Lisa Mandelin — a SwellWomen if we’ve ever seen one! Lisa has been on countless SwellWomen retreats and truly follows her blissful passion. As a Veterinarian, she has keen insights on the world of animals and instills that vision into her new product line, NewLeaf Pet. What an incredible woman! Read Lisa’s story below and buy her NewLeaf Pet products here.
Who are you, what do you do, and why?
My name is Lisa Mandelin and I graduated from Colorado State University Veterinary School in 1998. Over the years I practiced veterinary medicine in it’s many various forms: as an associate in day practices; as a surgical specialist in high volume spay/neuter clinics; as a critical care specialist covering grueling 48-72 hour shifts in animal emergency hospitals; and ultimately in my own private practices. While the majority of my medical experience was focused on traditional veterinary medicine, I found it essential to explore non-traditional methods of veterinary medicine to help treat my patients as well.
What’s the story behind you and NewLeaf Pet?
During our medical training, we veterinarians are taught to prescribe annual ‘preventative care’ that involves treatments with various synthetic oral, topical and injectable drugs and chemicals (read; chemical dewormers, synthetic flea and tick topicals, engineered vaccines, etc). And for sickness we use even more oral, topical and injectable medications to assuage symptoms and illness. While some emphasis is placed on treating the core of the problem, I felt that often there is not enough importance placed on prevention. I began to question the use of so many synthetic drugs and chemicals in our patients, and I began to explore and seek out more non-traditional solutions. It didn’t seem right to me that we were using medications to cover up symptoms, and that these medications often caused their own set of new symptoms. One thing that really defined how I was feeling was something that I heard the famous Dr. Deepak Chopra say during an interview: he said that he left his traditional medical practice to devote himself to his ayurvedic practice because he felt like he was becoming a “legal drug pusher”. That really nailed it for me…. I, too, felt like I was becoming a legal drug pusher! So this is why I founded NewLeaf Pet.
My primary objective with NewLeaf is to give pet owners the tools and resources that they need to keep their pet’s safe and healthy in a more natural and holistic way, without the harmful and obtrusive side effects of chemically engineered drugs. In choosing the name NewLeaf I wanted to symbolize the “turning over a new leaf” in health and animal care; the use of more natural and plant-based products to treat dis-ease. I want to help and show owners how to avoid over-medicating, over-treating, and over-dosing. That is the goal of NewLeaf Pet.
What has the experience of launching a new business been like, for you?
Having built several veterinary practices from ground zero, I am very familiar with the process and requirements of launching a new business. Before I began NewLeaf, I knew that I had to get very clear on my ‘why’, my reason for doing it. If you don’t have a strong ‘why’, I believe that you are setting yourself up for failure. So that was task number one. Task number two was to develop a strong belief in myself and my knowledge, and task number three was to show up every day and do something, no matter how small, toward building the business every single day. I know that sounds very simplified, but it all really boils down to just those three things: know your why, believe in yourself, and show up every single day for your business and your customers.
What keeps you inspired and gives you bliss?
You mean besides surfing with Swellwomen? lol
What keeps me inspired is knowing that I am helping pets and their owners to solve and overcome health issues. What gives me joy is knowing that it was my advice or one of my products that helped them achieve that success. There really is no better feeling than to give, and to know that what you gave improved a life, no matter how small the effect.
What do you hope to share with your customers?
I hope to show my customers and pet owners that health really can be easy. It does not have to involve big long complicated words that nobody can pronounce. It’s not dependent upon strange chemicals created in expensive laboratories. Health is simple, and with just a little help, the body is designed to return to a state of health on its own. Adding drugs and chemicals and additives and preservatives can muddle that natural process. My hope is to help simplify the path to good health for the pet owner.
Do you have a favorite travel and/or retreat memory? What was it?
My most profound travel experiences have happened while on training trips to China. Years ago I was invited to train in medical qi gong and Taoist principles in a place called Mount Qingcheng. It’s a sacred mountain deep in the middle of China, considered to be the birthplace of Daoism. Every morning we would train with the monks that lived on the mountain, and in the afternoons we were left to explore and interact with the mountain on our own. It was during this time that I learned to appreciate and connect with the earth and everything around me in a way that I had never known possible. When you can do that, and quiet the noisy mind, things become a lot more clear for you.