Angela Cody never thought she would become the CEO of her own company. Neither did she think she’d be in charge of two missile alert facilities in the Air Force.
After resigning her commission as an Air Force major in 2004, Cody launched Major Mom, through which she helps people in the Denver area get their disorganized rooms, houses and offices all tidy and organized.
“When we go to a house or office, we see where the deficiencies lie,” she said. “We create organizing and storage solutions for our clients.”
When she joined the Air Force, she first thought she would spend only four years. But after moving up the ranks, Cody stayed 18 years, at one point leading more than 300 people as a major.
Juggling motherhood and military life became hard for her when Cody had her first child. She found being a mom and a major were incompatible.
“I would be on military duty and my babies would be home with the nanny or my husband, and I could not think about what the general was saying,” she said. “I could no longer focus and be the officer that I should be.”
That led her to leave the Air Force.
At home, she loved TV shows like “Clean Sweep,” and she said that prompted her husband, Frederic Rouget, to tell her, “You love organizing, you love those shows … you should consider doing that for a living.”
She thought it was a strange idea until she decided to do a Google search for “professional organizer” and found the National Association of Professional Organizers, which she joined immediately.
Her husband was instrumental when it came to naming the company eight years ago.
“When I was in the Air Force, I will come home and Frederick would run to the front door with the baby and say, ‘Major mom is home,’ and that seemed like the most logical name for my company,” she said.
Her idea came from trying to maintain an orderly house with a baby and a toddler, something she noticed other moms where struggling with when visiting their homes for play dates.
“I will go to their houses and noticed that there wasn’t a designated area to place things, toys all over the floor,” she said.
Major Mom launched in 2004 and, at first, Cody’s family and friends thought she was making a bad move.
“Most of my family thought I was crazy,” she said. “They said, ‘You have an MBA and you went to the Air Force. Just get a job. It is not prudent.”
While she struggled for a long time to get Major Mom established, she said that being a CEO is the best thing that has ever happened to her.
“I like to be in charge and have more control of my life, something I never had.”
Major Mom is expanding services to the Dallas, Phoenix and Spokane, Wash., areas soon.
Cody said that the military helped her launch Major Mom.
“The military took that natural skill,” she said, “the one I did have naturally, organizing – going through [a] checklist, manuals and being organized.”
Message to veterans.
You have some skill sets that translate into the civilian world, but join organizations that are there to support you. There are organizations designed to help you launch your business. Don’t do it alone.