Codee Rainey, owner and creative mind behind Codee Rainey Designs and The Roost, Codee is a class of 2009 graduate of Georgia Military Junior College. She chose to go to GMC after her mother, the source or her creativity, attended GMC’s Criminal Justice Program. Codee was living at home in Eatonton, attending classes in Milledgeville, and was waiting tables at Lake Oconee. Like most students, she would be back in Milledgeville to go out with friends a few times a week. Codee saw the uniqueness of Georgia Military College before and during her time attending the school. “I was able to attend my classes, work, and enjoy going out with friends because of the flexibility and class sizes GMC offered. I always enjoyed building relationships with the non-traditional student. The parent that was going back to college to build a future for their family or the middle aged student that finally found their passion and wanted to make a career out of it. My only regret is I wish I had put forth more effort in my studies. Creativity has always been my top priority and everything else just kind of fell by the wayside. I wish I had learned more about things that I wasn’t necessarily interested in because I feel like those are the things that make you wiser and well-rounded.”
Codee credits her art teacher, Ray Hastings, with challenging her to work in areas she wasn’t comfortable, stating: “I was heavy into GMC’s art classes. I took every class offered on their schedule and was on independent study for the most part. Mr. Hastings always pushed me to use mediums that I wasn’t familiar with and I grew as an artist because of that. I have always been deep-seated in creativity but those classes sparked my talent for drawing that I never even knew I possessed.”
Coach Harmon was another favorite teacher. “I felt like his classes made an otherwise stressful class schedule bearable. His class made it ok to not be into sports, which I didn’t play. I needed classes like that to have a little break from reality. He gave me grace which is something that, as a student, you don’t always get in college.”
As far as how teachers may remember Codee she said, “I don’t leave much to mystery. I have always been very outspoken and that doesn’t always make for the easiest student. I think that college is and should be full of self-discovery getting to know who you are and what you want out of life, so that you are prepared to chase it when you graduate.”
After graduating from GMC, Codee was accepted into The University of Georgia as well as other four-year universities to pursue a degree in art and design. “The slogan is really true, you can start at GMC and go anywhere. You can’t get to the top of your career without those steps. GMC gave me a foundation to step up to my next goal. I was excited to see which program would be the best fit for me.”
Ultimately Codee chose UGA because of her late grandfather’s love of the university and their football program. She attended UGA for Interior Design. Completing several art classes and repeating some of the same ones she took at GMC gave her a solid ground to build her already naturally given talents.
In the middle of her studies in the Interior Design program, Codee received the exciting news that her son, Cash, was on the way. “I’m a firm believer in ‘everything happens for a reason’ but sometimes the road to determining that reason can be rough. I left the university feeling completely defeated and I moved back home to Eatonton. Interior Design was all I had ever wanted to do, so I was completely lost. Not long after Cash was born, and by total accident, Flex Till You’re Famous (founded by GMC graduate Chris Dixon) happened. It was just Chris and I, so I had to learn graphics, fast. Through working with FTYF, I learned how to use my eye for design in a different way. I learned how to create logos and how to brand a company. I added so many tools to my arsenal throughout, what I thought to be, a detour in my life. I needed that season to prepare me for what was ahead and I’ve used every single piece of that knowledge in building what I have today.”
Codee is now owner of Codee Rainey Designs and The Roost. The Roost combines graphic and interior design, custom signs and home decor items, and an artist showroom/private event space under one roof. She recently renovated the building to fit her needs, with most of the work being completed by her own hands. This building has previously housed Oconee Outfitters, Anna Claire’s Florist, and Miller Norris Fueling Station, to name a few. Located in downtown Milledgeville, across from the post office, it is a fantastic location for her new business. Passersby have quickly taken notice of the transformation that has taken place and are always eager to share the dreams that they once had for the space when it was empty. Codee shared, “Milledgeville gives me that small town feel, but also offers so much promise for small businesses. We are lucky to have many visitors to the downtown area.”
Codee says of the building that captured her eye: “Since I am from Eatonton and and commuted to GMC, I passed that building every morning and never noticed it. Last June, Ross, my husband,and I were driving home after eating dinner and, as we passed, it stopped me dead in my tracks. I pulled in, peaked in the windows, and saw it exactly as it is now. It was full of kayaks and had been neglected to say the least but to me, it sparkled. I knew that it was exactly where I was supposed to be.”
Now with the titles of Interior Designer, Graphic Designer, and small business owner behind her name, Codee shared her hopes and dreams for her growing company, along with her favorite inspirational quote from Harold B. Lee, “The most important work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home.”
“My hope with Codee Rainey Designs is that by making clients fall in love with their home, they will spend more time in it with their families. Maybe doing the dishes will be a little less painful in their newly designed kitchen. Maybe they won’t mind the scattered toys as much because everything else in the living room fits just right. As for The Roost, I hope that by offering a fully-decorated, beautiful space takes some of the stress out of hosting gatherings. I hope that it feels like an extension of home for the community where they can host family dinners and milestone celebrations.”
Codee resides in Milledgeville with her husband Ross and two children, Cash and Vaida. Readers can find her at her studio creatively working, consulting in various locations, or in her favorite place “at her little house with her little family”. She is currently remodeling the lobby of the Convention & Visitor’s Center downtown, Kai Tai’s new location in Warner Robins, along with a few local homes. She also still uses her experience in Graphic Design to offer Custom Home Decor and Stationery.
Readers can follow Codee on these platforms
Instagram: @codeeraineydesigns @theflockinroost
Facebook: @Codee Rainey Designs @The Roost