Yessy’s Success Story: A Happy Holiday for the Dogs

TAILS, Inc. is a daycare service for dogs located at 385 Centre Street in Jamaica Plain. It also provides services for cats, dog walking, overnight boarding, and retail sales. This was the brainchild and the dream of a young, Hispanic, female entrepreneur named Yessy Feliz. She opened up a very small storefront business for boarding dogs in October 2012. Five years later, her business has become so popular that it grosses enough revenue to employ over 22 people who live in the neighborhood, most of whom speak second languages.

In October 2016, to keep all of her workers employed and to make her business more profitable, Yessy seized the opportunity to merge the two storefronts she was operating on opposite sides of Centre Street into one fabulous complex of boarding facilities, retail space, and open areas for doggie exercise, and, at the same time, to soundproof the buildings, much to the delight of the neighbors. To do this, she had to move the retail store at 380 Centre Street across the street to an expanded 385A and B Centre Street.

To complete this upgrade, Yessy teamed up with Carlos Espinoza Toro from the small business program at the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC). Carlos helped her put together business and architectural plans and apply for a loan from Boston Private, a large bank with an office in Jamaica Plain. They had to move quickly to take advantage of this opportunity, so they began the construction before they had all of the financing. Unfortunately they ran short on funds and, in December, they reached out to another local nonprofit — the Urban Edge Housing Corporation. They applied to the Urban Edge Micro Loan Fund, which is managed by residents, Urban Edge board members, and professionals from Citizens Bank, Accion, and GMH Mortgage. Urban Edge and JPNDC gave her the loan she needed in a record time of two weeks to keep the construction going.

Immediately after the new year, Yessy received word that the loan had been approved by Boston Private. Please join us in celebrating this wonderful expanded business and this amazing woman in our community.