Founder and president, Carla D’Angelo founded Claudia Alan Inc. in 2003 with a vision to create beautiful eyewear and accessories that make a difference. Since then, through the sale of the company’s AYA brand, Claudia Alan Inc. has been instrumental in helping OneXOne make over 700,000 meals a reality to children who would otherwise have gone without a nourishing breakfast. In 2006, Carla campaigned to raise awareness for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation through the sale of Pink Ribbon Readers and now the company is chartering a new path with its latest brand C4: Canadian Creative Collaborative for Charity.

Carla’s mission to create a company that gives back is closely linked to her journey to overcome personal adversity through hope, faith and the simple satisfaction of helping other people. Certainly, Carla’s previous experience in the tech, retail and eyewear sectors provided the acumen to make Claudia Alan a reality, but her real vision came from the heart.

A creative force with a keen appreciation for beauty, integrity and family, Carla conceived the name of her company, Claudia Alan, by combining her middle name with that of her husband and business partner, Peter Taylor, creating a masculine-feminine hybrid that is reflected in the unisex styling of many of the company’s most popular eyewear frames.

Family also played a role in the development of Claudia Alan’s most successful brand to date. AYA, the company’s iconic eyewear featuring original First Nations art – the first of its kind - was inspired by Carla’s exposure to native art from an early age. Her parents, successful Italian shoe designers themselves, keenly collected aboriginal art from Australia and Canada, where the family lived.

Through AYA sales, Claudia Alan has raised over $100,000 for OneXOne’s School Breakfast Program. Carla is proud to be a member of the Advisory Board for the breakfast program and serve alongside one of her mentors in philanthropy, Joey Adler.

In 2014, Carla was nominated for a RBC women of influence award, being recognized for her leadership role in the community and for her notable achievements with Claudia Alan.

Looking forward, Carla envisions a future with her family of four splitting time between Australia, where she lived as a child; Italy, a constant source of design inspiration; and her home in Canada, and is planning a new business model that will support this dream, while continuing to support others.