From Bay Street to Toronto’s Fashion High Street
Andrew Dale (BBA ’09) was seven years into a promising career in investment banking and private equity when he made a career change that shocked his peers. To his fellow Schulich alums, Andrew’s star was on the rise. He was one of the youngest senior executives on Bay Street, a VP/Partner at Acasta Enterprises when he made the switch – to the fashion industry. “I wanted to create a company that embodies my values, used my creative skills, and solves a problem in a disruptive way,” Andrew said.
His company, LeDaveed, sells simple, well-designed luxury leather handbags with an added emphasis on sustainability, transparency and accountability. “Our customers are generally below forty and are looking to invest in products that are built to last, but also made with a high degree of integrity,” Andrew says. LeDaveed is the first leather handbag company in the world to become a Certified B Corporation by the non-profit B Lab for meeting its rigourous standard for social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.
“I give Schulich a lot of credit for the corporate responsibility angle of my education. It’s an influence that has flowed both into my career and my life philosophy.” Andrew specialized in Finance, but the message of sustainability and social responsibility permeated the school. “I think Schulich does as a really good job in the core courses and electives that help round out your specialization.” In just over a year, LeDaveed has grown from a nascent online store to one with a storefront on one of Toronto’s most exclusive streets, proving responsible business can also be good business.