We had the good fortune of connecting with Tina Han and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tina, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I saw a need within the veterinary industry after working in a traditional brick and mortar practice for 7 1/2 years. I noticed that my clients were getting increasingly busy with their schedule, their pets were getting more anxious going to the clinic, clients were more invested in minimizing their pets’ stress level, and they were more committed and interested in learning about their pets’ health. I also noticed that in a busy multi-doctor practice, I needed more one-on-one time spent with the client in order to address their needs and concerns. So out of a busy appointment with a mom with 3 kids and 2 dogs crammed into 1 exam room, with the baby crying, and me trying to talk about the dog’s dental disease – sprang the idea of doing this appointment at home, in a calmer environment, where my client could actually carve out some time to focus on her pet’s needs. There’s no way that anything I said to her in that 10 minute visit actually sunk in, so I thought to myself “There’s got to be a better way of doing this.” So I had the idea, and then I just needed to decide if I could take the leap and do it. I was also motivated by wanting to be my own boss and be in control of my schedule as my kids grew up. I wanted the flexibility to be able to spend more time with my family without giving up my career that I worked so hard to build. I wanted to solve this professional problem I was seeing with my clients as well as satisfy my personal desire to be more available for my family. I wanted to simplify everything, provide convenience with quality personalized care – so house-call veterinary medicine was my answer.
What should our readers know about your business?
My Doorstep Vet is a truly unique way of handling your pet’s care. As our pets become increasingly recognized as members of the family, a house-call really helps to eliminate and reduce the stress and anxiety many dogs and almost all cats experience with a trip to the vet’s office. Especially during our pandemic times when most brick-and-mortar clinics require curbside drop-offs, we are able to still work with your pet in the comfort of their home (wearing masks, of course!). This is an invaluable way, especially for our anxious pet or our geriatric pet that just can’t get into the car anymore, to see how your pet behaves in their home and environment. We see a lot of older patients and being able to evaluate their home environment, mobility challenges, and personality traits when the pet is relaxed has given me a more authentic perspective of the pet’s overall health as compared to a quick evaluation in an exam room. I really value the personalized connection with the pet and client. The toughest thing business-wise was getting our service out there as an option. So many clients have told me they never knew this was an option and they wished they could have done this years ago. I’ve found that the best advertisement is word of mouth. If you always put in your best work, which for me means working from both my brain and my heart, and care about what you’re doing – it shows. When it shows, people will tell their friends about their experience, and we get our name out there. I’m not interested in becoming the largest or the fanciest house-call veterinary service out there. In fact, staying a little bit on the small side allows me to be more personalized and available so that my service more resembles concierge. I’m interested in giving each patient my full attention and providing the best care possible. In order to do that, I can’t grow too fast and I can’t travel too far. Sometimes saying no is the hardest thing to do. But I want people to know that if they join our practice, they are getting unparalleled service and they are confident that I put in my best effort with each case for their furry member of their family.
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.
Well, if they’re not from Texas, they need to have some great Texas BBQ – I love Truth and Pinkerton’s. They also need some delicious fajitas – and you can’t beat the beef fajitas at Lupe’s Tortillas. I’d show them some Houston history at the cistern tour. I’m not a drinker (I’m allergic!), but I’d take them to St. Arnold’s for some local brew. Going for a walk along the trails at Buffalo Bayou or Memorial Park for some exercise. Enjoy some yoga at The Atrium. For some art, we’d go visit the Menil. And for some cultural food/snacks/treats, we’d go enjoy some Szechuan cuisine at Mala Sichuan followed with some Korean shaved ice at Snowy Village.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Mark Kuehler, my husband, who supported me in this endeavor, encouraging me to take the leap and giving me full reign when renovating our home to include my home office that I work out of now. Dayna Baxter, DVM, Hampshire Mobile Vet, who also started a house-call veterinary practice before me. Drs. Kristy Kyle, DVM and Brenda Flores, DVM, owners of Bayou City Veterinary Hospital – where I was working before leaving to start my own business. They supported me completely when I told them my idea and what I wanted to do.