Archive for April 2015

The Board Chronicles: Handmade In South Bay   2 comments

The Board Chronicles is an ongoing series of articles about the adventures of Mrs M’s Handmade as a vendor at community festivals & craft fairs. Mrs M’s subsidiary, Mr M’s Woodshop, has been approved to create this chronicle for the good of vendorkind.

Handmade in South BaySometimes, there’s just not much to say. This event disappointed. It was underwhelming and sparsely attended. At least one vendor had zero sales.

This was a 2nd annual event, and the idea of an exclusively handmade pop-up event next to Crafted in Los Angeles is a good idea, we thought.

The marketplace did not agree.

There is a successful holiday boutique in this location the first weekend of December, but we’re booked so we’ll miss that one.

New Ideas

  • Mrs M handled the booth, with the help of Little Girl on this day. I was handling the Santa Clarita Home Show, and chose not to clone myself.

Observations

  • Very difficult to find your way into this fenced off warehouse compound. GPS took Velda to the wrong place for the entrance. The entrance was not well marked.
  • Once inside, the choice was climb 8 steps into the warehouse, or go up a ramp at the other end of the building and walk the length of this large warehouse to get to the booth setup back in the front. Difficult load-in, in other words.
  • No one came. Well, almost no one came.
  • The producers had several ideas implemented to maximize this event. They raffled off merchandise to people that turned in their receipts. They had a vendor meeting to encourage social media promotion. Charitable contributions were dedicated out of proceeds. They definitely tried to create an event, but ….

The Food

The ladies didn’t remember. Boredom was overwhelming.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 118
  • Booth cost: $69
  • # of people the ladies met at the event from the producer: 4
  • Total sales: $158
  • # containers of product taken: 6
  • # boards available: 23
  • Saturday alarm: 5:45am
  • # transactions: 7, 5 were for lotion & 2 were for boards
  • # soap & lotion vendors: 4
  • # woodworkers: only 1
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 1:1

Boards sold: 2

The Board Chronicles: KHTS-AM 1220 Home & Garden Show   Leave a comment

The Board Chronicles is an ongoing series of articles about the adventures of Mrs M’s Handmade as a vendor at community festivals & craft fairs. Mrs M’s subsidiary, Mr M’s Woodshop, has been approved to create this chronicle for the good of vendorkind.

I love staying at home and doing events.

After 2 weeks traveling on the weekends, it was great to do the Home & Garden Show in Santa Clarita, sponsored by KHTS-AM 1220.

KHTS Home and Garden Show

I came into the show not knowing quite what to expect. I had heard from a few vendors that sales were not good at the show; other vendors (obviously!) said that it was good.

It was at home.

Plus, the GM of the sponsoring radio station invited me to be a part of the event … said he had the perfect spot in mind for me.

Which proves that Carl is a good salesman.

Mr-Ms-Logo---LargeAnd, he was right. The Hyatt Regency Valencia is the site of the event, and their rose garden was the location of many of the arts & craft vendors. I was situated under an arbor in the open air. No canopy. It was a great location. Thank you, Carl!

A new vendor was beside me, Cedar Glen Jams & Preserves. Anna made a cheesecake topped with her luscious raspberry jam for dessert on Sunday. And you can’t beat good food at a festival event.

Thank you, Anna!

Opposite me was a first-time exhibitor, HandCrafted by Charlie. Charlie is a Santa Clarita wood turner who is just beginning to sell some of his creations. Having 2 woodcrafters with very different products on opposite sides of the aisle caused a little confusion (we are a rare breed, after all), but nothing we couldn’t handle. I like being with other vendors of handmade goods.

This was a lovely event. I networked with many, many Santa Clarita people that were happy to work with a local maker of cutting boards. Other than a spit of rain that hit late Saturday to get me wet (no canopy under the arbor) as I was putting away my boards and a BIG windstorm Saturday night that damaged several canopies and some merchandise left out overnight (but I had no canopy, and left nothing overnight, thankfully), the weather was really nice. The crowd was pleasant, and my vendor neighbors were great (finally!). I had a great weekend.

Will I be back in 2016? You bet.

New Ideas

  • This was a solo appearance by Mr M’s Woodshop, while Mrs M did another event. This is only the 2nd time I’ve gone solo with my cutting boards and serving pieces. I missed having a partner so I could go walkabout Sunday morning and see everyone else, but other than that, I was OK on my own. I did get several people asking about Mrs. M, and wondering if they could buy lotion. Normally, yes, but not today!
  • Not having the cover of a canopy was a mistake, in the end. The sprinkles that fell late Saturday actually roughed up the glass-smooth finish on a couple of the newest boards.

 Observations

  •  Some vendors hate competition. I had a goat milk soap vendor two spaces to my left … and another two spaces to my right (who knew goat milk soap was a thing, much less a competitive one!). The one on my right freaked out, and insisted on moving.
  • Remember, I had a woodworker directly across the aisle from me. Didn’t concern me in the least, though, admittedly, he sold a different product (mainly turned bowls and pencil cups).
  • Engraved # 15 - 01. Hard Maple with engraving on one side; the opposite side is plain and intended to use as a small cutting board. 7

    Engraved # 15 – 01. Hard Maple with engraving on one side; the opposite side is plain and intended to use as a small cutting board. 7″ x 12″ x 1-1/8″.

