The Board Chronicles: Touch-A-Truck   1 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.

Touch A TruckThis is the first event that is a true repeat from Mrs M’s Handmade’s inaugural year, 2014. What did we learn? You can’t beat the heat.

It peaked at 100* on the day of the event. Good thing the event was scheduled to be over at 2pm. The reality is people started leaving in droves after the dump truck unloaded its 500 beach balls to the crowd at 12:30pm … and vendors were disappearing by 1pm. I took down the booth a bit early (which I NEVER do), and had the car loaded by 2:09pm. At that point, I was the only vendor left on the field.

No need to stick around in the heat with sales not happening, right?

I came into this event with very low expectations. Last year, in more temperate weather, sales were $250, including Mrs M’s lotions. This year, given the heat, I was soloing with just the cutting boards & such. Mrs M and her lotions stayed home in the air conditioning.

Though she was ready to help me set up at 7am. I believe I surprised her when I declined that honor as unnecessary.

I was unloaded by 7:17a (and as soon as I did, a nice young man asked if he could help me load. His words. I told him I was already unloaded, thank you, no help required.). Set up was complete at 8:30am. No help required.

This is a great event, I believe, for 5 year old boys and girls and their parents/grandparents/etc. If you want to clamber over a dump truck (and who doesn’t?) then this is your chance. Fire trucks, police cruisers, hot rods, a Santa Clarita graffiti removal truck (who knew?) … lots of big metal here. Horns to honk. Sirens to, uh, siren. Great event for young families.

I don’t think this is a great event for handcrafted cutting board makers and small batch lotion makers. I came to that conclusion as I was dripping sweat on the drive home.

New Ideas

  • The event was 3 miles from home. I was back home in the air conditioning before 2:30pm.
  • Lots of volunteer help was available to help with both load-in and load-out. Not sure who the load-in help was provided by, but some very nice LDS young adults loaded my car for me.

Observations

  • There were 18 vendors, I believe. About half were doing direct sales; the rest were commercial promoters (burial plots, financial services, health care, political groups, etc). Only one other handmade vendor, I believe.
  • I was solicited in my booth three different times by other vendors – interrupting conversations with shoppers a couple of times. I was most unhappy with this.
  • The event’s DJ was funny. He had the most personality of any part of this event, IMHO. He did push it by playing “Let It Go” twice in 4 hours, though.
  • A local environmental group, SCOPE, was across the aisle from me. They spent the entire day standing in the aisle in front of their booth handing out their literature to everyone in the aisle. They intercepted people before they could enter my booth to give their spiel. Politics aside, this was very frustrating to me (and the public, I believe).
  • Don’t know if we’ll garner any residual benefits from being here, but Velda has already been given permission to tell me “NO” if I suggest doing this event in 2016.

The Food

Saturday Lunch: Beef Brisket Cheese Quesadilla off of the “Burnt To A Crisp Texas Roadhouse” food truck. Yum.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 7
  • Booth cost: $50
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 1
  • Total sales: $130
  • # containers of product taken: 8
  • # boards available: 61
  • Saturday alarm: 6:01a
  • # transactions: 2
  • # soap & lotion vendors: none
  • # woodworking vendors: just me
  • Edge grain vs. end grain:  2 : 0.

Boards sold: 2

More

(From 2014) Santa Clarita Senior Center’s Touch-A-Truck

One response to “The Board Chronicles: Touch-A-Truck

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  1. Thank you for the report. On the bright side, at least it wasn’t a total bust! I’m glad you survived the heat!

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