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Local retailer buoys ship shows

Posted: July 8, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 8, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Patrick Garcia, coordinator of show productions, right, checks shoes with entertainers Craig Lowry, left, and Sara Teate at the Princess Cruises Entertainment Department in Valencia on Thursday.

When a big company turned to a small business for help, the result was improved service and a great relationship, said a representative of a major Santa Clarita employer.

A former dancer on cruise ships for Valencia-based Princess Cruises, Patrick Garcia has spent the last five years in charge of production for the ship’s show time extravaganzas.

As coordinator of show productions, Garcia is in charge of procuring all the shoes and costumes for the cruise line’s dancers, as well as handling all the production logistics.

“We fit dancers with dance shoes for the live shows on board the ships,” he said.

But, when Garcia needed supplies for the dancers immediately, driving to Hollywood suppliers or haggling with large vendors was consuming too much of his time. So, he went hunting for a local vendor that might fill in the gaps.

That’s when he found local dancewear retailer A Chorus Line.

“The large vendors take six to eight weeks, and sometimes more, to fill an order,” Garcia said. “They’re not very accommodating.”

A Chorus Line is easy to work with and communicate with, Garcia said.

“I love working with them. Now I can just order what I need and get it quickly.”

And the relationship is rewarding for A Chorus Line, too.

“We really do strive to provide them with everything they need,” said Jana Einaudi, manager of A Chorus Line, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this August.

“In these difficult economic times, to have the extra sales and revenue coming in from their business has really been a blessing,” Einaudi said.

Becoming a supplier evolved over 1.5 years, she said. Garcia would come in the store and ask if it could get something specific for him, including many items the retailer normally doesn’t stock for the store.

Princess Cruises has an active fleet of 17 ships serving some 1.3 million passengers, and offers some 100 different itineraries each year. That accounts for a lot of live show productions to prepare for the harried production coordinator.

“As time went on, we established a relationship and they’re really easy to work with,” Garcia said. “I like supporting local vendors and the small-business community. It’s easier than connecting with a large vendor.”

Working with A Chorus Line has been a great help to Garcia, he said. He no longer has the headache of arguing with the large vendors and can remain focused on the coordinating the shows.

“I love working with Patrick and being able to provide Princess Cruises with things they need,” Einaudi said. “They’re a great company to work with and have a really awesome staff.”

The business relationship is working out great, Garcia said. As a result, he’s slowly migrating more requests for supplies through A Chorus Line.



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