Meet Andrew Dale
“If you take the leap, and you’re honest and vulnerable about your journey, the momentum generated from that leap might be enough to propel you to a place where you don’t have to look back.”
Andrew Dale was one of the youngest senior executives in an investment firm in all of Canada. “People told me I could relax and that I had it made.” But Andrew didn’t feel relaxed.
“I experienced a dissonance. I had a sense that being a Partner on a Bay Street firm wasn’t it for me.” After much deliberation, Andrew quit his job and took time to find a way to build a business that mirrored his values. He turned to the fashion industry to release his creativity while making an impact on the industry’s values by doing business differently.
“I wanted to create a career and company that embodied my values of empowering people, respecting the environment, and doing business with honesty and integrity. I felt that those things often lacked in my past career.”
Andrew launched his leather bag brand “LeDaveed” – named after his Hebrew name Daveed – and in so doing was able to align his personal values with his professional ones. “In Hebrew, Le is translated as ‘by’ or ‘of’ – and LeDaveed represents a vision that is mine, an extension of my most deeply-held values.”
LeDaveed created a unique leather in Germany, called Nixburg, that uses eighty percent less water than the average leather company, and doesn’t expose workers to toxic chemicals. Also, by using skins that are byproducts of local farms, it ensures no animals are harmed for their leather.
Andrew has managed to use his work as a tool to serve the world. “I can derive pure joy from the work because I know there’s a much deeper mission around it.”
Andrew’s professional exploration aligned with his Jewish identity, as well. “Finding comfort in the journey versus the destination is a very Jewish concept. It is about disconnecting from a place of wanting or forcing things to happen, and detaching oneself one’s ego in order to serve the light of the world.”
As Andrew stood at the storefront of his pop-up shop on Ossington, just a few blocks away from where his grandfather lived, he read a passage from his grandfather’s Holocaust memoir about his dream of opening a leather shop, and was overcome by a serendipitous sensation that things had fallen into place. “It was one of these moments where things felt really innate and natural, to be focused on high quality, and integrity, thoughtfully made leather bags.”
Andrew notes that people are deeply afraid of failure, but it is this very fear that opens others’ hearts and minds. “If you take the leap, and you’re honest and vulnerable about your journey, the momentum generated from that leap might be enough to propel you to a place where you don’t have to look back.”
Andrew Dale graduated from Schulich Business School in 2009 and then worked in a high-profile job in investment banking on Bay Street. At age 26, Andrew became one of the youngest senior executives in Canada but decided that a life of conflicting values wasn’t one he wanted live. He quit his job and started LeDaveed. Launched just a year ago, LeDaveed has already sold to customers in 17 countries, on 5 continents, and has been featured in numerous prominent media outlets. Andrew looks forward to LeDaveed’s continued success – but even more importantly, enjoying the journey that leads him there.
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Jumans of Toronto is a window into the lives and passion of Jewish young adults making their mark in the world. A 50-part series, Jumans is inspired by Humans of New York. If you’d like to recommend someone awesome to be highlighted, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by: Adina Samuels