Sarah Ho wins Houlden Designer of Excellence Award

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Jeweller presented with inaugural award at The Jewellery Show.

Sho Fine Jewellery founder Sarah Ho was announced as the winner of buying group Houlden Group’s design contest that was held at The Jewellery Show this week.

The designer was named as the Houlden Group’s Designer of Excellence in a ceremony at the Pandora Catwalk Café. The inaugural Designer of Excellence award was created through a new collaborative partnership between the Houlden Group and The Jewellery Show which saw the Houlden Group sponsor the its new Design Quarter Gems feature.

Ho said: "I am elated to have received this award from a prestigious organisation such as the Houlden Group. I am delighted to be a part of the Houlden Group Design Quarter gems project but being chosen as the winner is just a dream come true. I have also been really impressed that the Houlden Group is taking jewellery design so seriously, it is great for the industry."

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Houlden chief executive Stuart Laing said: “We were very impressed with Sarah’s design skills and her ability to create pieces that marry traditional symbolism with contemporary trends. It was a hard decision to make as all of the designers were very special, however Sarah definitely had the edge.”

The Houlden-sponsored Design Quarter Gems is a new initiative for The Jewellery Show and includes designers such as ana de Costa, Katie Rowland, Alexander Davis and Sho.

The Jewellery Show event director Julie Driscoll said the new feature has been well received by visitors. She added: "The response to the Houlden Group’s Design Quarter Gems project has been phenomenal. By supporting young designers in this way the Houlden Group has shown their commitment to nurturing UK talent.”

Houlden is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year and as part of a programme of activity for 2011, the group has picked 17 outstanding pieces of jewellery from the designers’ collections at The Jewellery Show for a travelling exhibition, called Designs of Excellence, which will tour its members’ boutiques. The collection will spend one week in each participating store, creating a huge brand awareness boost for the designers involved.

Laing said: “We are constantly looking to be one step ahead of the game and are always looking at innovative ways of doing things. It’s important that we provide our members with the advice, services and support they require, ensuring they have the competitive edge to drive their business forward.

"The Designs of Excellence tour is not only a great opportunity for the designers involved to showcase their work but also for our members to create a buzz and attract footfall to their stores. We will be supporting our members to ensure they take full advantage of this not-to-be-missed opportunity.”

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