Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School – Graduated 2005
Shane recently put his corporate job on hold and took a six-week unplanned pilgrimage to southeast Asia – a trip that would change his future. In Bali, he discovered the small town of Ubud, a haven for artists. He spent three weeks there in a state of introverted reflection and began dreaming of handcrafted jewelry that would fit the many faces of everyday fashion. That was the start of a journey that recently led him and his business partner Jason to the CBC’s Dragon’s Den, a show that partners wealthy investors with start-up companies and entrepreneurs.
From the beginning, Shane realized that he was on to something with his unique and trendy jewelry. When he posted his designs on social media he thought it might help pay for his Asian pilgrimage – instead he received orders from retailers. With his long-time friend Jason Readman, the two spent their last pennies to get their company Vitaly off of the ground.
Today, Vitaly jewelry is sold in 100 stores internationally, is featured in fashion magazines and adorns the hands and wrists of some of North America’s most recognized celebrities and athletes. On the Dragon’s Den, all five “Dragons” wanted a piece of the Vitaly action.
“During my time at Patrick Fogarty, I went through more phases than most people do in a lifetime, made more friends than I can count (many of whom I still see on a regular basis), learned that weaknesses can be overcome, hard work pays off, complaining never got anyone anywhere, and most importantly, that every individual is unique and should embrace what makes them who they are. I often recall the guidance of a few specific teachers that will resonate with me for the rest of my life, and that has contributed to my growth as an individual and the professional success I’m experiencing today.”