By Kate Hanzalik
“I have a lot of energy. My mom will tell you that,” says Angela Flynn. “She describes me as the child who walked through the door, but I didn’t even make it in the door. I threw my backpack inside and I was back outside.” As an entrepreneur, wife, and mother of four young children, she needs all the energy she can get. In fact, it’s this vitality, and her ability to navigate her days, that has helped her to thrive.
A Typical Day
A typical morning for Flynn starts before 6 a.m. Her kids, 12-year-old son, Levi, and 14-year-old daughter, Harper, are on the bus by 6:30 a.m. Then she has breakfast with her 10-year-old son, Gunnar, and helps him with his homework. The nanny comes at 8 a.m. to watch her 2-year-old son, Rocky, then she gets down to business. She owns and operates Airbnbs, rental properties, and the dumpster rental company, Green Team Dumpster Rentals.
Flynn shares her home office with her husband, Mike Flynn, owner and founder of the successful residential roofing company, The Roofing Guys. Both she and her husband were born and raised in Syracuse and went to West Genesee High School.
“My husband’s mom worked two jobs to provide for her four kids,” she said. “Both of our moms were nurses. We both come from divorced families. Not from a lot of money. It was very difficult. Both of our moms worked very, very hard to provide for us.” This shared history was motivating to the couple.
They started dating in 2005. In 2006, they got married and he started The Roofing Guys. “We went to Jamaica [for a destination wedding]. We got married on December 30. On December 25 of that year, he was doing a roof, like on Christmas day. He is literally the hardest worker that you know,” she says. “When he started his business, we did not have a dollar to our name and now The Roofing Guys is the largest residential roofing company in the Northeast.”
Over the years, he worked 80-hour weeks building the business, and she worked as a Spanish teacher at West Genesee High School. Eventually they had children and her perspective changed. “I thought that [being a Spanish teacher] was going to be my end-all-be-all. Then when I had the kids, and he was working so much, it made the most sense for me to stay home with the kids and also help him with his business. I was out there with fliers, writing proposals for him, doing all that.”
Officially resigning from teaching in 2011, she explored options for businesses and found many in the world of rentals and real estate. “Things fall in my lap. We bought a bunch of foreclosure properties in 2016, and we started flipping those, selling them or renting them out, and I really enjoy that. That was a lot of fun,” she said. “I love a project, such as, bringing old, dilapidated farmhouses back to life. [I love] watching people love them again. And I love the befores and afters, and how everything comes together. We’ve done about 10 of those houses. A couple we kept, a couple we rented out, a couple we sold off. Then I got into Florida Airbnb, and now, [as of] yesterday, we’re converting to our third one down there. We have had two, I just sold one yesterday. I’m buying a new one.” She also started Green Team Dumpster Rentals in 2019, which has turned out to be very successful.
Her husband has been instrumental to her success. “I saw him working from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and [leading] a business-owner life. That’s not easy. It’s cut-throat, it’s hard, there’s a lot of time and energy and commitment and you have to take risks, and I’m not a big risk taker. So I never thought that was something I was ever going to do, but he really motivated me to go out and do things.”
She has learned so much from stepping outside of her comfort zone. “Starting a business from nothing, to learning it all, and doing every part of the business–selling the jobs, doing the advertisement, creating the business plan–I mean it’s really hard work,” she said. “The dumpster company is no frills. You’re working with waste management. But it has allowed me to do other things that I also love. Like, I love doing the Airbnbs, that’s great. I love creating them, I love building them up and I love hosting people, and I’m always in constant communication with my tenants and my guests, and I have hosted people from all over the world. The rentals, same thing. I love flipping something, making something ugly into something beautiful.”
Her life is hectic, but she takes time to workout every day. “I’m 40 minutes at the gym. I do 20 minutes cardio, 20 minutes strength training. I diversify that a little bit but that’s my super important time that I have to get done for myself that I really enjoy. It keeps me sane. It gets some of my energy out.” In 2020, she started using Peloton. “It’s crazy motivational. Jess Sims, Robin Arzón, Kirsten Ferguson. I do a 20-minute run, I throw on my headphones. They are the most motivational people in the world. They’re like, ‘Whatever does not serve you, get rid of it!’ And I’ve taken that to heart.” Now at 39, Flynn says, “I’ve never felt as good as this past year. “
A Typical Night
Work stops – at least for a moment – when the kids get home at 4:30 p.m. “Dinner is cooked at 4 o’clock. We’re eating dinner at 4:30. We’re out the door at sports by 5. It’s a divide-and-conquer approach. My husband does, right now, track pick up, soccer practice. I do baseball practice and taking the toddler to the park. And then we’re home at 8, 8:30. Maybe a little bit of a second dinner and then we’re done and in bed by 10.”
Family is everything to her. At first, it was three kids, Harper, Levi, and Gunnar. Then she learned she was pregnant. “I took some years off and had my little surprise baby. He completed our family. He is the cutest little thing. It’s actually really fun having one after the rest of them. When I had three under 5, life was so crazy. Things were chaotic. They were crazy. They’re so cute.” Now that the kids are older, the family dynamics have changed. “It was really amazing to see the older kids be so involved. They’re so super helpful. And [Rocky’s] just doted on . . . It’s so much fun.”
When the fun is over at the end of the day, she is open for business again. “I usually do a lot of my work after the kids go to bed. Between 9 and 10, I will get on the computer and finish emails. I put my schedule together for the next day, text myself my driver’s schedule for my dumpster company, so that way when I wake up in the morning it’s a text, send, go.”
Looking Back, Looking Ahead
She sees the world differently now after all that she has accomplished. “I’ve done both worlds. I’ve done the working mom. I’ve done the stay-at-home mom . . . And now that they’re older, and I’ve thrown myself in to all these new businesses, I have a very good balance where I’m at right now, where they don’t need me so much, but I still am at the point in my life where I can spend a lot of time with them when they need things.”
In the future, after her 10 year old graduates high school, the couple wants to spend the majority of the year living in Florida and the summers in Syracuse. But for right now, she’s completely content. “I love where we’re at right now. We’re in such a wonderful routine, and I know what I want in the future, and the steps we need to take to get there.”
As of recently, Angela has been focusing her efforts on opening day festivities for Mike’s new business, FlynnStoned Cannabis Company, where she will take on the lead role of event coordinator and will be holding a block party for the grand opening in Armory Square on June 16th and 17th.