Hot 100 2013: Andrew Hirshman & Monique Hirshman

A sibling duo that beam with enthusiasm for their work.

By Steve Spear

There is a TV advert for a recruitment company that shows a variety of people all bouncing with happiness about Monday morning’s arrival. Now what response does that advert conjure in you? Incredulity? Resentment? Gut-wrenching jealousy?

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For sibling pair Monique and Andrew Hirshman it would probably be just a nod of recognition, for the brother-and-sister team behind Plymouth retailer Drakes positively burst with incredible enthusiasm for their work. Fortunately, it’s the contagious strain and they have a reputation for firing people up.

As the third generation of their family to run the business, after their dad John Hirshman and his father the late Harry Hirshman who founded the store in 1950, the pair feel an irresistible connection to the store. Andrew says: “Our enthusiasm comes from the desire to make our parents proud of us. Also, Monique just oozes it. We are driven through respect for our heritage and our ethos of communicate, support and challenge ensures that we are continuously enthused in what we do.”

It’s an attitude that does them credit and that has borne serious results this year. They added the ninth store – Pandora in Taunton – to the portfolio, while they have also scooped the customer service award at the Plymouth Herald Business Awards, launched the Drakes Academy and developed new Drakes branding due to be rolled out in 2014.

On top of that they expanded their team and raised £12,000 for St Luke’s hospice with their Drakes Diamond Gala event.

It has been the company’s most profitable year to date. They’re doing a lot right, and that has been reflected in Andrew’s accession to the board of the CMJ, where he is hoping to contribute with his “level headed and forward thinking and balanced views”. He says: “I have an analytical and strategic mind set and I am determined to make a real difference. I will do this through my ethical, open and honest approach.”

Utterly committed to becoming the best, their stated ambition is for the Drakes flagship store to become the destination in the Southwest for diamonds and wedding rings in a contemporary environment. Alongside that they will develop the Drakes Academy and their bespoke training programme, something that should make a few more people look forward to their Monday morning.

This Hot 100 IJL Retail Stars profile was taken from the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2013 book. To read the book in full online, click here.



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