Humble Beginnings November 2000

Hotels in the developing countries of Asia can be an almost endless source of amusement (or horror!) for travelers from the West. Most hotels proudly sport the stars that been awarded by the National Tourist Office. The criterion used for the presentation of the stars is one of life’s great mysteries. My nephew Morgan worked for two years at the Sheraton Hua Ting Hotel in Shanghai and recently recalled the time when The Committee of awards visited them. The Committee was very thorough in their work but their credibility slid considerably when the Chairman drank the fingerbowl at the reception banquet! For many years our office in Shanghai was in the Gao Yang Hotel. (Two Years!) Saga was the first American company in the musical instrument industry to open a representative office in China and at that time office space was simply not available.

From our suite in that hotel, we were able to coordinate shipments and visit suppliers on a regular basis helping in a small way to develop China’s position as a leader in the production of string instruments. During that time our brand names- Cremona, Anton Breton, and H. Siegler have become the leading sellers in the most major world markets. More units or Cremona Violins are sold annually than any other brand in the world. Our Office moved long ago from the Gao Yang Hotel, but those difficult days shaped our character, our business and our relationships. Many of you were with us in those days and still are. We appreciate your support and thank you for the growth that we have been able to maintain.

Here at Saga, we have marked our position clearly as innovators both in terms of product development and source development. Our established brand names offer you, the Dealer, an opportunity to make sales AND to make margin without worrying about Mr. Big Box down the street. Give us a call toll free 1-800-289-7242 if that makes sense to you. And If Shanghai is in your travel plans…well… we can offer you a room “down the hall” anymore, but if I’m in the neighborhood, I’ll be glad to take you out for a big bowl of that famous noodle soup!

Richard Keldsen
San Francisco
November 2000