Slice founder Amy Stevens wants to provide everyone with the opportunity to own a home and secure their financial future. From debunking common misconceptions around accessibility and affordability, to reconnecting with her community as a Maori business owner, learn more about Amy Stevens’ inspiring aptitude for simplifying the complex – and doing it in style.
Amy always had an affinity for problem-solving. Having studied Law and Economics before moving into a financial advisor role at the Foreign Exchange, Amy’s frustration with the legal and financial industries led her to fintech – where she currently is now – developing solutions-based platforms.
“I began learning to front end code and quickly became fascinated in tech and its ability to disrupt and enable change at scale,” she explains. Testing out her acquired skills, Amy launched her side-hustle ‘gravy‘, an app and now NZTA approved logbook to support drivers. Eventually, Amy went on to purchase her first home, documenting her experience to inform her next endeavour Slice – an educational end-to-end buyers platform that provides financial and legal support for first home buyers.
We all have different reasons for wanting to own our own properties. A formative memory from Amy’s childhood was a catalyst for entering the market at a young age. Amy grew up in Hawke’s Bay and now resides in Auckland.
“My parents separated when I was younger and I saw firsthand the challenges my mother faced in trying to secure a new home for us kids. Today home ownership represents not only a sense of financial security but also emotional security for me.”
Fast-forward to today, and Amy’s Maori-owned platform Slice is reducing barriers to home ownership. Alongside the online platform, Slice will also be offering a podcast officially launching on March 16, 2023. The first episode will be recorded live and in conversation with ‘Girlsthatinvest’ founder Simran Kaur to talk about her property journey.
When asked about the importance of being a Maori-owned business, Amy admits that Slice’s mission is also underpinned by a greater personal endeavour to lean in and reclaim her Maori culture.
Despite being a ¼ Maori, she hasn’t felt readily able to identify herself as such based on her looks.
The benefits of promoting her business as Maori-owned are two-fold: Amy is reclaiming her culture for herself and for her hapori (community); and she’s playing an active role in increasing visibility of Maori in the entrepreneurial space.
“We have a long history as collaborators, innovators and storytellers and we’re nothing if not resilient,” she says. “With Maori only accounting for 4% of the tech industry. Add being a wahine (woman) to this and the numbers dwindle even further. If you can’t see it, it’s hard to become it.”
Slice is an end-to-end tech platform built to reduce barriers to home ownership through education, step-by-step guidance and automated software. Slice is taking bold and innovative steps to make homeownership more accessible and inclusive for all.
For Amy, Slice’s success lies in creating a transparent roadmap and providing the right support at each stage to empower its users. “Once you get a feeling for what’s involved, you actually start to realise the different options available to you,” she says. “You could buy a property much sooner with a deposit as small as $20,000 by going in with a parent for example.”
That’s what worked for Amy when she went to purchase her first home in Raglan. If not for her work experience, she wouldn’t have known about the alternative ways to get on the ladder. “I began documenting the process and turning my experience into a platform.”
Slice bridges the gap between the customer needs and what the brokers and the lawyers need to do to support the customer. “It’s all about breaking things down and taking it one step at a time to manage any relationships you may have, and of course your investment.”
And once you’re in your home, it doesn’t end there. “The platform also supports you to track and amend contributions over time.”
So, what can you do today to get ahead in the housing market? According to Amy, it’s all about starting as early as possible to build your confidence. “The more you know the more accessible it feels,” she says. There are more options available to us than we realise “but it all begins with learning the basics, listening to the Slice podcast, and getting a feel for the options available to you.”
To learn more about what makes Amy tick, read on below for her answers to our quick-fire style questions including what beauty products she uses, the books she reads, and where she’s planning to spend and splurge this year…
The best book I’ve read recently… I’ll share a little love to my all time favourite – Sapiens. The book includes some great insights into what makes us human and how we can improve and do better. Ultimately, it all comes down to our ability to communicate and collaborate at scale. Interestingly enough tech is both an enabler and inhibitor when it comes to this.
My current podcast recommendation… Slice the podcast – can I say that?
My favourite place to dine… I can’t go past Hotel Ponsonby.
The item at the top of my wish list… A really nice sheer glove for a wedding I am going to. I’m trying to find a very pale pink pair.
Hometown’s best-kept secret… Shine Falls just outside of Hawke’s Bay is a beautiful spot.
The three beauty products I can’t live without… Sunday Riley Luna Sleep Oil, Tatcha Dewy Cream, Hourglass brow gel.
This season I’m splurging on… My business.
This season I’m saving on… My social life (bit sad I know).
I would describe my style as… A mixture between corporate and streetwear. I love to be a bit disruptive and pair a softer line with something grungier like Dr Martens, or perhaps a suit with a sneaker.