YEDaily: Shane Foran

Shane Foran is the designer and founder of Vitaly Design, a jewelry line artfully crafted from combinations of exotic woods, industrial-grade ceramic, and sophisticated metals including stainless steel, silver, gold and rose gold. How did his passion come to fruition? Find out in today’s YEDaily…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
Vitaly Design is an androgynous line of jewelry artfully crafted from combinations of exotic woods, industrial-grade ceramic, and sophisticated metals including stainless steel, silver, gold and rose gold. The collections consist of single, double and three finger rings, pendants, cufflinks and tie clips, and are designed to stand out while remaining simple and tasteful, allowing the pieces to fit the many faces of every day fashion.

Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
I never really imagined myself becoming a designer to be honest. I went on a backpacking trip to clear my head – I’d become a workaholic and wasn’t really happy with what I was working on. Before leaving, I’d seen two finger rings and liked the concept. While I was in Bali, I felt inspired to design my own and have one of the many incredibly talented carvers and masons try to bring my idea to fruition. After spending a few weeks on the project, I posted the result to Facebook and received an amazing response. I think it ended up being my friends more than anything else that pushed me into starting the business… they’ve all been incredibly supportive and have believed in what I’m doing, so much so that they gave me the courage to tackle an industry I once thought was impossible to break into. For that reason, I like to design every piece with my friends in mind. 

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
Though I wish it’s something I got to do on a day-to-day basis, my favourite part of what I do are the ‘arts and crafts days’. These are the days where I get to break out my power tools, go shopping for weird materials and fabrics and begin crafting. More often than not, these days are the result of a need for new in-store displays or tradeshow setups. I think I was too hyper-active as a kid to do crafts, and am only now discovering how much I love them.

Shane Foran

Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
My goal is to continue growing Vitaly Design globally. I’d like to see us in at least 10 countries, 250 retail locations, and a recognizable brand across at least three nations. The goal is a lofty one, but with all the incredible challenges we’ve already battled and overcome, I’m not sure anything is impossible at this point.

What does success look like to you?
I wish I had a more ‘mature’ answer for lack of a better word, but success to me is simple: Supportive friends, travel, motorcycles and more tattoos. Oh, and continuing to do what I’m doing of course! 

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
The first time I saw someone wearing one of my pieces that had no idea who I was. He was getting in the elevator of my building at the time when I noticed, then commented on his ring, to which he replied, “Oh thanks man, I got it on Queen street – I get a million compliments on it!” I then replied, “thanks so much, I just got the best compliment I could ever hope for – I designed it!”

Do you have any advice for other young professionals? 
If you don’t love what you’re doing, keep an open eyes and an open mind for new opportunities. You never really know what might make you happy and propel your emotional and professional life forward.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
This is something Jason and I have been talking about a lot lately. While we’d love to have contribute to something sooner than later, the first priority, of course, will be getting ourselves comfortable and grounded. Once we’re there though, we’ll settle on either providing funding to help build schools in Indonesia, or to provide funding to harm reduction programs in Canada (personal reasons).

What is Notable to you?
To me, Notable is a much needed platform to give young professionals the recognition they deserve. Being selected by Notable is truly an honour. 

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How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?
I remind myself that I love what I’m doing, I stay active, and I make time for my social life whenever possible.