The Board Chronicles: Tehachapi Mountain Festival   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.

TMF2015It was our big August event … the only August event we scheduled. The average temperature in Tehachapi for August indicated that the lotions should be OK (direct sunlight and high temps are not their friend!), so we committed to the event in spite of some heat concerns.

And it was hotter than normal this year, come to find out. Temps went into the 90s, but with judicious use of our portable awning (as you can see in the bottom picture), the lotions were just fine.

As were we.

Best. Event. Ever.

We had our best sales event yet. In our vast experience as vendors (we’ve been doing this 18 months, can you believe it?), we hit our stride at this event.

This is a wonderful community event. People wandered in to the park throughout the day to enjoy free live music and stroll through the handmade craft area. There was also a smaller area for commercial vendors, as well as food vendors (of course!). Some of those booths were fundraisers for community organizations (hot dogs by the Boy Scouts!).

New Ideas

  • I had a “complete” inventory at this event, with examples of every kind of board that I’ve been making. The result of that complete inventory was sales of 12 different kinds of boards. I know that my challenge is to keep this variety available through the holiday season.
  • We moved up from keeping wads of cash in our pockets to actually having a professional cash drawer. It really did make handling the money much easier.
  • Two different total strangers thanked me for being a part of the Mountain Festival. These weren’t staff members from the sponsor, the Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce. I mean, wow. LOVED this community.


  • Great neighbors at this event. Of course, we chose to be next to Theresa’s “Heart String Creations,” and the producers accommodated that request. Theresa is a joy, and her neck coolers helped us beat the heat throughout both days. (HIGHLY recommended!) The other neighbor sold tutus, magic wands and such for little girls, and did a great business. My fellow slave labor from that booth is a radio personality in the Fresno area, so we bonded immediately and told war stories all weekend. Being around good people is such a rare and wonderful thing!
  • Very good attendance for what proved to be a relatively small number of vendors. There were about 30 handcrafted vendors and perhaps another 16 commercial vendors. Very little duplication, and I heard several vendors talk about they were having a good event. We certainly did!
  • Anytime I sell the most expensive board on the table, I have a good event. This time, I sold 4 of the 5 most expensive boards on the table. That makes for a very good event!
  • With sales success comes the realization that I need to make more stuff. And go to the lumber yard. I’m good with glue for now (I bought 2 gallons last time), and I should have mineral oil to last the year (Velda bought 8 gallons when it was on sale).
  • Do you know anyone else that has gallons of mineral oil in the garage woodshop … and is happy about it?
  • There was a fire burning between Tehachapi and our home, so we couldn’t take the most direct route home. We detoured to the east and took a freeway (the 14) home once we reached the Antelope Valley, and avoided the roads closed by the fire. That fire in the San Francisquito Canyon isn’t very close to our home, by the way, but did add 30 minutes or so to the ride home.
  • All product & booth infrastructure was unloaded and into the house, shed or garage woodshop at 9:50pm. Then I got to sit down. This is a glamorous and glorious life….

The Food

Saturday Breakfast: Holiday Inn Express (note to self: use more salt & pepper for at least SOME flavor)

Saturday Lunch: Velda’s fruit & cheese extravaganza

Saturday Snack: Too busy. Too hot. Not hungry.

Saturday Dinner: I was promised Mexican, but I got South American. Not the same thing, but very good.

Sunday Breakfast: Holiday Inn Express with more salt & pepper

Sunday Lunch: Velda’s fruit & cheese extravaganza, take 2

Sunday Snack: Still too busy. Definitely too hot. Not hungry.

Sunday Dinner: Take out after we got home from Carl’s Jr. Necessary, but hardly satisfying.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 327
  • Booth cost: $300 for a 10’x20′ booth
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 1
  • Total sales: $2,631
  • # containers of product taken: 27
  • # boards available: 118
  • Saturday alarm: 7am
  • Sunday alarm: 7:10am
  • # transactions: 70
  • # soap & lotion vendors: only 1!
  • # woodworking vendors: only 1!
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 15:7

Boards sold: 22

  • Lazy Susan: 4
  • Large edge grain cutting board: 4
  • Cutting board: 2
  • Large cheese & cracker server: 2
  • Small board: 2
  • Cheese board: 2
  • Pig cutting board: 1
  • Small sous chef board: 1
  • Medium surfboard: 1
  • Chess board: 1
  • Bread board: 1
  • Custom board order: 1

Tehachapi - Mr M Tehachapi - Mrs M

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