxurious bullion thread in shades of pink, bordeaux with black and silver details.

Shop the Poppy Collection>

Read More About our Poppy Collection: ‘The Year of The Poppy’

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