“Lets encourage as many women as possible to be in this industry, because we belong. We’re good at this.”
— Stefanie Olsen
Stefanie Olsen began her early career with a serious balancing act. After she studied teaching, she quickly realized it wasn’t going to be for her. Instead, she ran her Dad’s accounting firm whilst flipping houses and building subdivisions on the side. Growing up, her father had always instilled in her the possibilities of owning her own business. Being an accountant himself, he had taught her how to make sound choices with her money which would be a fundamental skill she would carry through to her own businesses.
Photo credit: https://shebuildshomes.com/
Over the next five years, she developed a system whereby she would purchase a house at auction, flip it, sell it and repeat the process. Her business, The Kite Group, would go on to flip over 100 houses. This evolved to then purchasing land and trying her hand at subdividing. From here, Stefanie and her team developed over 100 properties which led her getting her real estate licence.“When you ask me to do something, I’m going to always figure out the best way to hone in on the best way to do it”.
Stefanie’s all female-led team at The Kite Group
Eventually, her partners in The Kite Group decided they would retire, meaning she would lose her contractor partner, and this would be an end to the lucrative business she had grown to be really good at. Stefanie had two choices, either give up, or get her contractors licence and take on the business herself. She chose the latter. She sold the accounting firm, obtained her general contractors licence and started SheBuilds, a business centered around inclusion of women in the construction industry.
Photo courtesy of Stefanie Olsen
After years of working with people from all walks of life, Stefanie found that women in particular were often left out of the design and building process. If they didn’t understand the technical language and design processes, they often felt intimidated and out of their depth. “As a woman contractor, I want to come alongside you and be a really good communicator for my clients.” Stefanie aspires to teach women how to build smart businesses. It’s one thing to have a skill, but another to run a good business. “Lets encourage as many women as possible to be in this industry, because we belong. We’re good at this.”
With the launch of She Builds, Stefanie can truly express her passion and make her dreams a reality for more women. Summed up in her own words, She Builds is “a place where women step into undefined roles, where women feel empowered to reach beyond their day to day life and achieve what they only dreamt about. Women's potential and dreams will not be stagnant here, their voices will be heard and ideas counted. She Builds is a place for women who have grand ideas and want to break through to their full potential."
Her only regret? Not getting into construction sooner. “I spent so many years being the woman behind the contractor. Now being able to be in front, I feel it inspires many other women”.