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SINGLE STORE CATEGORY Outdoor Elegance LaVerne, Calif.


Doug and Sharon SanicolaDoug and Sharon Sanicola, center, flanked by Outdoor Elegance management team members.
N THE face of California's economic woes, getting the go-ahead to dress the entire outdoor living space of Ozzy Osbourne's Beverly Hills-area condo is more than a home run.
     "It's a grand slam," said Doug Sanicola, who owns Outdoor Elegance with his wife Sharon.
     Osbourne is just one of many celebrity and professional clients that Sanicola has attracted through his connections with interior designers.
     It wasn't happenstance. Sanicola has gone out of his way to nurture relationships with the design community as well as with contractors and hospitality buyers.
     In addition to hosting numerous events specifically for this market, Sanicola is a member of the Pasadena, Los Angeles and Orange County ASID chapters, and he advertises in publications geared to high design. It was an ad in Luxe Interiors & Design that prompted a designer to contact him for the Osbourne job.
     "My focus has been to stay so far away from the big box mentality and specialize," he said. "Also, my staff is fabulous. We provide a lot of TLC."
     In addition to industry events, the first-time Apollo Award finalist is well known for its charitable events.
     For example, this summer the store hosted a fundraiser for the Lupus Foundation of America with special guest singer Chaka Khan, who has a daughter with lupus. Outdoor Elegance donated to the foundation 10% of purchases made in August by LFA members or friends.
Outdoor furnishingsOutdoor furnishings are displayed outside Outdoor Elegance along with statuary, birdbaths, large planters, outdoor lighting and more.
     The Sanicolas were not interested in the outdoor furniture market when they purchased an existing patio shop in 2001 to acquire a lease option on the 2-acre location. But in the time it took to exercise the option, they fell in love with the industry.
     First they changed the name to Outdoor Elegance, and in 2007 they started construction on a new showroom that would take two years to complete. At the same time, Sanicola started the Design Group, a cross-marketing group targeting affluent buyers.
     Preparing for 2011, Sanicola plans to continue with what's worked so well in 2010.
     "We're looking at having a great year," he said.

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