Hot 100 2014: Lee and Maureen Hooson, Mococo

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The couple championing branded jewellery retail in the North West.

Lee and Maureen Hooson know the meaning of hard work. Last year, they relocated their Liverpool store to a space five times the size, incorporating a whole new shopfit. Two days later, they unveiled their first Pandora concept store in Wigan, and most recently they have created a Mococo bridal jewellery collection. If there’s one retail duo to emulate, it’s these two, who have forecast their business to turn over £8 million this year.

“The Liverpool store is beautiful, it’s amazing, I love it,” enthuses Maureen. “It has really helped to identify us, because from the Liverpool store we have developed our own style so when you walk in to a Mococo shop, you know where you are.” These new-look boutiques are all about the branding — a rich, regal purple has become the Mococo signature, teamed with black and white display cases and branding focused on the letter ‘m’.

After expansion in 2012 and 2013, Lee and Maureen now oversee six stores in the Liverpool and North Wales area. But with six stores come challenges and the husband-and-wife team say cash flow is always number one priority, making them all the more shrewd with decisions. But one decision that is set to pay off has been the creation of Mococo’s very first bridal jewellery collection. “We’ve been asked many times in the past year for engagement rings,” Lee reveals. “We’ve been very brand-oriented to date, but our customers have got confident shopping with us and now they want to buy their engagement ring from Mococo.” As a result, the couple have called in the services of a former Boodles designer and together they have created a highly-accessible range of 18ct wedding and engagement rings that incorporate silver, with prices from £265 for a wedding ring. “It gives very good value for money but with a luxury feel,” says Maureen. “We’re also looking into future jewellery ranges of our own as we want a healthy collection of our own designs.”

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Another way forward has been Mococo’s staff training. Maureen speaks highly of Pandora’s training and business structure, and says it has been extremely impactful on how Mococo conducts its own business and ensures uniformity across its stores. “At the same time, we like to have a very personal touch, that family business edge,” Lee explains.

Indeed, time together is important for the couple, and Maureen and Lee share a dream: relocation to the Sunshine State of Florida. “We go for about a month a few times a year, always searching for that perfect place to set down roots, and when we’re not there we’re searching for homes from the UK,” Maureen says. You can almost hear the sunshine in her voice.

Lee and Maureen Hooson of Mococo were named IJL Retail Stars in the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2014, in association with headline sponsor Pandora and principle partner The Company of Master Jewellers.

To read a digital version of the book in full online, click here

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