DIRECTOR / FOUNDER
I grew up in Stokes Valley, a suburb in the Hutt Valley north of Wellington.
I started playing lawn bowls when I was 16 years old. The game has been in my family for generations and I got hooked on the competitiveness and comradery. In 1994, I won a national title with the Junior Wellington Rep team and progressed through the ranks into my twenties. I admit, being a young man playing lawn bowls was quite an unusual scenario but it was during these influential years that I learnt respect and the power of persistence to develop a skill-set over time.
After leaving school and going to work for my Dad, I discovered that like him I also had a passion for building. Transforming ideas on paper to a tangible reality was something I found so satisfying. This led to me working as a labourer for a few years on a variety of residential and commercial sites where I was dealing with all facets of building. During this time, I developed invaluable skills and an appreciation of craftsmanship. My passion for building grew and I knew it was what I was meant to do, so in 2002 I signed-up for my building apprenticeship.
While I was working as an apprentice builder I met Nicky. I met her through a mate I grew up with who was dating her sister. A few years down the track he’s still my mate and now, also my brother-in-law. Nicky and I love traveling the Pacific Islands and appreciating what we’ve got in our own backyard here in NZ. Highlights have been caving at Waitomo, taking a chopper to the Marlbourgh Sounds (where I proposed) and snorkelling amongst the tropical fish at Aitutaki in Rarotonga. Travel continues to be a passion of mine and Nicky’s and we try to get away somewhere new and exciting each year.
In 2007, we brought our first home in Wellington. With one child and a pet dog we were already well on our way into the next chapter of our lives. The renovations started almost immediately.
Not long after completing my apprenticeship, I started a building company with my Dad. All our work was from word of mouth. We built new residential homes, renovations, additions and did landscaping and light commercial work. I learnt a lot from this varied experience in the trade. It taught me skills which have been extremely useful, like how to work to a tight budget and timeframe and to think creatively to maximise the potential in a client’s home. These skills came naturally to me. I look back on this time with fond memories as it truly opened my eyes to the world of owning your own business and I knew it was how I wanted to work.
One of our stand out jobs was a loft conversion of an early 1900s-character villa in Kelburn. We took the unused roof space and transformed it into a luxury master bedroom, en-suite and walk in wardrobe, seamlessly connecting it to the existing house as if it had always been that way.
2016 was the year that Nicky and I established SLC Builders. I was able to combine my experience of owning a business and being hands-on in the trade to provide specialised renovation and addition building services to Wellington.
Not only has SLC grown, but so has my family. I now have 3 children Owen (17), Molly (8) and Lennox (4). Having a child in the workforce, primary school and kindy certainly keeps things interesting! In summer, we head over to the Wairarapa with our extended family. Most of the time spent at the beach, diving and preparing food. The kids love staying up late playing spotlight and sleeping like sardines with their cousins in the bach.
My strong work ethic fuels my purpose to always provide value with an exceptional product and service. Over the years we have developed a talented group of tradesmen and created a positive team-culture where everybody thrives. This standard we proudly uphold, is evident in our work and strengthens our relationships with tradies, professionals and clients. Communication has been the key to our successful team and efficient building process to improve homes that we are all proud to be part of.
MANAGING DIRECTOR / CO-FOUNDER
I was born and raised in Silverstream, a neighbourhood in Upper Hutt, Wellington.
I was about 9 years old when my love of home design began. I was often found sketching my dream home on graph paper, planning the landscape design, perfecting the layout and even detailing the craft-nook to house my precious stationery. Admittedly, I’m still a stationery-geek and over the years my passion of home design has magnified.
Throughout school I loved the arts and architecture. In 2002, I visited London, Malta and Italy. I felt privileged to see paintings, buildings and elaborate gardens that I’d studied. Definite highlights were seeing the gardens and water fountains at Villa d’Este in Rome and visiting the house where my Grandfather grew up in Malta. Experiencing the tight confines of my cousin’s inner-city London flat and the historic vacation home of Hadrian’s Villa in Rome, intrigued me. I came home with a new appreciation of the different ways people lived and what ‘home’ meant to them. I went on to study at Victoria University in Wellington and graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor of Design, majoring in Landscape Architecture.
I met Cory in 2004 while I was still at Uni. At the time we lived in neighbouring suburbs so didn’t have to go far to find each other! As corny as it sounds it still remains true, whatever one of us lacks the other willingly steps up for, in all aspects of our life. Sharing the drive to stretch outside our comfort zones and improve both personally and professionally keeps life challenging and exciting.
My professional background spans over 13 years. I’ve been responsible for the day-to-day management of multiple trade-based businesses. While running our building company with Cory’s Dad, I was also the Sales and Account Manager at Metro - a cladding and paving company for 3 years. I worked for Silverstream Pharmacy improving their internal processes and liaising with ACC. For the following 6 years I focused on the account management of our building company and also worked as a Virtual Assistant for other self-employed tradesmen.
In 2014, the arrival of our third child Lennox, was the beginning of an emotional roller-coaster for our family. Our son was born with a rare heart condition called Tricuspid Atresia. When he was just 2-weeks old, we flew from Wellington on the Life Flight Trust plane up to Starship Hospital in Auckland, where we remained for 3 months. Life as we knew it had been turned upside down and everything else took a back seat. Lennox had a really tough time and needed four open-heart surgeries. Cory flew between being with Lennox and I at Starship, seeing our other two kids (staying with grandparents) and being onsite at jobs we had on at the time. Thankfully now Lennox is a happy and extremely determined little boy and we couldn’t be more grateful.
Reflecting back on that time, it was undoubtedly one of those life changing experiences. We learnt so much and it’s shaped our lives ever since.
In terms of our business, we figured out what was and wasn’t working. We had a new outlook on life and the drive to be better in every way was all the motivation we needed to make massive improvements. We decided to start again and haven’t looked back since. A combination of the lessons learnt, utilising technology, creating powerhouse systems and having a team of ‘A-players’ were the basis of making SLC Builders a reality. Our drive to deliver quality results and a people-focused service allows us the privilege of providing our clients with their dream home.
Now, in our business I apply my experience to continuously improve efficiency and communication and ensure that our internal processes are of a high standard that our clients, suppliers and staff deserve and expect. I organise our marketing and collaboratively, we nurture SLC’s people-focused culture. One of the standards we uphold, is to break the generalisation of the ‘typical tradie.’ This motivates us to pleasantly surprise our client’s and provide them with not only a finished home they are proud of but an awesome experience they’ll treasure for years to come.