So, I’m starting a company. I’m pretty excited about it.
It’s called Le Daveed (www.ledaveed.com) – a play on my middle name, David.
Of course, I’d love for you to join our subscriber list and LeDaveed Facebook page. But what I’d really love is for you to join me on the journey of building this fashion company.
Here’s how things have unfolded so far.
I quit my job on Bay Street (Canada’s Wall Street) in December with nothing lined up besides the goal of pursuing entrepreneurship.
I did a lot of meditation and reflection – not on jobs, but on values. How do I live my values? How do I use business as a tool for empowerment?
In that state of contemplation, I tapped into my creative side – I have always had it, but I suppressed it when I was working in the land of grey suits and white shirts. The side that had a serious flare for arts and crafts as a kid. (Funnily enough, my mom called me the other day while she was re-reading the diary she wrote about me as I was growing up. There were constant mentions of my creativity.)
I started thinking about this idea in fashion which plays on neat trends around versatility, functionality, and active living.
A couple of months ago, my journey caught the attention of the DMZ (no, not the Korean Demilitarized Zone) which, in addition to being a great tech incubator, houses the prominent Fashion Zone at Ryerson University. I was asked if I wanted to bypass the application process and work at the facility. I accepted. My title here is Entrepreneur-in-Residence.
Finance to fashion. Not common. I have had many a jaw drop. I’ve always done things differently, though. For example, I was one of the first Canadians in high finance to come out as gay, and one of the Street’s youngest executives.
The theme of Le Daveed is “traveling through life” – stuff that functions really well and looks really good, whether you’re on the subway to work or the plane to Europe. I’m starting with a small line of bags – a messenger bag and an overnight bag (well, that’s the current plan).
The nuts and bolts of the business are evolving. These core values won’t:
(1) Treating the planet fairly
(2) Empowering people
These values are already starting to manifest. It’s fun to see.
Le Daveed will be eco-conscious. The fashion industry is a toxic dump. I can’t, in good faith, start a company that contributes to this problem.
Le Daveed will empower others. Two weeks ago, I hired a freelancer. He’s a homeless guy named Robert. I didn’t hire Robert because he’s homeless. I hired him because he’s an exceptional sketch artist. I’ll write another post about my thinking on this hire, and let you know how things have unfolded.
I’m launching Le Daveed sooner than a PR expert would tell me to. It’s July. It’s not Fashion Week. Le Daveed barely has a website. That’s because I want this journey to be one we shape together. I want us all to be proud of this company-to-be.
Over the next number of months, I’m going to be writing and/or blogging periodically to Le Daveed’s followers on what it’s like to launch a fashion startup. You’ll hear about the design process, fabric choices, and supplier negotiations. It won’t all be pretty. Some of it will be raw. I want you to learn from my experiences.
And I’ll be asking for your feedback along the way on colours, fabrics, and other cool stuff. To thank you, I’ll give subscribers a discount on stuff when we launch.
And with that, I want to introduce you to my seedling of a company, Le Daveed, and ask you to travel through life with me.
Join me at ledaveed.com.
[Editor's note: at the suggestion of LeDaveed's community of followers, the name of the company had the space between Le and Daveed removed a few months into its existence. This post has been left in its original state.]