We had the good fortune of connecting with Lily Chen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lily, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I wanted to reimagine pet care and veterinary medicine.
After starting my career with 10+ years of traditional in-hospital veterinary medicine, I noticed pets and pet parents really needed more. More of a holistic and personalized experience and a way to address the animal as a whole, rather than just the individual diseases or conditions. I envisioned a calming, open space to provide the best care for the pets and celebrate the special human-animal bond we have with our pets. True healing happens when we take the physical and emotional well-being into consideration. I started a housecall practice which gave me the time and space to care for pets in a wholesome, individualized manner. This practice grew into a vision of a veterinary practice that feels like a home, and Integrative Pet Wellness Center was born.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My journey is a constantly changing and evolving process – shaped by the wonderful pet parents I meet along the way. It started out with a simple desire to help a pet in the home environment so she would not be stressed, then I met more and more pet parents who opened their homes and shared their lives with me. I’ve found having true connection and trust with the pet parents and knowing the lifestyle and journey of each individual pet are so vital in their wellness and health care. I’ve found that even though I am a veterinarian and treating pets, this job allows me to help so many people. The human-animal bond is one of the most special and sacred bond we form and helping the pets stay healthy and happy translate to the health and happiness of the humans. It is an incredibly healing profession and I wanted to spend more time doing quality care. I am proud to say that in my practice, it is about creating a healing space for both pets and people.
The biggest challenge has been carving a path to bring this vision to life in a brick and mortar practice. I want to keep the intimacy and calm in the space and give enough time and space for each family. I needed to think outside of the box and create an entirely different and unique model from most veterinary practice I know. I learned that the best way of figuring out what to do is to really listen to what my clients wanted and needed and finding a way to meet them where they are. My team and I have dubbed ourselves to be the “unicorns” of veterinary care simply because we are doing things in a way that no one else is.
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.
Oh, I live near the Palos Verdes Peninsula and it is simply beautiful here. I would take them on hikes around the bluffs and ocean – Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy has a great map and resources for hiking trails . I would also find time to just hang out by the beach and watch the dolphins swim (as it is pretty common to spot them) or catch a sunset over the ocean. Terranea Resort is a great place to unwind and get food or drinks. And I would also take them to Riviera Village in Redondo Beach for a stroll to browse the shops or get something to eat and drink.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
A shout out to the Uncharted Veterinary Community with the trailblazers and forward thinkers in veterinary medicine. The most innovative, compassionate, and supportive group who sparked and continuously fueled my passion for developing an unique veterinary practice.