Online furnisher unveils new brand

The founder of Houseology.com, Kate Mooney. Picture: Robert Perry
The founder of Houseology.com, Kate Mooney. Picture: Robert Perry
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AN ONLINE furnishing retailer backed by former Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy is ramping up sales as it re-
br­ands to capture a resurgence in the interior design market.

Founded five years ago by Kate Mooney, Glasgow-based Occa-Home will begin trading as Houseology.com from the end of this month. The new strategy, including a revamped website, is expected to deliver a surge in turnover, currently running at £5 million a year.

“We are looking to double that year-on-year for the next three years, which is what we have achieved for the last five years,” Mooney said.

The company – which employs 45 people – is betting on rising demand for high-end 
interior design similar to the trend seen in the fashion industry during the past few years. The new Houseology website will include expert articles, how-to guides and videos to help customers make the right choice for their home.

The move follows a £1.28m fund-raising closed in November of last year and backed in part by Leahy, who acts as an adviser to Houseology. The cash injection also involved fund manager Artemis, a consortium of private equity houses, technology entrepreneur Bill Dobbie and William Currie Group, which backed online fashion store Asos.

Mooney started the retail interior design business in 2010 following a plunge in sales at Occa Design – her hotel interiors consultancy – in the wake of the recession. She still runs Occa Design, so the new brand will give each operation its own distinct identity.

“The past five years have been a whirlwind of pushing boundaries in the interior 
design retail space and with Houseology.com comes the next chapter for Occa-Home – a business that is run by a passionate, innovative and expert team,” she said.

About one-fifth of House­ology’s sales are generated outside the UK. Customers are typically females from homes with an average household income of £60,000.

Going forward, Mooney said that she would like to broaden the range to entice customers from sightly lower income brackets.