We had the good fortune of connecting with Cherish Mullins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cherish, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Gentle Express Grooming & Pet Care LLC was thought of as well as named after my beloved dog Gentle. He was an incredible and loving golden retriever who entered my life when I was incredibly young and brought nothing but love and light into my life ever since my brother rescued him in the woods at six weeks. We instantly fell in love with him and quickly welcomed him into our family. Years later, I inherited ownership of Gentle when my mother passed unexpectedly in March of 2017. Before his passing in 2021, I planned my life around providing the quality of care I needed to give Gentle, especially as he got older. I took a job at an animal hospital that started later in the day and lasted into the night. Doing that benefited us both since getting him up and moving for the day at earlier times was hard. I would even take him to work on some days, which helped a lot. I didn’t want to leave him in the care of someone else while I was gone. Not that I didn’t trust anyone, I just knew no one could provide the same care and attention I could. When he ascended in March of 2021, shortly after, I realized that it was time for me to re-evaluate and continue to do what I was passionate about sooner than later. I soon left that hospital and bumped down to part-time to free up my schedule and figure out what I wanted to do besides go to work every day and feel this empty space in my heart. Whether we like to acknowledge it or not, life is short, and we should spend time doing what we love. I love working with animals and have always wanted to go into business for myself. I wanted a way to still go to work and enjoy doing what I love yet still have control over my schedule and what I’m doing with my time. After brainstorming a few ways to generate more income, yet still do what I want to do, I thought how nice it would be to provide the same day-to-day care I gave Gentle and the animals I work with daily to other pet parents in need. I could be of service and help other pet owners who maybe want to leave their fur baby in the care of someone who they trust and not boarding or at a facility. Not only that, but they are leaving their fur baby in the care of someone with medical experience with animals, compassion, and a connection with them. Four months after losing Gentle, I decided to take that leap of faith further, and Gentle Express Grooming & Pet Care LLC was born.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have worked in Veterinary Medicine for over six years as a Veterinary Nurse. I think that is what separates myself and my business from other grooming and boarding facilities. I have been trained with various technical skills to tend to your pet medically, and I’ve obtained knowledge and experience that some groomers may not otherwise have. Not only that, I have a natural connection with animals, and often, they are effortless to work with because they not only trust me, they trust being in my care. I reach out to my family and friends, friends of friends, neighbors, and clients that I meet at the hospital, and I promote my services and what I can provide for them. The majority of my clientele comes from referrals or word of mouth. Whether it be from peers I work with or have worked with in the past. It feels good to be known around my community as someone reliable, counted on, and trusted to care for their animals. In the future, I plan on collaborating with different organizations and outreach programs to continue building my presence in my area and my community.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Being a vegan and living a plant-based lifestyle can sometimes make going out difficult. Luckily, living in the Charlotte area makes it a little more manageable. I’m more of an at-home cook, but I occasionally treat myself and dine out; fortunately, when I do, there are several spots to choose from with plenty of vegan options. CAVA Mediterranean Grill is my go-to if I need something quick, so I go there if I want a healthy version of “fast food.” On the other hand, if I wanted something fancier and a homemade meal, I would choose Fern, Flavors from the Garden on East Blvd. They have the best cauliflower wings you’ve ever had. Highly recommend it. And lastly, if they weren’t an option, I’d go to Flower Child and get a Mother Earth Bowl. The food there is delicious and filling without being too heavy. Riding around uptown is never a wrong idea if you want a night out. If I wanted to experience a little nightlife, I’d choose between Stache House, Slate, Oakroom, or anywhere in that area that would be a good time out on the town. Of course, you could always walk around the Epicentre and go wherever catches your eye first. That’s a place uptown with various dining options, bars, a few shops, a movie theater & bowling alley. Not to mention, NC is the home of Carowinds, so if you’re looking for a thrill ride, such as roller coasters and rides, I’d recommend purchasing a ticket. My favorite time of year to go was during “Scarowinds” in October, but that was before they changed the rules. So it’s not as thrilling but still enjoyable.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to thank my family and friends who have continuously assisted and supported me on this journey. If it weren’t for having a team by my side, a lot of what I’ve accomplished wouldn’t have been possible. I see big things happening for Gentle Express Grooming and Pet Care LLC soon. When the time comes, I won’t forget who was there from the beginning. Finally, I want to thank my day ones for believing in me and motivating me to thrive daily. I appreciate you all, and I take none of your support for granted.
Facebook: Gentle Express Grooming & Pet Care LLC.
Ariel Von Photography