The Board Chronicles: Agua Dulce Country Fair   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.

Agua Dulce Country FairAgua Dulce is a rural town that’s 16 miles north and east of us. It’s horse country, and the site of Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park, where Christopher met the younger Mrs. M.

Of course we have to do their annual Country Fair.

The Fair starts with a parade in mid-afternoon, and then the whole town comes to the site of the Women’s Club, which sets up a big stage. Entertainment begins with cake walks, moves up to a performance by the high school choir, and then has a couple of bar bands play for the rest of the evening. It’s a fun time; you get to meet your neighbors & share a beer under the stars.

The event is a commitment, though. The parade started at 4pm (closer to 4:30), and then the event really got going as the crowd came into the event area. The band played until 12 midnight, and that’s when vehicles could first come into the area to load out. We got home at 1:30am, which is hardly normal for us. We must have had a good time, yes?

I do envy the vendors that can move their set up on a hand truck. We travel far, far too heavy to make that happen!

This event is sponsored by the Agua Dulce Women’s Club, which produces the event as a fundraiser. They use the proceeds to fund their local charities throughout the year. They charge $5 admission to the event. Vendors are spread across their parking lot. Some vendors are also placed in the building the Club meets in – which was a perfect way for us to do this event last year. We didn’t have lights; we didn’t own a shade structure.

The 2014 edition was actually the 6th event we ever did as Mrs M’s Handmade. Our set up was 3 tables and 2 chairs in the corner of the hot building (the fans were broken). This time, we returned with more products and more resources … like 2 shade structures for our 10×20 booth.

New Ideas

  • I drove up to set up the shade structures & tables late Friday afternoon. That certainly made the Saturday set up much easier.
  • Had to buy a 2nd set of our outdoor lights that we hang in the shade structures. Our lighting must be great: we had 4 vendors come to us asking how they could get similar lights!
  • While Velda and I went to buy dinner, Christopher and the younger Mrs M (and Payton!), stayed to run the booth. Christopher was in charge of Mr M’s Woodshop, of course. He must of had fun; by the time I got back to the booth he had sold 4 different boards. Clearly, I need to eat more.

Observations

  • On the way to the event, Velda and I drove through a bike race. Some of the riders weren’t anxious to share the road, which was hardly sporting of them.
  • 50% of boards sold at this event were at their first showing. That always scares me.
  • Could have sold another Canarywood cheese board, but I’d left the 2nd one I made at home. You never know which inventory to bring….
  • Velda yelled at me when I made a face at the off key singing being performed on stage. “You never know who’s related to whom,” she said. That’s true. But, my goodness, there were some poor singers on stage. Over all, the entertainment was good … but I did take exception to a couple of numbers here and there. But, after I was corrected by Mrs M, my thoughts were not broadcast on my face. I think.
  • The vendors in the building didn’t seem to have good traffic this year. One of my favorite vendor neighbors was in the building, Carrie’s Creative Caps.
  • I really dislike vendors that drive their truck to their booth and then pack it up. They end up clogging the area for vendors that are ready to load out, but can’t fit their vehicle into the space because of the impatient vendor that didn’t follow the rules. Every event has the same rule: pack your booth, and THEN drive in to load it out.
  • The good part of traveling very heavy to these events is that when you follow the rules and get packed up first, then you can usually drive right in to your booth for load out. Bu the time we were ready, the rude, angry people were already gone. Thank goodness.

The Food

Saturday Lunch: After we unloaded, we moved the Jeep to vendor parking and then had a fabulous & leisurely lunch at the Sweetwater Bar & Grill. Highly recommended. We’ll go back to this restaurant without the event to lure us!

Saturday Snack: Velda bought caramel corn, but I barely ate any. Not my thing, generally.

Saturday Dinner: Chicken quesadilla … which Velda told me I never eat. She’s wrong, and she’s not the boss of me (Alley is). I enjoyed my quesadilla.

Saturday Dessert: Payton brought Velda a lemon cupcake & me a chocolate chocolate chocolate cupcake. Of course it was fabulous … but she took a bite out of Velda’s. Not sure what that means.

Sunday Breakfast: Velda’s homemade breakfast burritos with chili. Mmmmmm.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 96
  • Booth cost: $150
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 3
  • Total 2015 sales: $1,286
  • Total 2014 sales: $551
  • # containers of product taken: 19
  • # boards available: 96
  • Saturday alarm: none
  • Saturday arrival: 11:45a
  • Saturday departure: 1:05a
  • Sunday alarm: absolutely none
  • # transactions: 24
  • # soap & lotion vendors: just Mrs M!
  • # woodworking vendors: just Mr M!
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 9:5

Boards sold: 14

Small boards: 3

Small Sous Chef Boards: 2

Cheese Boards: 2

Large Cutting Boards: 2

Cutting Boards: 2

Lazy Susans: 2

Small Surfboard: 1

One response to “The Board Chronicles: Agua Dulce Country Fair

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  1. What a lot of fun to read about your latest excursion to Agua Dulce. The setup and displays are fantastic. I think I could cheerfully have one of every type of board.

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