A Glasgow-based entrepreneur who has landed a BBC television role has told how parenthood steered him onto the path of creating his own business.

Here, the company founder also reveals what has changed for him since landing a prime television role with Scotland’s Home Of The Year.


Danny Campbell

What is your business called?

HOKO Design, the homeowner’s architect

Where is it based?

Our studio is in Tradeston, Glasgow, but we work nationally throughout the UK

What does it produce/do?

We are a one-stop shop for transforming your home. We provide residential architectural services and manage projects from start to finish, including interior design and finding the right builder. We specialise in creating spaces that reflect the unique needs and personalities of our clients, whether that’s through home extensions, garage conversations, loft conversions or ulterior alterations.

To whom does it sell?

We work exclusively with homeowners who are redesigning or extending their homes. 

What is its turnover?


How many employees?


Why did you take the plunge?

In early 2016, I was 25 and my long-term girlfriend and I had the unexpected surprise of becoming parents. I had a bit of an identity crisis, I assumed this meant I wouldn’t play rugby anymore, I had to get an office job and settle down. Having always lived a fairly adventurous life, I decided not to settle down quite yet. We got married, we bought a little cottage and our first son Teddy was born.

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Shortly after, I founded HOKO Design Ltd. The next few years were chaos. High growth, disrupting a prestigious and exclusive profession, two more boys and lots of ups and downs. I have enjoyed every minute of it and I’m so happy to be pursuing what I love and to have found a career I care about.

What were you doing before?

Before I started HOKO I was playing rugby in Vancouver after completing my Masters degree in architecture at De Montfort University. During my studies I continued to work in a variety of different consultancies (and even in a zoo) and some side-hustles. They all gave me valuable experiences in their own way that have helped me succeed in business. 

What do you least enjoy?

There isn’t much about my work that I don’t enjoy, despite there being lots of areas of frustration, imperfection and pain. The least enjoyable part for me is building my social media presence. I have plenty of things to say and I’m sure some of my opinions go against the industry dogma against small projects.

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The process of sitting down, preparing reels, captions, hashtags is still alien to me and whilst I understand that to make the best of the opportunity I need to be authentic, I do still require a lot of hand-holding which frustrates me. Since getting my TV role with Scotland’s Home Of The Year I have been trying harder as I think it’s impossible to ignore these days. Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn and let me know if it’s working.

What are your ambitions for the firm?

We have a very clear north star - the perfect client experience for extending your home. This is a really meaty problem! There are many stakeholders in a home renovation project; city planners, structural engineers, cost consultants, builders, architects … the list goes on. At the centre of the process is a homeowner who is putting their hard-earned money on the line to do something amazing with their most valuable and personal possession - their home. We are architects first and foremost, and in the perfect position to guide these projects. We have answered so many of the problems so far and with each solution we come closer to shifting the industry forwards and defining this section of the market. I believe HOKO will become the first household name in residential architecture in the UK, then internationally.

What single thing would most help?

At the moment we’re investing time and resources in understanding how AI (artificial intelligence) is going to impact our industry and establishing how we can harness and enable this technology to make the process better for our clients. A high energy and enthusiastic expert in AI looking to apply their knowledge to our problem is what we’re currently looking for.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned?

Don’t over-hire. HOKO went through a period of rapid growth after Covid, we really started to hit our stride, we had an awesome company culture, a purpose mindset and it felt like the world was at our fingertips. We raised investment and hired fast and frequently. “How many people do you have now?” Was a question I heard frequently - this is an ego-trap.

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Gradually, cliques started to form, toxic cultures started to bed in and performance dropped. It was very difficult to unpick these issues which have taken time and resilience. Now we are focussing on efficiency over personnel growth which has brought us even closer to our purpose as a business - the perfect client experience.

What was your best moment?

There are so many! Getting the new judge role on BBC’s Scotland’s Home Of The Year show, successfully closing our Crowdfunding investment on Crowdcube and winning Great British Entrepreneur of the Year were amazing moments. The one that brought a tear to my eye most recently was when I overheard some employees discussing how much they love their jobs and how they see value in what we are doing as a company, I thought about this a lot on my own, and it's one of the very few times I took a moment to allow myself to feel proud of what I have achieved.

What was your worst moment?

There are thankfully very few. Juggling work with a sudden family illness was very difficult. When my brother Duncan was diagnosed with cancer, I immediately took an extended period of time off. During that time, our management team excelled in my absence and looked after everything so I could focus on what was most important.

How do you relax?

I have found building a business incredibly addictive, fun and all-encompassing which makes relaxing very unappealing. I’m very competitive so I tend to find distraction in sports; particularly playing rugby and Crossfit. Pushing my body to the limit helps me to get out of my head and leaves me feeling recharged and with new ideas. Playing with my three little boys is always time well spent and a healthy reminder about perspective and what is really important.