    My booth had a domestic incident on Saturday. An Asian American gentleman was interested in a cheese board for his mother-in-law, I think. His wife disagreed, and when he did not immediately disengage, she raised her voice and literally pulled him out of the booth, speaking to him forcefully in their native language. It was a spectacle, with a lot of raised eyebrows. Human drama … for free.

  • Funniest story of the weekend: one of my engraved board examples is just my last name on a board with scrollwork; see it at right. Someone wanted to buy that board! It was their brother-in-law’s name, or something like that. So, I sold them my namesake board and have a new one at the engraver today!
  • I was really OK going solo at this event … save for that one time that I had 3 people all wanting to buy a board from me at the same time. I lost the third sale due to an impatient husband, unfortunately.

The Food

Saturday Lunch: The hotel actually took orders and delivered lunch to vendors. I had a wonderful Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad. It came with a Diet Pepsi, unfortunately, but oh, well.

Saturday Snack: I was too busy.

Sunday Lunch: Grilled Chicken Caesar, of course. When something works, you stick with it.

Sunday Snack: Anna’s cheesecake with raspberry jam topping. Yum.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 36
  • Booth cost: $250
  • # of people I met at the event from the producer, KHTS-AM: 3
  • Total sales: $1,250
  • # containers of product taken: 10
  • # boards available: 83
  • Saturday alarm: 5:45am
  • Sunday alarm: 7am
  • # transactions: 18
  • # soap & lotion vendors: no clue, but I know of 2
  • # woodworkers: 3
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 13:5

Boards sold: 18

Here are some of the notable sales of the weekend. Four of these were brand new; one was the oldest on display at about 8 months old.

SCV Home Show Booth

Posted April 29, 2015 by henrymowry in Craft Fairs

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The Fog Of Zion   Leave a comment

A foggy Zion National Park. Photo by Jay Wanta. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 4/23/15.

A foggy Zion National Park. Photo by Jay Wanta. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 4/23/15.

Posted April 28, 2015 by henrymowry in National Parks

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Monday? So Soon?   1 comment

Screech Owl - with attitude - at Florida's Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 4/21/15.

Screech Owl – with attitude – at Florida’s Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 4/21/15.

Mangrove Sunset   Leave a comment

Everglades National Park. Photo by James Pion. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior,  4/22/15.

Everglades National Park. Photo by James Pion. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 4/22/15.

Posted April 26, 2015 by henrymowry in National Parks

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Edge Grain Boards: The Alternative   Leave a comment

Just to prove I don’t just do end grain boards, here’s a collection of 16x edge grain boards also just completed.

Saturday’s sales were good … and as usual, far more edge grain boards sold then end grain boards. Just sayin’.

End Grain Is King   1 comment

End grain boards are the best. The finish on these is simply silky smooth. I’m thinking I may need to convert Velda, though I doubt she’ll give up her current board willingly. Maybe she needs two counter-top boards?

Happy Arbor Day!   Leave a comment

Redwood National and State Parks in California protect forests, vast prairies, oak woodlands, wild riverways, and nearly 40 miles of pristine coastline as part of the ancient coast redwood forest ecosystem. But most visitors come to see the majestic redwoods, which can exceed 300 feet in height. Photo by Jessica Watz. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 4/24/15.

Redwood National and State Parks in California protect forests, vast prairies, oak woodlands, wild riverways, and nearly 40 miles of pristine coastline as part of the ancient coast redwood forest ecosystem. But most visitors come to see the majestic redwoods, which can exceed 300 feet in height. Photo by Jessica Watz. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 4/24/15.

Posted April 24, 2015 by henrymowry in National Parks

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Dark Beauty   Leave a comment

The stunning views of Utah's Arches National Park are there 24/7. Pictured here, a hiker takes in the gorgeous views of the Milky Way underneath the Delicate Arch. Photo by Jacob W. Frank. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 4/18/15.

The stunning views of Utah’s Arches National Park are there 24/7. Pictured here, a hiker takes in the gorgeous views of the Milky Way underneath the Delicate Arch. Photo by Jacob W. Frank. Posted on Tumblr by the US Department of the Interior, 4/18/15.

Mrs M’s Handmade: The Booth, 12×24   1 comment

We had a double booth last week at the California Poppy Festival. It was great having extra space! The photo essay is below.

Here’s our schedule for the coming weeks:

4/25, Handmade in South Bay, San Pedro, CA

(Velda, with a rare Mrs M appearance by Little Girl!)

4/25 & 26, Home & Garden Show, Santa Clarita, CA

(Just me; a solo appearance for Mr M’s Woodshop)

5/2 & 3, Wine Country Festival, Livermore, CA

5/9, Street Fair, Simi Valley, CA

5/16 & 17, California Strawberry Festival, Oxnard, CA

More

Mrs M’s Handmade: The Booth, 10×12

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