New boutique in Hungerford - Mojo & McCoy
PUBLISHED: 15:15 18 December 2014 | UPDATED: 16:13 23 March 2015
They call themselves ‘school run mums’ but this group of businesswomen has a lot to offer and a story to tell, Jan Raycroft discovers
As we poke through the exciting rails of ladies wear at Hungerford’s newest boutique, a racing world theme leaps into my head… surely leggy Emma Harding, with her model grace, and I must look like an elegant thoroughbred accompanied on an outing by its stable companion, a stubby, little cob pony.
It’s an entirely suitable thought, as you will see, but beyond that it doesn’t matter that I only reach Emma’s withers (or rather shoulder blades!) as in this pretty little store there are sizes from 8 to 16 in designs to flatter all shapes and ages. So Emma, who would look lovely in anything as it happens, can glide in floaty dresses, while I spot perfect little jackets with nipped in waists and smart suits that would easily go from day to evening wear.
The horsey analogy also makes sense because the boutique is Mojo & McCoy, run by an illustrious team of school run mums led by Chanelle McCoy, wife of champion jockey Tony McCoy OBE.
Berkshire Life received an exclusive invite to visit on the day when Mojo & McCoy was set to open in Bridge Street (trendily, a soft opening with no fanfare, that could come later) and witnessed the last minutes of pre-opening excitement as Chanelle and the rest of the team carefully transferred garments to rails and stands. Boxes were still being opened to “oohs and aahs” as we discovered the contents.
It’s an eclectic mix, chosen by the ladies behind the boutique, and with each having different tastes but knowing what ‘works’, the result is inspiring. So there’s Chanelle, Emma who will front the store, Emily Hambro, and Laura Lopes, daughter of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. On the day they were preparing to open Mojo & McCoy, Mima, sister-in-law of Laura, had been roped in to help with the preparation.
Every now and again unpacking and styling would halt as a knock at the door revealed the arrival of new treasure, which was then unveiled so we could all pick new favourites. It’s a good thing both photographer Maureen McLean and Laura are refined ladies or there might have been a fight as, amongst absolutely everything in the shop, they both fell in love with the same cashmere jumper. Maureen is something of a cashmere expert and tells me that the versions here are superb and well worth the price tag.
On to the rails went fun fake fur items, some vintage looks and stylish casualwear alongside glamourous evening styles and those smart but pretty skirts and jackets. Meanwhile, Chanelle and I found a cosy corner away from the cashmere-ogling to discuss how all this came about. The story starts with the closure of Jeanne Petitt, also then in Bridge Street, after 30 years of providing occasionwear and some respected designer labels. Customers included the Middletons (both mother and daughters).
Chanelle says: “It was hard to imagine Hungerford without somewhere offering really nice clothes, both daywear and casual. There’s the catchment area of the racing fraternity, and it seemed a shame to lose something so special.”
It’s the sort of thing that gets people talking and before long Chanelle discovered other mothers with children at Pinewood School who felt the same way. “This really is one of those businesses launched over a few glasses of wine,” she admits. “When I spoke with the other girls it became clear that we had a good mix of skills, from preparing a business plan to buying, to the more creative side, plus knowledge of the fashion labels that people really love. So we decided to go for it!”
They’ve chosen to start with around a dozen such labels and Chanelle says: “We know on price we’re at the middle to higher end for some clothing, but you’ll also find smaller items (she shows me a display of lovely knickers which fulfil all the required criteria: expertly made and finished, as well as combining comfort with very pretty styling) and I don’t want anyone to not come in here because they think it might be out of their range.”
And she’s right. Yes, there are some price tags at the high end, but this is the place where you might buy one such piece of treasure to enhance your wardrobe, and while seasons come and go many of the designs will undoubtedly stand the test of time.
You’ll find garments by Madeleine Thompson, Diane von Furstenberg, Rebecca Taylor, Amanda Wakeley, Joie, Axara of Paris, J Brand’s marvellous jeans, the unique styles of P.A.R.O.S.H, René Lezard, See by Chloé, Pyrus and La Petite Robe di Chiara Boni.
Along with the aforementioned knickers there are some delightful little gifts, including the new Cath Collins luxury fragrances (for you and your home).
Chanelle says: “I know people say you can buy such a lot online these days, but clothes are very personal - so I hope people will call in to see what we have to offer.”
We hope so too, our town and village centres need ventures like this. We wish ‘the school run mums’ the best of luck… and a few more glasses of wine, this time to celebrate success.