The first time I interviewed Eric Vardon, he was a 26-year-old wannabe fashion magnate who had just co-founded a clothing company called AllMaple. That was in the summer of 2003.
Three years later, the company was small but growing, and Vardon’s attention was focused on the chest of Pamela Anderson. Or that’s how I portrayed a particular moment in the second story I wrote about Vardon’s entrepreneurial exploits.
Anderson was hosting the 2006 Juno Awards in Halifax. For the second consecutive year, AllMaple had supplied merch for the celebrity gift bags. Vardon and his co-founder Marco DiCarlo watched the show intently, hoping Anderson would change into an AllMaple shirt at some point in the broadcast. It wasn’t to be.
More important than anything Anderson did that night was something about Vardon I glossed over at the time. AllMaple was one of at least three companies he was running at the time. It was an offshoot of an Internet arts magazine, which itself was an offshoot of the central business, Velocity Studio.
Velocity was early in the website design business. In 2011, Vardon and a new partner, John D’Orsay, founded Arcane, which took the website design concept and blew it out to include marketing of all kinds, but particularly social media, search engine optimization and custom software solutions.
I wrote a few stories about Arcane through the years, in particular when it moved to its sleek new home on Talbot Street – the Cube.
I was there again last month, writing yet another story about Vardon and his latest career move. The cover story in the May issue of London Inc. magazine is about that move, a step back. He and D’Orsay are giving up some of the day-to-day responsibility at Arcane but continuing as two of the four owners.
As ever, Vardon gives away little about what’s he planning for the next month or year or beyond. As capable as the company’s new CEO and COO are – and they’ve been working at the company, learning the ropes, for more than two years – it would be foolish to think Vardon is going to simply walk away.
But it would be equally foolish to suggest he’s going to hibernate in his funky corner office and rest on his digital laurels. This summer, he and his wife will have their second child, so presumably that’s where some of his energies will go. However, you read it here first: Within two years, my bet is he’ll launch a new venture. And there’s a pretty good chance I’ll be there to write about it.