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Issue:- 12 June 2014

Soaring fashion jewellery chain flies in to Pyramids Shopping Centre

IT'S a classic tale of entrepreneurial success; with help from celebrities like Christine Aguilera, Cheryl Cole and Holly Willoughby along the way.  The new Birkenhead store is expected to create 10 new jobs.

From a modest investment of £250 in 2006, the rapidly expanding fashion jewellery chain, Mococo, is projecting a turnover of £8 million this year.  The latest chapter in the story of Mococo's spectacular growth will see them open a sixth store at Pyramids Shopping Centre in Birkenhead adding to their existing shops in the North West and North Wales in Ruthin, Mold, Wrexham, Chester and Liverpool. The company also has a Pandora store in Wigan. Not unlike the iconic Laura Ashley in the 1960's, it all started with mum of 2 Maureen Hooson making her own jewellery at her kitchen table at the family home in Northop, in Flintshire. Maureen is the creative driving force behind Mococo, which specialises in "affordable glamour", while husband Lee keeps the wheels turning in the engine room of the business, in a partnership of complementary skills that's proving a winner.

Born in Liverpool and raised on the Wirral, Maureen, a former pupil of Rock Ferry Convent School, worked for more than 20 years for the high end jewellers, Boodles in Chester.  Following the arrival of sons Oliver and Adam, now 24 and 22 respectively, she worked part time and it was then that the idea for Mococo was born.  It started out in 2006 with Maureen making her own jewellery for a party plan business and later buying in jewellery from other designers.  She and Lee opened the first shop in Ruthin a year later at a time when the recession was beginning to bite but, counter intuitively, it was the ideal time to do so. Maureen explained:- "When the recession kicked in, the sales of really expensive high end items slowed down while sales at the affordable end of the spectrum took off. What, on the face of it, seemed to be an inauspicious time to start a business was actually the perfect launch pad for Mococo. Just because there's a recession, people don't stop wanting to treat themselves. On top of that, a lot of what we sell is for important occasions like birthdays, for an anniversary, Christmas, Easter or Mother's Day; those occasions never go away. We keep refreshing our range as fashions change, we keep on top of it. We spend a lot of time abroad or in shows; anywhere we can find the next big thing. In addition to favourites like Thomas Sabo and Pandora, we also sell stunning jewellery from cutting edge designers like Stephen Webster, Shaun Leane and Chlobo. We regularly see our jewellery being worn by the likes of Christine Aguilera, Martine Mccutcheon, Holly Willoughby and Cheryl Cole; and Peter Andre loves Chlobo. Our main focus though is our customers; customer service is king. Without our customers, the business would not exist. They are our number one priority. What we sell is fashion jewellery that is real, it's semi precious; it's affordable glamour. For example, if a girl has bought a new outfit she'll come in with the outfit to find the perfect jewellery to go with it."

According to Maureen, Pyramids Shopping Centre is the perfect location for the next staging post as part of their ambition to open more than 30 stores nationwide. She said:- "Pyramids Shopping Centre is one of the busiest shopping hubs in the north west and going forward it fits with our style of shopping experience. Birkenhead is a town that we have wanted to move into for quite some time now as we feel it sits well with our brand. We're really looking forward to opening our store there. Every time we open a new store, we go to the next level, we add a bit more."

Managing Director Lee Hooson added:- "We are really excited to be opening a new store in Birkenhead and bringing some of the world's most stylish, fashionable and affordable designer jewellery to Wirral."

Derek Millar, Commercial Director for Pyramids Shopping Centre said he was "really delighted" about the arrival of Mococo at the busy shopping centre. He said:- "We already have a whole host of shops catering for fashion lovers so the range of fashion jewellery sold by Mococo will be the perfect fit. We have had some really important businesses open with us in recent months including H&M, Liverpool FC, Our Beautiful Life fashion boutique and Roman. It is terrific to also welcome Mococo to the ranks and we are looking forward to the new store opening with us soon."

For more information about the Pyramids shopping centre go to:-

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