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January 2000


Night on the Town

Jeweler treats customers to memorable music event

As hard-working volunteers know, community involvement often returns special perks, such as good seats at performances or admittance to society parties. When one such gift came their way, the owners of Sarah Leonard Fine Jewelers in Los Angeles, CA, used it as a chance to treat their best customers like royalty.

Jeff Abell of Sarah Leonard is a member of the Royce Center Circle, a fund-raising group for UCLA's new state-of-the-art concert facility, Royce Hall. When "America Rhythm & Tune," a tribute to Duke Ellington featuring Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, came to town, Abell got a pile of free tickets. This was around the time Sarah Leonard changed its name from Crescent-Westwood Jewelers to resolve a dispute with jewelry chain Crescent Jewelers.

"We wanted to find new ways to promote our name, to transfer goodwill from one name to another," says Abell. So he and his wife, Linda, invited about a dozen couples, people who were among the store's better customers, to attend the event with them.

"They were all people who didn't know each other but who we thought might get along," Abell says. Customers met at a restaurant where Sarah Leonard sponsored a cocktail party with "substantial hors d'oeuvres" rather than dinner so they wouldn't get too full before sitting through a concert. The Abells took everyone to the concert hall in a shuttle bus they rented from UCLA. After the concert, the group attended a VIP reception.

"It was a nice evening out, and we still get comments on it," says Abell. "I don't think it generated any direct sales, but it was enormously successful for us." Another benefit: the Royce Center Circle recruited a few new members from Sarah Leonard's customer base.

by Stacey King

Jeff and Linda Abell of Sarah Leonard Fine Jewelers pose with Wynton Marsalis backstage at the America Rhythm & Tune concert in Los Angeles. They treated some of their best customers to a night at the concert.

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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