With the assistance of the SBA and The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center (SBDC), success came quickly for Jeffrey Manley and Jusak Bernhard, so fast it made their TailsSpin. They began with developing their business plan, acquiring funding, and opening TailsSpin, a retail pet supply business, in the Historic District of Savannah, Georgia on October 5th, 2007.
Since then, TailsSpin has built a loyal customer base, offering customers quality natural pet foods, a wide selection of pet accessories, and top-notch customer service. The business has grown rapidly, with sales through November 2012 totaling more than 5 times sales in 2008, the business’s first full year. The business now has 24 employees. TailsSpin’s growth led first to a larger location in Midtown Savannah. Then the company expanded by opening a second 3,000 square foot store in Pooler, Georgia in September of 2011. In 2012, TailsSpin was named Macon Mogul in Gateway Macon’s initiative to bring innovative businesses to Macon, Georgia’s downtown. The Macon store opened its doors on November 10, 2012 bringing TailsSpin’s retail space to three stores with a combined 8,000 square feet.
TailsSpin has received local, national and international awards including: Savannah Small Business Chamber 2009 New & Emerging Business; First City Network 2010 Business of the Year; Connect Savannah Best Pet Boutique & Best Pet Supply Store for 2009, 2010, 2011, & 2012; U.S. Chamber of Commerce 2011 Blue Ribbon Small Business; Savannah Small Business Chamber 2011 Small Business of the Year; Savannah Magazine 2012 Best Pet Supply Store; Gateway Macon’s 2012 Macon Mogul Challenge Winner; and Pet Product News International 2012 Outstanding General Pet Store.
TailsSpin thrives by supporting the surrounding communities, which consist of pet rescue agencies, pet welfare organizations, schools, and other non-profit national and local organizations. Through various events and promotions, such as the their Savannah PAWrade, Pet Care and Adoption Fair, Savannah Pet Care Directory and Adoption Packages, TailsSpin averages well over $100,000 in donations to local elementary schools and animal rescue agencies.
In addition, TailsSpin offers four Low-Cost Vaccine Clinics per month for Students, Seniors, Military, and Low-Income individuals at all three retail locations. These clinics are held in conjunction with local veterinarians and the local Humane Society and offer vaccines and micro-chipping. Annually, TailsSpin helps over 2,500 people and their pets. In 2011, TailsSpin was front and center in establishing Savannah’s first city-run dog park.
The economy has been a major challenge for TailsSpin. Jusak and Jeff have met this challenge head-on by focusing on outstanding customer service and the affordability of food for their customers. They have worked to find foods with optimal nutrition and the best pricing in order to provide customers with the best possible foods for their money. They also support and work with local manufacturers and companies to improve the local economy. They believe that with collaboration and cooperation, they can build a strong community network of locals supporting locals, which will ultimately be beneficial for the community at large.
In 2013, TailsSpin started home delivery and e-commerce services, and will expand its product line. The company is also exploring manufacturing its own lines of treats, toys, and pet accessories by working with local artists and entrepreneurs. TailsSpin is developing new events, such as the Woof Woof 5K in November 2013 to support Pet Cancer Awareness. Jusak and Jeff plan to continue TailsSpin’s growth by expanding into new markets and having five locations by 2015.