People always ask how I became a painting contractor as they’re surprised to meet a woman in the business. I earned a degree in Anthropology from University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. However, before I graduated, I was uncertain about what I’d do with the liberal arts degree. Straight out of college, I went to work for myself as a handy person doing carpentry and house painting.
I immediately found I love working with my hands and figuring things out. Both the trade part and the business side of being a woman painting contractor feel natural to me. My father was a roofing contractor and later a successful general contractor. While I didn’t learn the trade from him, I did spend time on job sites and appreciated he loved his chosen profession.
While I worked for myself briefly as a handy person, I soon decided to seek professional experience. I worked for a successful high end residential painting contractor for over 10 years doing large and small projects. I was the project manager and wore all hats at this operation from hiring, bidding and working or supervising residential painting projects start to finish. Later, I went to work for a San Francisco residential painting contractor for two years as I wanted experience with Victorians and historic buildings.
In 2003, I hung out my shingle as a woman painting contractor and started Cydney Ortzow Painting. Our operation has 8-10 painters at any given time. We have 3 dedicated foremen, a support / office staff person and myself who handles bids and daily on-site inspections.