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Meet Donna Currie of Doggie Avenue in Burbank

Today we’d like to introduce you to Donna Currie.

Donna, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up in the small town of Sunland/Tujunga, Andy of Mayberry style. The principle of hard work was ingrained in me from childhood. Despite not having a college degree, I always managed to start or rise to the top of each industry I pursued. I started at 16, working for the Director of Engineering for a top family-owned aerospace manufacturing company in Glendale, California. After five years—at age 21—I began working for the Product Line Manager of Redken Laboratories, founded and owned by Paula Kent-Meehan, an entrepreneur in the industry and self-made international icon. Five years later I was hired as the “second” secretary to Leon Kaplan, founder, and senior partner of the largest entertainment law firm in the world, Kaplan, Livingston, Goodwin, Berkowitz & Selvin. Within a year—now in my early 20’s—I was promoted as his “first-hand secretary/assistant,” supervising many employees and traveling for various clients around the world. Having grown up in Los Angeles I was never star-struck, but I was honored to be a part of “old Hollywood,” working with the most amazing person I have ever known.

Ten years into my tenure with KLGB&S I married and had a baby, still working from home for Mr. Kaplan. I went on to have another baby three years later. The firm eventually dissolved but my connection to Mr. Kaplan and his family never deteriorated. After several years as a stay-at-home mom, I began working for the largest multi-million shipping company, known for transportation of privately owned luxury yachts as well as oil rig transportation for the major oil companies. Years later, I pursued a career at Glendale Memorial Hospital as the Assistant to the Vice President of Marketing and Development.

As the health care industry began changing—five years into my tenure—I left and began working for the No. 1 equine lawyer in the U.S., Richard Craigo. Mr. Craigo, now in his 80’s, still represents the cream-of-the-crop in the Thoroughbred racehorse industry: top owners, breeders, and jockeys. I worked for him for ten years before moving to property management. To this day, I continue to have a close 25-year relationship with Mr. Craigo’s daughter who is now thirty years old and running public relations and social media for Doggie Avenue.

I began at the top of the HOA Management industry as a California Certified Association Manager for the most prestigious full-service high-rise building on the Wilshire Corridor, The Wilshire. The year was 2005. I managed a staff of 50 employees and met the day-to-day needs and demands of high-profile celebrities as well as other multi-millionaire homeowners/residents, family, and guests, domestically and internationally. Eight years later I was hired by the only boutique high-rise on the Wilshire Corridor, The Beverly West. It is owned by Emaar of Dubai, builders, and owner of the famous Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Again, I was in charge of hiring and managing a sizable full-service staff and catering to the needs and luxury of the “elite”.

I found a true niche in property management, but as I approached 65, I knew it was time to take a risk and follow an entirely new path in my life and career. Still maintaining my HOA certification, I decided last year to purchase the dog grooming business where I have brought my four dogs—three Coton de Tulears and one Yorkie—for the past ten years.

Having owned various pets and dog breeds since my childhood, I long ago developed a passion and relentless love for animals so it was the perfect fit for me. Refusing to succumb to retirement, at 65 years old I was approved for an SBA Loan to embark on a completely different venture, now meeting the needs of dog owners and their priceless pets. The reward is meeting other dog lovers and giving red carpet treatment to their babies by keeping all of them—purebred, mixed and rescue—runway ready. I continue to be amazed by my career journey and the many blessings I have received.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I have been incredibly fortunate in my life. But, no, the road has not always been smooth. Like all professionals, I have encountered a number of challenges along the way. Early on in my career, I struggled to balance work and home life as so many women do. Today, I’m learning to adjust to the non-stop life and tremendous responsibilities of a business owner.

I care so deeply about my customers and their precious babies that it can often feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. But I have already learned to turn that tremendous sense of responsibility into action and dedication to ensuring quality service for our customers.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Doggie Avenue was established in 2007 and soon became the top-rated grooming and specialty pet retail boutique in Burbank, with a clientele of celebrities and other high-profile personalities, including all dog lovers of pedigree and rescue. We do bathing, styling, nail trimming, teeth cleaning, specialty hair color—you name it. We also sell a range of top-notch products from pet food and treats to leashes, beds, and apparel. We sell nothing we wouldn’t use on our own pets.

We’re most proud of our relationships with our customers—and by customers, I mean human and animal alike. Our clients are truly considered a part of the Doggie Avenue family. We love these animals and, when they’re at Doggie Avenue, they’re cared for as if they’re our own.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I was athletic, carefree, and adventurous. I was humble yet also known for my wit. I loved animals and was especially into horses. I kept appaloosas and quarter horses. I was a pretty formidable tennis player as well.

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