Man from real gem of a family becomes manager of designer jewellery shop


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Working in the glittering world of designer jewellery is a real family affair for Russell Hooson.

He’s just become manager of the Mococo store at the Eagles Meadow shopping centre in Wrexham.

And that’s definitely keeping it in the family because his wife used to run the Mococo branch in Mold, Flintshire, both his daughters have worked for the firm and his brother and sister-in-law are the joint founders of the company.

Rather than glittering chains, bangles and bracelets, 52-year-old Russell was selling stock of a very different kind in his first job after leaving school.

He said: “I started as a trainee with a well-known chain of hardware stores near my home in Northop in Flintshire, where I still live.

“I was based first at their shop in Mold and then worked at a number of their other branches before eventually becoming manager at Flint.

“I stayed 14 years in that job before moving on to become a door-to-door insurance agent and later spent eight years as the production manager for company in St Asaph which designs and manufactures medical devices.”

Seven years ago it was time for Russell to join Mococo, the highly successful chain of designer jewellers which has gone from strength to strength since being founded by his elder brother, Lee Hooson, and Lee’s wife Maureen just a decade ago.

Russell said: “Since starting work with Mococo I’ve managed a number of the company’s branches, including Mold, where I was based for 18 months, Chester, where I stayed for about the same length of time, and Liverpool where I was based for four years.

“My wife, Schobourn, was in charge of the Ruthin branch of Mococo for about 18 months before becoming manager at the Mold shop for over five years.

“We have one son and two daughters aged from 22 to 32 and the girls, Kate and Jenna, also have associations with Mococo.

“Kate managed the Chester branch for two years before she had her children and Jenna still works at the head office in Mollington.

“All in all you could say the company is a real family affair for us but it’s worked out nicely and we all get on very well with one another.”

Russell added: “I’m settling in very nicely at the Eagles Meadow store, which has plenty of potential and a great team of seven sales staff.

“This is a busy store and has only recently had a £50,000 refurbishment with the aim of providing an even better customer experience, and my aim is to help us continue this success story.

“I’m sure all my previous years of experience in retail, which started when I was young, will help me to do that.

“I’m certainly looking forward very much to the challenge.”

In his off-duty hours Russell admits he doesn’t have much time for hobbies as he and Schobourn are kept busy enough looking after their two grandsons and two grand-daughters ranging in age from just 18 months to three years.

Mococo started as a kitchen table enterprise for Lee and Maureen Hooson from Flintshire and has grown into a network of sumptuous shops in key shopping centres including Chester, Liverpool and Birkenhead.

The Wrexham store, which last year enjoyed record sales which increased by just under 20 per cent, had a fanfare launch in the summer of 2012.

It offers jewellery collections from the likes of Thomas Sabo, Clogau and  Swarovski, Chrysalis, Nomination and Serenity.

Back in 2006 Maureen invested £250 of her savings to buy a small range of gems which she sold to friends at jewellery parties and things grew from there.

With husband Lee masterminding the business side of things, Maureen concentrated on making her own jewellery and buying in a host of prestige brands.

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