Meet the creator behind Vital Vet and learn why Vital Vet is a vital resource for pet parents and professionals alike!
Pulled from the interview with P.O.W.E.R. Magazine ...
Ilaria, you created Vital Vet, LLC to help pet parents who have pets with injuries or special needs. Were you overwhelmed by the success of this venture?
I knew there was a need because I too am a parent of a dog with disabilities. I was frustrated by how difficult it was to find help for him. I spent a lot of time searching and talking to specialists to find solutions to help him walk better. So my business partner, Maria Denzer, and I decided to gather all the professionals, products, and resources and put them all under one roof. Vitalvet.org is the largest hub for all things related to rehabilitation, physical therapy, and fitness for pets with special needs.
As an entrepreneur, what is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I give much of my entrepreneurial credit to my parents. They taught me to view failure as a lesson for greater success down the road and, as such, I never consider quitting. Mistakes and failures are needed in order to grow and they become a welcome springboard from which to learn and move forward. I try to find the positive in every step.
Did you start your career working with animals?
No- I wanted to be a pediatric neurologist and loved research so I aimed at combining the two with an MD/Ph.D. degree. My first job after college was as a clinical coordinator for the Brain Research Center of Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. Though I was only 21 years old, many people there called me 'Doctor Borghese', and I was often too nervous to correct them. After all, it was the eventual truth in my mind. During this time, I started working with greyhound rescue groups and adopted several needy hounds. Animals began to infuse my life and then became front and center on my list of priorities. I shifted career paths in 2001 when I began Thera-Paw, Inc.
What type of training did you need to start Thera-Paw?
There wasn’t a school or even a training program when I started making custom braces for animals, mainly because there was nobody doing this type of work. It was extremely challenging. It’s not like going to cooking school to become a chef or law school to become a lawyer. I started playing with various fabrics and textiles to see what lent itself best to mold around an animal’s leg. Then I started experimenting with sewing on components. I quickly hired several seamstresses, and I worked closely with veterinary professionals on the proper design and function for each brace. It took years to develop the fabrication skills we now have. I couldn’t have dreamed of a more perfect career that employed my medical and research background with my desire to design and create.
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