BINGHAMTON, NY – This week’s Black Owned 607 segment spotlights a new business dedicated to helping pets look and feel their best.
Nox Grooming was started in late July by Cecil Hopkins who operates the business out of her home on Pine Street in Binghamton.
Hopkins has prior experience as a pet groomer at PetSmart and offers hair cuts for both dogs and cats, baths and brush-outs, nail clipping and grinding and ear cleaning.
And she even makes house calls.
Hopkins says her top priority is to make the animal as comfortable as possible.
“Cats are notoriously annoyed with water and touching a lot of the time. So what I tend to do is have them dropped off in the morning and picked up later in the afternoon so that I have enough time for them to get breaks, for me to take breaks because they can drive you crazy sometimes,” says Hopkins.
Hopkins, who is transgender, says she took the name Nox from her drag artist name Vivi Nox.
She says she’s received a lot of early support from followers of the Support Black Business 607 Facebook page.
Hopkins says she hasn’t experienced a lot of discrimination yet in starting her business, but fears it could be coming.
“I’ve only gotten very good reviews, comments toward me being Black, being queer. I’ve put that out there very clearly. It’s on my business card that I’m trans. So it’s so far been very good. I am expecting some pushback at some point once I expand a little bit because, of course, not everybody’s going to like it,” says Hopkins.
The organizers of the Facebook page are holding an Economic Empowerment Cookout on Monday featuring 20 black-owned vendors displaying and selling their wares.
Hopkins will be there offering $10 nail clippings and selling some of her homemade dog treats.
It takes place Labor Day from noon to 7 at the American Legion on Main Street in Binghamton.
There’s a $5 suggested donation.