Wellington jewellery company co-founder Chris Benham has won an international award for leadership in the industry.
He was named Young Leader of the Year at the JNA (Jewellery News Asia) 2012 Awards.
Benham, 30, co-founded diamond jewellery design company The Inspired Collection with The Village Goldsmith's Ian and Christine Douglas in 2009.
It now has contracts in North America, across Australasia and a distribution deal with Chinese bridal jewellery retailers Hiersun that will stock its rings in 300 stores.
He also led the business in launching its placeholder engagement ring business Wilshi, pronounced "will she?", which sells in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the Cook Islands.
Benham said it was humbling to receive the award, which was presented to him in an event at the Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong.
"I am very passionate about the jewellery industry and in particular creating a company that is known globally for its fresh innovative approach to jewellery design.
"This award reflects the work of the entire Inspired Collection team's fresh approach to jewellery design. We've been trading less than three years and already we've had terrific success all over the world."
The awards, organised by London Stock Exchange-listed UBM Asia, promote and recognise excellence in Asia's jewellery and gem industry.
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