Drumming up big buyers Featured

10:00am EDT July 22, 2002

Pleasing high profile customers such as nationally known bands and universities isn't as hard as you might think-as long as you know your stuff.

Just ask Jim Rupp, president of Columbus Percussion.

This Clintonville-area business has landed accounts with well-known names such as Disney World and The Ohio State University and has made customized drums for band members of Prince and Smashing Pumpkins.

The company has been successful in getting such clients, Rupp says, mostly through word of mouth.

"It's a very small business, so if you've been around and do a good job, you meet a lot of people. It's like anything else, it builds momentum," he says.

Rupp keeps these clients, he says, because his company goes out of its way to do things other businesses don't. An artist once asked Columbus Percussion to custom make raw drum shells so he could paint a jungle field on them. The company did so, and after the artist painted the mural, went back and applied a clear sealant over the set.

"It was a beautiful set of drums," Rupp says.

Rupp says having music teachers and professional drummers on staff is a plus in dealing with big name clients.

"Guys that work here are already deeply involved in the music," he explains. "They know immediately if a person is looking for a certain kind of sound."