Deshawn Weirick of Montpelier has a sunny smile and disposition. When you walk into her dog grooming business, Noah’s Bark at 126 Empire Street, you instantly feel the warmth emanating from her. She gently grooms her little clients, speaking gently to them as she trims their fur and their nails. She has been in business only three weeks, but already, her appointment books are beginning to fill up.
It’s no wonder that with her aura of positivity and peace that she is attracting clients to her new business. She takes no credit for herself when discussing her success and how Noah’s Ark came to be, but rather fully thanks God for all He has done for her and the work he continues to do in her life.
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Deshawn has always had a love for animals. When she was a little girl, she was always bringing home lost dogs and cats, and also injured bunnies and abandoned baby birds. Though her mother was not always happy to see her bringing so many animals into the household, this is what led to her decision to work with animals in some capacity. She has worked for several years in the pet grooming business, having worked as a groomer at Petco in the past, and for an area groomer for the past year-and-a-half. She received her training and certification in the state of Florida. She had also at one time owned her own business in her hometown of Indian Lake, Ohio.
Life took a turn for the worse following a painful back surgery. Medications prescribed for pain eventually led to her addiction to narcotics, and she describes the next 15 years of her life as a “train wreck.” Deshawn was temporarily paralyzed and suffered from plenty of heartache. She was eventually referred to a restoration project for those with substance addictions called Project Hope, and she came to the residential facility near Kunkle. Following treatment in the program, which is affiliated with House of Prayer Church in Montpelier, she remained there for another six months as a volunteer and support person. She says that Christ is the reason why she has been able to stay clean, and she follows spiritual guidelines for continued support. She was born again five years ago, and since that time, God has brought her from a life of chaos to a life dedicated to Him, and he has restored the brokenness from her past. He has carried and sustained her.
Deshawn prefers not to focus on the past and brings it up only to show how much the Lord has done for her. She prayed for direction in her life, and was given a Word to go forth with her dog grooming business. She was able to rent space across the street from the House of Prayer, and a gentleman from the church, Jimmy Fleischmann remodeled the shop in the space of two weeks. Now the shop boasts cheery walls in a summery shade of teal, and stenciled black paw prints as a border. She has a room for grooming, and a separate room for bathing and drying her furry clients. She said that deciding to go for the with the business was a leap of faith, and she had no funds saved with which to begin the project, but everything came together with people donating equipment and cages so that she could open the business. Deshawn said that people in the community have been amazing, and individuals have stopped by and asked her for fliers that they could post in their places of employment. News of her business has spread via word of mouth, and she booked twenty-two appointments in her very first week. She said that the name for her business, Noah’s Bark, popped into her head. Deshawn believes it came from the Lord, and it seems to bring joy to people.
In addition to running her business, Deshawn is a second year student at Northwest State Community College where she is studying Human Services so that she can continue to give back to and help others. She would eventually like to incorporate skills she learns in the social work field with her love of animals and work with people by using therapy dogs.
Deshawn shared her story because she wanted to emphasize that although her life was a mess for 15 years, God brought her from that to the happy, successful woman that she is today. She wants her business to be her testimony to what God can do. She says, “It’s not me. I’m just a vessel.” She wants others to know that through His grace, you can do anything you want.
And Deshawn does bring happiness to others. She was grooming a dog during the interview, and was continually soothing to the little fellow, Sir Humperdink or Dink for short, in her care. She spoke gently and kept him calm as she styled his coat and trimmed his fur for the summer months, adding a jaunty red scarf around his neck as a finishing touch. When his owner Kim Sentle came to pick him up, her eyes opened wide and her hand closed over her mouth, squelching a squeal of delight at the finished product. “He looks so good I want to cry!” She exclaimed, as she prepared to take him to her workplace to show him off before returning home so that Dink could have a well-deserved nap.
Noah’s Bark is located at 126 Empire in Montpelier, Ohio. It is open Monday through Saturday, and service is available by appointment by calling 419-485-BARK (2275) or through Deshawn’s cell phone at 419-388-9855 after 5 p.m.