North London's Cultural Guide

Ich Bin Kentishtowner: Laura-Jamie Edginton, 31, satchel designer

'My worst experience in the neighbourhood? Seeing the Crown & Goose being knocked down'

Laura-Jamie Edginton: ‘I hate fish. I have a serious phobia. I can’t look at them in the sea, in tanks or in restaurants without freaking out.’ Photo: LJrawhide

Laura-Jamie Edginton grew up in Banstead, Surrey and then moved to the area eight years ago. She’s been a designer for nearly a decade: “It was my idea to hand craft each satchel from raw, untreated leather,” she says, “and personalise them by stamping a unique custom quote on the back, and initials on the front.” At the moment she’s collaborating with Camden Town artist Hayden Kays on a limited collection, and has sold satchels to celebrities including Natalie Imbruglia, Caroline flack and Luke Pritchard from The Kooks.

What is your favourite sound or smell?
In Camden there is a coffee shop on Delancey Street run by a wonderful man called George. Every morning he roasts his coffee and it fills the air on the street. It’s the most fantastic smell in the world.

Where would you like to live?
In a mews by Primrose Hill or Hampstead Heath. I’m so lucky to be near both of these wonderful parks, but I’d like to be that little bit closer.

When were you happiest?
When I was travelling the coast of Southern California. Driving down the 101, making stops at all the towns. I fell in love with a place called Carmel: beautiful and peaceful.


‘The smell of leather makes me so happy.’
What makes you unhappy?
Seeing people wearing socks with sandals. Just no. If they’re multi-coloured it upsets me even more.

What is your most unappealing habit?
I sometimes sleep with my mouth wide open. Even worse, my boyfriend likes to take pictures. It looks like I’m catching flies.

Where do you hang out?
The beloved Crown & Goose in Camden used to be where you’d always find me. The Sunday roasts were incredible. But since it closed down we’re always in the Junction Tavern. The food is outstanding, especially the steak. And here’s a disclaimer: my boyfriend, Ben McDonald, owns it.

Who or what do you hate and why?
I hate fish. I have a serious phobia. I can’t look at them in the sea, in tanks or in restaurants without freaking out. It all started when I was 11 and my mum showed me my dead fish in a matchbox to say goodbye before burying it.

What’s been your best experience in the area? Worst?
Meeting the love of my life at the Crown & Goose. I’m so grateful for that. Worst was seeing it being knocked down. It was and still is so sad.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I have a wonky nose and I wish my hands were smaller. But they’re good for making satchels so I can’t complain.

Crown & Goose,  May 2014: '
The building site that was once the Crown & Goose, May 2014: ‘It was where you’d always find me’
What’s the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
Someone told me that my company could never be anything more than a hobby. That really hurt. But I ignored him and made sure I would prove him very, very wrong.

Tell us a secret.
I pretend to people that I watch intellectual TV shows but I’m actually watching rubbish American stuff like the Real Housewives of Orange County.

What is your favourite dish and why?
I love Mexican food and tapas. El Parador has great food and I have an obsession with their chorizo. Holy Cow in Archway is the only place for a takeaway curry. The buffalo chicken wings at the Blues Kitchen in Camden are also a winner.

What did you do today?
I got up early to buy buckles and leather; the smell of leather makes me so happy. Then I went to my workshop and began making a satchel for a customer, which takes a couple of days so it’s not quite finished. After that? Pizza East in Kentish Town for a broccoli and sausage pizza and a beer. Yum.

What has your career taught you?
It’s scary on your own but I’ve learnt to trust my instincts.

To find out more about her satchels visit Laura-Jamie’s website here

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About Kentishtowner

The award-winning print and online title Kentishtowner was founded in 2010 and is part of London Belongs To Me, a citywide network of travel guides for locals. For more info on what we write about and why, see our About section.