From left to right: Shawna, Kelly, and Holly select finishes for the new Cloud Giants headquarters.

Being a working mom is a tough balancing act. For many women, it means constantly negotiating different priorities while dealing with the guilt that time spent on one aspect of life — family or career — should instead be spent on the other.

For our CEO and Founder Kelly Pfrommer, becoming a working mom of two sons meant reexamining how she was spending her time. In a moment, Kelly knew she needed to shake up her current routine.

A problem solver at heart, she found herself exploring how best to navigate both roles. After years in the corporate world, she knew two truths. One, she loved her family. Two, she loved Salesforce.

“I knew I had to solve the problem of balancing the personal with the professional,” she said. “I needed to find a different way to blend these two worlds, to have the time I was spending away from my boys' matter, and have the freedom to choose my own professional destiny.”

By approaching this issue with a problem-solving mindset, she was able to flip the traditional thinking of how to develop her career to how to shape her professional life so it could fit her priorities.

“At first, I was going to use my skills to be a freelance Salesforce consultant,” Kelly said.  “That’s what I loved to do and I thought I could better control my schedule that way. I was a little intimidated at first by the thought of working solo because I didn’t believe I was necessarily a salesperson, but my network was so supportive.”

When Kelly closed her first sale, that’s when Cloud Giants was truly born. It wasn’t necessarily the plan from the outset, but a result of problem solving every step of the way.

And it was this problem-solving orientation that guided the early days of the company.

“It’s been a journey of learning,” Kelly said. “There have been so many lessons along the way.”

From how to hire her first employee to finding a new office space when the company outgrew its headquarters, Kelly’s natural inclination to problem solve — what first lead her to Salesforce and stoked her desire to work more deeply with it — has guided her from day one.

So while Kelly didn’t set out to create Cloud Giants from the ground up, that’s ultimately what happened.

“I don’t really think of it as an accomplishment because that sounds so final,” Kelly said. “It’s been a wonderful experience and we have so much more to accomplish.”

Kelly will be sharing the Cloud Giants story on Thursday, September 20 at The Frontier in RTP for RTP180 Homegrown. The event will feature local leaders at AgBiome, MCNC, SWIR Vision Systems and the National Humanities Center speaking on what homegrown means to them. Speakers take the stage starting at 6 p.m. and there will be complimentary beer and networking before and after the show. Some tickets (which are offered at no charge) are still available here.