Marle Women is created to celebrate our philosophy of designing pieces for women of all ages and stages of their lives. Each feature profiles a woman we admire and we hope each interview inspires you the same way in which these women inspire us.
Co-Founder of The Curve, a platform for women to learn more about money and investment, Victoria Harris is pioneering change in the investment industry. Passionate about making investing more accessible for women, along with her co-founder Sophie Hallwright, Vic shares her own experiences as well as breaks through the jargon in a fun, relatable and simplified way.
We spoke to Vic from her summer sojourn in the sunny UK, and found out more about what led her down this path and what change she wants to see within the finance industry.
Please share a little bit more about yourself, your upbringing and any defining moments that lead you to where you are today…
I am a Kiwi, born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand. I’ve always had an interest in business and how they work - what made them successful - and dreamt of having my own one day. I think this is why I had a natural interest in finance and investing. I have worked in the finance industry for over 13 years now and recently started my own business, The Curve. I think this was definitely a defining moment for me - combining my years of financial knowledge with my passion of empowering other people.
Did you always know you wanted to work in finance? Was this something you enjoyed or were naturally good at?
I wish I had a better answer to this question but I literally had no idea what ‘finance’ was until I was at university. My love for business made me curious as to what this finance stuff was all about. So I studied it and thankfully, loved it. I am a numbers gal, so this was right up my alley - I understood it and enjoyed it straight away. When you are interested or enjoy something, it makes learning much more fun and easy. And this is exactly what we are now trying to do at The Curve - make finance fun. My mother was also very into investing and taught me a few basic things at a young age which now, on reflection, I can see definitely sowed the investing seed at a young age.
The Curve is an incredible space that is empowering and educating women - quite the contrast to the male-dominated finance industry. Congratulations on such incredible work! What were some of the challenges you faced in previous roles?
Thank you. I think you hit the nail on the head; the reason The Curve has been such a success is because it was created by women, for women, which is so unique. Yes, the finance industry is still unfortunately very male-donimated and this therefore, means a lot of learning platforms just don’t resonate with women. We also invest differently to men which creates an additional set of challenges. This has led to many women being left out of the investing and money conversations, leading to financial inequality. Through my 13 year career in the finance industry, I was either the first female or only female in my team. The lack of gender diversity in the industry is very prevalent and needs to change. Finance has almost been an exclusive club and only select members are allowed. I want to change this.
Early in my career, being in a male-dominated industry initially impacted my confidence. I told myself ‘I don’t look like them therefore I must not be as smart as them’. It wasn’t until I was older and more experienced, that I realised my uniqueness can be used to my advantage. Women can spot investing trends just as easily as men can. We are half the population. Therefore, where and how we choose to spend our money can impact businesses, industries and economies. Once I embraced this, and realised I didn’t necessarily have to be an expert, I just had to open my eyes to what was going on around me, I started to find my investing groove.
What do you love most about the work you do now?
It sounds cheesy, but I love that we are literally changing people's lives. We get daily messages from women all over the world thanking us for helping them pay off their crippling credit card debt or for giving them tips to ask for a pay rise or helping them finally change KiwiSaver providers so they will be a millionaire at retirement. Running your own business can have its challenges and there are days when you think ‘why am I doing this?’. Whenever I have those days, I think about all the women we have helped, but also all the women we still need to reach - and that’s what motivates me. I feel super fortunate to be able to combine my passion and knowledge into a platform to financially empower women. It doesn’t feel like ‘work’. It feels like I have finally found my purpose.
What change do you want to see in the finance and investing industry?
More diversity. Not just gender diversity, but ethnicity, culture, age, experience. The more diversity we can have amongst the people allocating capital, a better world we will create for future generations.
And less jargon. I know every industry has their jargon - law, accounting, medicine - but knowing how to grow your wealth and be financially independent is so incredibly important, especially for women. There is no reason it should be overwhelming and confusing. The more we can democratise investing and finance, the better. Money is power. It is control. If you lack financial knowledge, you lack independence, choice and freedom.
What has made you the most proud of your own investment journey?
Being able to pass on my knowledge that I have learnt from my 20 years of investing. And doing so in a creative, relatable and digestible way. I have been very fortunate to have learnt the benefits of investing early in my life. And to now be in a position to educate and empower other women is super rewarding. I am so proud of what we have created with The Curve - I just wish we had done it sooner!
How would you describe your personal style and how has this evolved over the years?
I would say I am pretty relaxed and have a fairly minimalist approach with my personal style. I like to invest in quality, staple pieces (just like my actual investments!), that will last throughout multiple seasons. I am also all about comfort and neutral tones.
Marle is designed to add effortless ease to a woman’s wardrobe, how does wearing Marle make you feel?
Every Marle collection is right up my alley in terms of my own personal style. The pieces make you feel feminine but also are super comfortable and easy-to-wear. And the recent spring collection - I’m obsessed, especially with the denim pieces! I have had so many compliments already and I know they will be staple pieces for years and years.
What is your most treasured object and why?
My dog, Miso. Pets have such unconditional love, it’s the best.
Favourite home cooked meal?
A roast vege salad. Great in winter or summer. And you can use whatever veggies are left in the fridge!
Favourite thing to wear?
Anything oversized and comfy!
Your non-negotiable daily rituals?
Spring/Summer or Autumn/Winter?
Spring/Summer, definitely. That’s why I am in the Northern Hemisphere right now…
Last Book You Read?
Happy Sexy Millionaire by Steve Bartlett.
Current Podcast Recommendations
I’m pretty bias but it would have to be ours; The Curve podcast
Vic wears the Alfafa Shirt and Wide Leg Jean in Vintage Blue (available via stockists or online in ivory), the Ludi Jacket in Ivory and the Baba Hat in Black.
Photographed by Clara Jane.