Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST)

QEST plays a pivotal role in British craft. It funds talented craftspeople, whether starting out or already launched on their career. The QEST Apprenticeship Scheme supports those at entry level, whilst QEST Scholarships help practising craftsmen to reach even higher levels of excellence.

In 1997, Deborah Carré was awarded a QEST Scholarship to train as a handsewn shoe maker. The scholarship changed her world from marketing to maker under the tuition and guidance of master shoemaker Paul Wilson.

“The QEST scholarship meant so much to me, both the financial support and belief; it gave me the confidence to pursue handsewn shoe making as a career.”

Today, Carréducker keeps the handsewn craft firmly at its heart from its bespoke shoes service at Gieves & Hawkes and James Purdey & Sons to passing on skills and knowledge through the Carréducker Shoe & Leather School in Shoreditch.

In 2018, Deborah received the QEST Award for Excellence at the Royal Warrant Holders Association Annual Luncheon in recognition of Carréducker’s ambition for the handsewn craft. Over the years they have inspired hundreds of handsewn shoemaking enthusiasts, enthused future generations of shoe makers and championed the craft to a global audience of bespoke customers.

Find out more about QEST here.