The Board Chronicles: Simi Valley Street Fair   3 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.

ShowImage.aspxBest. Day. Ever.

I had very low expectations going to the Simi Valley Street Fair. After all, it had rained Friday.

For those of you not in Southern California, let me translate that for you.

The weather was HORRIBLE on Friday. There was a BIG storm! Stay Inside! No telling what Saturday will bring!

Much as we need the rain, Angelenos don’t react well to wet weather. It’s like, wet. Desert dwellers avoid stuff like that.

Happily, the weather was perfect on Saturday. The crowd came to the Street Fair (after carefully peeking their heads out early on Saturday to make sure they wouldn’t get wet. It was a late crowd.). The results: best one day event we’ve I’ve ever done.

About that: Velda was still a bit under the weather, so I was again a solo act on Saturday. I’ll just let the results speak for themselves.

New Ideas

  • The Street Fair event had a mandatory pre-event meeting vendors were required to attend. It was a waste of my time … but I did learn that it’s important to wear comfortable shoes to the event. Oh, and to know who’s working your booth. And it’s important, I was told, to know what your key points are when talking to customers.
  • I hate it when people think I’m stupid. And I really hate it when they think I’m that stupid.
  • First event I’ve done where all gear was delivered to your booth by volunteers driving carts towing little trailers. Apparently, it’s too dangerous to let vendors drive their own gear in their own transportation to their booths. It worked, but geez. Really?
  • Local events work for us. Chamber of Commerce events work for us. Community events work for us. In the craft fair community, all of those things are sometimes rejected as “bad” events by some vendors. You simply have to find your own way; you can’t always follow the herd.

Observations

  • The weather impacted some vendors: my neighbor to the left and two neighbors to the right were no shows. I was an island. I was a lonely, lonely man.
  • Another woodworker, a turner, was also there. He had lots of pens and bottle stoppers, and a few peppermills. Didn’t meet him; no clue how he did. I do know, though, that his wife let him sleep late and she’s the one that set up the booth for him. Just sayin’.
  • If half of the people that tell me I’m making Christmas presents for them follow through, then I may not be sleeping in November.
  • One of the engraved board examples that I have is of a last name on a maple board. Last week, I (incredibly) sold the “Mowry” version of this board. This week, I had a new one made saying “Rodriguez.” Yup, sold it, first day.
  • This “hobby” began to feel a lot like “work” today. A couple of people complimented me on creating a business out of my hobby … I corrected them. This is not a business, as I do not get paid. It’s strictly for fun at this point. Though today, not so much.
  • I went to bed before 10pm. Still a long day.

The Food

Saturday Breakfast: McDonald’s # 4, drive thru at 4:55am. That’s too early for breakfast.

Saturday Lunch: no time.

Saturday Snack: warm, sugar coated almonds. Yum.

Saturday Dinner: Pho Sure, # S5. I did stay awake through dinner, and aside from getting some much-needed nourishment, that was my main accomplishment.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 128
  • Booth cost: $150
  • # of people I met during the event from the producer: 0
  • Total sales: $1,454
  • # containers of product taken: 16
  • # boards available: 72
  • Saturday alarm: 4:30am
  • # transactions: 47 – 35 for lotion, 12 for boards
  • # soap & lotion vendors: no clue … did not see any
  • # woodworking vendors: one turner was there for sure
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 12:1

Boards sold: 13

Engraved Boards: 4

Cutting Boards: 4

Cheese Boards: 2

Sous Chef Boards: 2

Small Board: 1

Simi Valley Street Fair 01

Simi Valley Street Fair, 2015. The truck in back of me was setting up a long, tall pinewood derby track. Extreme sports come to a Southern California Cub Scout invention.

3 responses to “The Board Chronicles: Simi Valley Street Fair

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  1. I’m glad your day turned out well! The other woodsman is Wayne Schultz. His wife Shari is an event planner. I know them from my women’s business group.

  2. Pingback: The Board Chronicles: Fine Craft Show | MowryJournal.com

  3. Pingback: The Board Chronicles: Simi Valley Street Fair | MowryJournal.com

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