This National Pet Wellness Month and National Women’s Small Business Month, both celebrated in October, the University of West Georgia sat down with alumna Dr. Jasmine Gibbs ’14, owner of Two Beating Hearts Mobile Veterinary Clinic, to discuss her journey to entrepreneurship.
Animals have been Gibbs’ constant her entire life. Before she could walk, talk or even form memories, they’ve been there.
“My home was never without a pet,” Gibbs stated. “I was always the one who wanted to make sure they were healthy, well-kept, fed and in overall good health.”
So it seemed natural that she started volunteering at an animal shelter at age 15, followed by her first job as a kennel technician. Gibbs said it wasn’t much different than what she did at home – cleaning, feeding and administering medication – but she was exposed to a different side she hadn’t seen before.
“I became intrigued by the doctors: how they would advocate for the pets they worked on, come up with treatment plans and perform surgery,” she explained. “I wanted to not only be a champion for the pets, who are unable to speak, but also the families who loved and cared for these fur babies.”
Around the same time, Gibbs was introduced to UWG by an older cousin. Needing that academic bridge between high school and vet school, she decided to check it out.
“Once I visited UWG, I loved how the community felt,” she recalled. “Everyone interacted as if they were family, no matter their background. The diversity of the campus was a huge bonus.”
She enrolled in the biology professional preparation track, one designed to prepare students for the exams and standards of medical, dental, veterinary, physical therapy and physician’s assistant programs.
“A bachelor’s in biology was not easy,” Gibbs sighed. “Veterinary school was the exact same. I had everything down pat once I hit my second semester at vet school, making sure I had time for myself, my studies and friends. It’s all about balance, and UWG definitely prepared me.”
After graduating from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2018, Gibbs began working for a popular pet-care corporation. While there, Gibbs began working with a mobile pet company on her off days. After seeing how they ran their business and what it felt like to be out of a hospital setting, she decided to open Two Beating Hearts in February 2020.
For around a year, she pulled triple duty, working at all three establishments to earn extra money, pay off student loans and learn as much as possible. Gibbs became a full-time entrepreneur in May 2022.
“I’ve never wanted to work for someone else, although I knew it was needed to become a better business owner and doctor,” she said. “I wanted to be mobile so I could help primarily the disabled and elders since they appeared to have the most difficulty leaving the house with their pets. I also want to ensure my clients are able to understand what I am saying, the procedures that I am doing, and see that I care about not only the pets but them as well.”
Two Beating Hearts currently serves parts of Cobb, DeKalb, Gwinnett and Fulton counties in the Atlanta area. Services provided by Gibbs include vaccines for cats and dogs, non-emergent diagnostics like bloodwork and urinalysis, reproductive testing and nail trimming.
Gibbs – who serves as doctor, receptionist, administrator and bookkeeper – allocates 80 minutes for each appointment. In five years, she sees herself with two or three vans expanding to other neighboring counties, from Carroll to the southwest and Hall to the northeast. She hopes to have a brick-and-mortar location for surgeries.
The lessons Gibbs has learned as a small business owner have helped her naturally evolve throughout her career. She hopes to be a role model for future female entrepreneurs.
“There will be times when you feel down, where you feel like nothing is working in your favor, that the world is against you,” Gibbs concluded. “That feeling is normal. Just remember who you are as a person, why you decided to do what you are doing, and keep swimming. I am still learning every day that this journey is a tough one, especially when you are doing it on your own. However, one thing I will never do is give up on myself or my dream.”