In talking to Heba Ahmed Malki you get the sense this woman is always on the go, and she is.
Originally from Athens, she has also lived and worked in Canada and Spain, had several different careers before working in the construction business with her husband.
Her family moved to Canada when she was around one, living at first in downtown Toronto. After high school, she decided to pursue a career in social work, with the goal of helping troubled youth but by the time she had graduated with honours, she decided this career was not for her.
Instead she took courses in esthetics, mainly working as a nail technician, which is what she did when she moved to Spain. In fact, not only did she do nails, she worked in a restaurant and sold advertising so she always had enough money to buy a ticket to fly home if necessary.
It was in Spain that she met her husband, and it was when she was pregnant with her daughter, that they decided to move back to Canada. “I needed my mom to help me be a mom.” she jokes. She later had a son.
It was when she got laid off from her job at a financial institution, that her husband suggested that she join him in their business, managing all the admin and details involved in the construction business, where they handle major renovations as well as building a home from the ground up.
That was nine years ago, and the business has grown in leaps and bounds, as Heba develops all the system required to keep everything organized, adding her female touch to a male-dominated industry.
Today they have a large showroom, and a team of ten women in the showroom as well as the 100 subcontractors they call on when needed. Within the team they have architects and designers.
Heba loves managing the team. Every member brings different talents and energy and in her words “I don’t babysit them and expect everyone to get on with their job.”
As a group they like to hang out and have fun together.
Her advice for someone starting out – get all your ducks in a row, and hire other people for the expertise you don’t have. You don’t have to do it all and better to spend your time on the business.