Dr. Paris Mullins opened his optometry practice in Tallassee in May of 1986. Now, 35-years later, his son Dr. Nic has joined the team. With a new doctor in the building, the office is also expanding and is currently undergoing renovations to make room for new patients.
According to Dr. Nic, following in his dad's footsteps was something he has considered since childhood.
"Growing up, honestly, it kind of skirted my mind because I knew optometry was rigorous, school was going to be rigorous. Every day, he's sunrise sunset he's working hard, he just loved it so much and he was never going to stop doing it. I could see how much he liked it, and he how got to meet new people every day. It's fun, and I got to see that," Dr. Nic said.
Now that Dr. Nic is practicing he is beginning to see the positive impacts optometry can have on a patient's life.
"You start seeing that you can help people. Every patient is different, and you're actually bettering their lives. So, I've seen why it's fun and I'm starting to experience that firsthand," Dr. Nic continued.
Dr. Nic said coming back to the city he grew up in was an easy decision to make.
"To be able to come back to Tallassee, this is what I wanted to do. I was fine with coming back here. I'm seeing people that I grew up around. I like it.".
Having a child follow in their footsteps is a vision that almost all parents have.
"It is truly is an honor and a blessing," Dr. Paris said. "It's a dream come true for every parent to be able to have their own child working with them. Especially in a high-level healthcare delivery settling. It's moving to be able to see my child at this level of maturity. He's not a child anymore. It's moving to see him come in, and not just anyone can do this, and be great with his bedside manner and his communication skills are fantastic. It's a neat opportunity and a blessing as a father."
Dr. Nic also enjoys working next to his dad, and he also looks forward to a long future here in Tallassee.
"I feel the same way. To come back to your small town, see what he loves, and to have that same passion. I see why he loves it. There's nothing else that I can see myself doing," he said. "He did all the work. He started from scratch. And to be able to join in with him, it is a blessing."
And like Dr. Paris, Dr. Nic, says he plans to stick around for more than 35 years.
Nic and his wife, Taylor, are small-town-minded people with small-town values.
"He sees happiness in the white house, picket fence, three kids and some dogs, hunting, and fishing, and being a local eye doctor," Dr. Paris said.
Dr. Nic and Taylor are newlyweds. They spent their honeymoon in Alaska.
Dr. Nic is a 2017 Auburn University Graduate and he graduated from UAB in May of this year. Dr. Nic shadowed his father at the practice for a time before he began accepting patients of his own. When Dr. Nic isn't working, he enjoys spending time with family, hunting, fishing, and on occasion a game of golf. But hunting is Dr. Nic's favorite pastime. He even has a Youtube channel called Oculus Outdoors that features many of his hunts.
While Dr. Nic recently joined the practice, Dr. Paris wants to reassure his patients that he has no plans of leaving anytime soon.
"I think we have built a family-oriented practice. This keeps me satisfied. I come in every day, and honestly, I don't know if I will ever retire," he said.
The office space is growing to make room for more patients. It is also getting a complete renovation. Once all is done, the office will have a fresh look and more exam rooms.
"We are going to expand our outreach," Dr. Paris said.
The optometry practice is also getting a new name. The practice will be called Magnolia Place Eyecare. There is a large Magnolia tree directly behind the office building. And, when Dr. Nic graduated from optometry school, he and Dr. Paris, who also graduated from UAB, were honored with a Legacy. That pin had a tree on it.
"It was a touching moment," Dr. Paris said. "I took the picture of the tree from that pin and had the graphics reproduced it for the sign."
The new sign will be in place and office renovations will be complete in the coming weeks.
Dr. Nic is currently accepting new patients. To make an appointment, call 334-283-6535.