After more than 40 years working in jewellers in Chorley and Wigan, Caroline Moss is delighted to be running her own shop.
The 58-year-old launched C&K Jewellers, in Fazakerley Street, Chorley, last November with her husband, Kevin, and now the pair are trusted, recognised faces in the town.
Caroline first cut her teeth in the industry when she left school at 16.
She worked at Highton’s Jewellers, in Mesnes Street, Wigan, for 12 years and then moved to Chorley.
She says: “I fell into it by chance.
“I left school with no qualifications so didn’t think I would get office work.
“One day, I went into Highton’s with my mum to get charms for a bracelet.
“I asked if there were any temporary jobs going, but the shop assistant said no.
“The shop kept my details on file and not long afterwards, they rang me to say someone had fallen and asked would I cover for three months?
“I ended up staying there for 12 years.”
Whilst there, Caroline learnt many skills and found her feet within the jeweller trade.
She left Highton’s to work at Pearson Jewellers in Chorley as an assistant manageress.
The shop was then taken over by Burns Jewellers and she worked her way up to manageress.
She worked for the firm for 22 years until it closed in September last year.
Caroline adds: “My former boss encouraged me to give it a go and opened up my own shop.
“So my husband and I discussed it and realised it was a really good opportunity.
“We were originally going to set up at the original Burns site in Chapel Street but circumstances changed and we found the unit in Fazackerley Street.
“The manufacturers we were using at Burns said they would support us with products and that is how it all happened.
“Our two part-time staff worked at Burns also, so between us we have many years’ experience.
“It has been hard work.
“The shop was originally a clothes shop and we had to strip it back to get our cabinets in.
“It was two months of hard work but it was worth it. We really enjoy it.
“It was strange working with Kevin 24/7 but it is great.
“We get on really well.
“We offer a range of jewellery that we thought Chorley was missing out on.
“We also replace watch batteries and offer a jewellery and watch repair service.
“Our unique selling point is that we offer quality jewellery and watches that aren’t available elsewhere in Chorley and we have the confidence in our suppliers and products.
“We have a varied range of customers from the very young who like our range of children’s jewellery, to customers who have known me for more than 29 years and know they can trust us as a company.”
Kevin, 53, who has reduced his hours working as a pub and club DJ, adds that he is enjoying his new role.
As well as serving customers, he is busy developing the shop’s website and is in charge of its Facebook page, where there are monthly competitions.
He says: “At first it was very hard work because we had to get the shop ready but it is really satisfying.
“It is a bit scary setting up your own business, but we are getting there.
“I love working with Caroline. We are a good team. Everyone associates us as being a couple, which strengthens the friendly family atmosphere.”
The pair, who met in 2006, have been married six years, but have known each other for many more years.
Caroline adds: “We had known each other a while as we live in the same village. Kevin proposed on Christmas Day whilst we were having a family meal. It was lovely.
“I chose my own ring – a diamond cluster – from Burns.”