Tails in the City celebrates 15 years in Streeterville area

(Published April 29)

By Elisa Shoenberger, staff writer

Tails in the City is celebrating 15 years of bringing dog accessories to the neighborhood.

The shop opened its doors in 2004 when owners Bruce Haas and Phillip Emigh

sought to start their own retail business. They decided on a luxury dog shop because they saw a need for high end dog items and Tails in the City was born at One East Delaware Place.

“We don’t offer anything that you need, we only offer things that you want,” said Philip Emigh.

They have $200 down snowsuits, sparkly bow ties, designer pet carriers, and even punny dog toys from Haute Diggity Dog —Chewie Vuitton and Woof Clicquot. They also have freshly baked goods in the shape of martini glasses and crowns that “fly off the shelves,” Emigh said.

They have a loyal following of neighborhood residents and they get business from tourists who go to the shop as a last stop before going home, according to Emigh.

Ani Sergi, a customer who has been shopping at Tails in the City since day one, explained that she loves the atmosphere and talking with the people at the shop. She notes that her dog, “loves to be there and she welcomes everybody. They give treats to the dogs.”

Emigh noted they’ve been popular with celebrities who are in town, such as Jennifer Hudson and Carrie Underwood. When Harpo Studios was in Chicago, producers sourced their goodies for their guests from the shop.

The store also gives back to the pet community. For the fourth years in a row, the dog store will host a fundraising event for Canine Companions for Independence, a nonprofit organization that trains and provides assistance dogs. Seasonally the store raises money for PAWS or the Anti-Cruelty Society through pet photographs with Santa or the Easter Bunny. They also host an annual halloween party and parade where pets and pet parents can win awards for best duo costume.

At the end of the day, the shop owners want the space to be be a fun place for people.

“Who wants to sell boring things? We want to sell fun things,” Emigh said. “Otherwise we’re competing with pet big box stores. We want to surprise our customers with what we have and make them happy.”

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