2019 Small Business Persons of the Year - Justin Oakley & Mike Vieira

Justin Oakley and Michael Vieira, owners of Oakley Home Access (OHA), opened their home modification business in 2016 with a simple idea – allow others the respect of aging in place. Oakley Home Access, located in Narragansett, specializes in installing equipment and customizing homes to help in fall prevention and accessibility.

“At the most basic level, we started Oakley Home Access to help people. Maximizing mobility and safety at home throughminimally invasive products and functional construction is who we are at our core. We strive to ensure that our clients can age in place while focusing on fall prevention and increased accessibility,” said Co-Owner, Justin Oakley.

OHA’s process begins with a free home safety assessment where Justin and Michael collaborate with the client before making individualized recommendations. “I, as an occupational therapist am the master of the human body and how it interacts with its environment,” said Oakley. “Michael as a construction expert is the master of the environment and how we can safely modify it,” he continued. OHA strives to supply and install equipment such as grab bars, stair lifts and modular ramps that maximizes the client’s mobility while providing enhanced safety.

As OHA’s reputation began to grow, so did the demand for its services. From year one to year two, the duo’s sales jumped 343%, and they hired their first employee. By year three they saw their sales again increase, this time by 109%, and with growth came the need to hire six more full-time employees.

As OHA continued to expand, both Oakley and Vieira realized their 750 square foot home office would no longer suffice. In early 2018, they reached out to an SBA resource partner, the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center. OHA began working with SBDC Southern Director, Josh Daly, examining its growth-to-date, real estate market, financial standings, and future plans. After several sessions, the three were able to identify that, while OHA had seen hyper-growth in its first three years in business, and while that was positive, it made their future growth rate uncertain. Oakley and Vieira found that it was in OHA’s best interest to lease space rather than purchase a location. The decision paid off as OHA’s current 2,500 square foot space in Narragansett meets its needs and avoided the purchase of a building that it would soon outgrow. With the freed-up capital, OHA has leased another 3,000 square foot location in Walpole, Massachusetts, which has significantly grown its service coverage area and reach from a projected 2 million people to over 6 million.

“Josh Daly and the RISBDC were key in the growth of Oakley Home Access,” said Oakley. “Josh dedicated his time to working with us to ensure we were able to make the most educated decision on how to grow our business,” he assured.

As OHA rode its meteoric growth, Oakley and Vieira’s time was dedicated to further establishing and growing the business. While working around the clock, they still made time to give back to the community through volunteer efforts at the Elks Lodge, YMCA, and youth sports leagues. Specifically, the duo lent time and integrated a modular ramping system into the Elks club’s volunteer-run Home Improvement program. OHA also contributes 5% of all member sales back to the local YMCA and participates in the mentorship program at New England Technical Institute of Technology’s Occupational Therapy Doctorate program.  

For their demonstrated success and potential for future growth, the U.S. Small Business Administration is pleased to honor Justin Oakley and Michael Vieira, co-owners of Oakley Home Access , as the 2019 Rhode Island Small Business Persons of the Year.

 

Company Name: 
Oakley Home Access
Location: 
Narragansett, Rhode Island