Carly and Logan Stewart are the type of people who walk the talk. In three short months, they’ve tied the knot, gone on honeymoon, moved into their newly built home and launched a business – all while parenting five children.

WORDS LAURA TUCK / PHOTOS BRYDIE THOMPSON

It’s been a crazy yet rewarding journey for the young couple, who’ve recently taken over one of the Bay of Plenty’s most iconic building franchises, Landmark Homes. “We’re still pinching ourselves – we can’t believe how it’s all come together,” says Carly. “We got married at Eagle Ridge in March, went on a beautiful honeymoon to New Caledonia, then opened the business the morning after we flew home to Tauranga. At the end of the day, we’re really just out there doing what everyone else is doing – grinding away at work with lots of kids in the background!”

With their five children ranging in age from Logan’s 12-year-old son, Lachlan, to their nine-month-old daughter, Isla, the couple credits Greenpark School for bringing them together four years ago. “I was picking up the kids one afternoon and Carly stalked me,” teases Logan. “We found ourselves sitting next to each other at a school guitar concert, and I worked up the courage to ask her out for dinner. The rest is history.”

Logan and Carly with their children (from left) Summer (8), Max (11), Isla (9 months) and Olivia (9). Twelve-year-old Lachlan was away on a field trip on the day of UNO’s shoot.

FITS LIKE A GLOVE

The down-to-earth locals with firm family values jumped at the chance to channel their skills and knowledge into a joint business venture. “It’s always been my dream to start my own building company,” says Logan, a qualified builder with many years’ experience in the industry in roles including sales management, sales consultancy and construction management. “We couldn’t have been more excited to get the call from [Landmark Homes franchisors] Paul and Debbie Clarke, offering us the opportunity to join the Landmark family.”

Carly’s background is in nursing, and her calm and caring approach makes her an absolute natural when it comes to genuinely connecting with people from all walks of life. “Logan and I wanted to do something together, and since he wasn’t about to become a theatre nurse, we decided to go down the building route,” she explains. “I get a real kick out of taking on a challenge – and I also love working with people. In this new role I’ll be focused on client support and interior design, which are two things I’m really passionate about.

“Since we’ve just been through the building process ourselves, we completely understand the emotions that come with building a new home, and have a solid understanding of what people need from their building company,” she continues. “When we say we’re going to do something, we do it. We want every Landmark Homes experience
to be incredible.”

“Communication is important in all aspects of life, but even more so when people are investing their life savings with you,” says Logan. “It’s easy to build someone a home, but it takes something more to really listen and create an environment for them that not only meets the requirements for functionality but also matches their personality. A great home reflects the family that’s going to be living in it.”

Landmark Homes offers both ‘ready to build’ designs and a ‘design and build’ service that provides complete design flexibility. Since every section is unique, Logan spends time with each client in order to truly maximise the potential of their space. After all, we all want to catch the sun and capitalise on the view, right?

“We produce high-quality boutique homes – it’s not our style to churn out a subdivision full of lookalikes,” he says. “Although those types of homes definitely have their place in the market, we’re all about creating beautiful homes with lots of detail. We don’t just want to build a home, we want to build a landmark.”

 

Same name, new vision

Having been in business in the region for more than 40 years, Tauranga is the original home of Landmark Homes. It’s a brand synonymous with quality and luxury, and if you grew up in the Bay, you may remember some of its renowned 15th Avenue showhomes.

“I was only 13 when I went through the Landmark showhome, which was in front of where our office is now,” says Carly. “It was Debbie and Paul’s baby, and it was stunning. My sister and I walked through every room in awe, nudging each other and whispering, ‘I’m going to live in a house like this one day.’ It really left an impression, so it’s important to Logan and I that we keep raising the bar for years to come.”

With a beautifully revamped office and new team of staff, the couple can’t wait to see what’s in store for Landmark Homes. First on the agenda? Developing a close-knit culture within the entire business.

“That’s essential for both of us, and extends to all of our sub-contractors and suppliers, too – we’re big on trust and loyalty,” says Logan. “The better the culture within our business, the higher the quality of our work, and the better the result for our clients.

“We all have different strengths, but we have a common desire as a team to get
stuck into the job and make our clients happy.
All of our staff are parents too, which is great – sometimes we’ll gather up the kids and go bowling on a Friday night, or we’ll organise babysitters and head out for dinner and drinks.”

Carly grew up on her family’s berry farm in Tauranga and Logan moved here from up north when he was 10. Like other locals, they chose to stay in the Bay for the lifestyle. “I’ve been here my whole life – and there’s a reason for that,” says Carly. “We love the people and we really enjoy getting out in nature and going for bush walks with the kids. It’s great being close to everything, too. Whenever we have some free time, we’ll jump in the car and head to the beach, or even a little further to the snow.”

“We’re also finding it’s an amazing place to own a business,” says Logan. “We can relate to our clients on so many levels – we’ll often see them at our favourite café or on the sidelines at Saturday sport. There’s a great community feel here, and we really want to bring the same positive vibe to Landmark Homes.”

landmarkhomes.co.nz/tauranga