CocoBello celebrates 10 years of style
Marianne Buckman, a La Crosse native, studied architecture but ended up with a successful career in banking. When a merger ended that, she decided to go back to school to study interior design.
For a senior project she had to create a business.
“As I was creating it in my mind is sounded of kind of fun,” said Buckman. “It was CocoBello. I opened the store and business a year after that.”
After doing research and considering the Minnesota cities of Woodbury, White Bear Lake and Stillwater, Buckman settled on Hudson as the location for her new endeavor.
“The demographics showed that a lot of people were moving here from the western suburbs of the Twin Cities,” said Buckman. “Who doesn’t love Hudson.”
In 2003 she opened CocoBello in Dania Hall. Five years later together with her husband Vern Buckman, they purchased the building which had held Ross and Haines Books Store, at 411 Second St. The building was totally gutted and they added a back interior staircase, created space for a retail shop upstairs and an office /work area downstairs which is full of samples and books.
“My philosophy is that I work with my clients to bring out their personality and style,” said Buckman. “I am very eclectic and I love mixing oldwith the new. If we find a particular thing the client likes we go with that.”
“My greatest compliment is when a client tells me a good friend says ‘this is so much like you’ when admiring a design project we worked on.”
From a simple color consultation to kitchen design or whole house design Buckman can do them all.
“This is my dream job,” said Buckman. “It changes with every new client. I work with 110 different vendors.” A retail store was not in the original plans, but according to Buckman, it just happened. It turned out that while ordering products for her design clients, a discount was available if a certain quantity was ordered. The result is an eclectic mix which reflects in part Buckman’s personal style.
“It is the best calling card out there,” said Buckman, who as a member of ASID, American Society of Interior Designers is required to take continuing education classes. “I stay up to date on codes and trends. That is what they are paying me for.”
And as to what is new…“I love how people are using metal,” said Buckman. “It is all reclaimed and it is combined with canvas and water color. If I had to choose something new it may be to become a welder and play with metal.”
Buckman has been very active in the Hudson Chamber of Commerce, serving on the downtown retail committee and supporting the Hudson Tour of Homes. She is also a member HiBA, the Hudson Independent Business Association. Her staff includes Cate Kees and Rebecca Taft.
You may be wondering where the name CocoBello came from.
“I sat in the James J. Hill Library going through foreign dictionaries,” said Buckman. “It means beautiful brown(s) in Italian. Since most furniture is some shade of brown it has more meaning.”
CocoBello and Buckman are celebrating their tenth anniversary with an event on Sept. 20 and 21. For more information or to make an appointment you may call (715) 381-3433 or go to www.cocobellodesign.com. You may also visit CocoBello Boutique at 411 Second Street in Hudson.
CocoBello is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays; from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from noon. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, but is closed on Tuesdays.