The Board Chronicles: San Dimas Western Days   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.

San DimasYou may remember Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Bill and Ted were from San Dimas … and that’s where we headed last weekend.

It was not an excellent adventure for us, unfortunately.

This was the 48th Annual San Dimas Western Days. They have a Street Fair-styled event run by the Chamber of Commerce, and there’s a rodeo happening at the same time. There were about 80 vendors … perhaps 30 were handmade. The rest ranged from chiropractors to financial planners to the local water company.

This was actually our third choice event for this weekend. We weren’t accepted into our first choice (the horror!), and were then too late to apply to our second choice. We took the third option.


New Ideas

  • We added a second awning this week for shade in front of the booth. Given the weather, we were giving protection from the rain, too, in front of both booths.
  • We had rain overnight on Saturday, so we had to deal with waterproofing the booth for overnight, and rain protection needed throughout Sunday. We survived with no rain damage at all!


  • The Chamber of Commerce really angered our next door neighbor that thought they had the first booth in our line. In the new secret configuration, though, they had the third booth. Lots of anger in the 6am air.
  • Do the Western theme in your booth, we were told. Then why is the music from the stage all rock & roll?
  • Do not close your booth early, we were told. But on Saturday, the Chamber of Commerce closed their booth 30 minutes early. This was not a well run event from ANY perspective.
  • The neighbor across the way had a booth that looked like a homeless encampment, Velda thought. It was a sportscard/memorabilia dealer, and he had a pipe frame with tarps clipped to it for his booth. When the rain came Sunday, the booth just added more tarps/blankets/whatever for rain protection. Didn’t help the property values in our section of booths, and Mrs M was annoyed.
  • Lots of dog walkers at this event. The angry neighbor had his dog with him and prompted him to talk all day. “Rur-rur-rur,” the owner said. “Rur-rur-rur,” the malamute replied. All. Day. Long.
  • Many vendors did not return on Sunday; perhaps they were scared off by the rain forecast. This is Southern California, after all: rain scares us.
  • We spent all day Sunday waiting for the big rainstorm that never came, fortunately. We had sprinkles; it was definitely wet for an hour or so. But, in the end, Sunday’s rainy sales exceeded Saturday’s hot weather sales. Go figure.
  • Most Embarrassed Dog Award goes to the poor terrier that had to wear a yellow raincoat on Sunday. His mistress? No rain protection required.
  • I’ve said you can’t have a bad day if you sell the most expensive board on the table … but we did on Sunday. Nice sale, but the day really was long, wet and boring.
  • The Tandy leather retail booth next to us had total sales of $220 for the weekend. A jewelry retailer that had sales about like ours said this was their 4th year, and that sales had gone down every year. I’m not interested in seeing if there is a 5 year trend next year….

The Food

Saturday Breakfast: McDonald’s # 4 for me, # 1 for Mrs M. Sound familiar?

Saturday Lunch: Cheese & crackers. Sound familiar?

Saturday Snack: Too hot. Too bored. Not interested.

Saturday Dinner: Mediocre Chinese Food to share: Cashew Chicken for me & Shrimp & Snow Peas for Mrs M.

Sunday Breakfast: Holiday Inn Express biscuits & gravy. Mmmmmm.

Sunday Lunch: We shared a dry BBQ chicken sandwich & Mac & Cheese. Not exactly high living.

Sunday Snack: Peanut M&Ms. Thank goodness there was a grocery store nearby.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 255
  • Booth cost: $325 for a premium 10×20 crafters booth, open on 3 sides
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 0
  • Total sales: $991
  • # containers of product taken: 23
  • # boards available: 110
  • Saturday alarm: 4:30a
  • Sunday alarm: 6:30a
  • Home on Sunday: 7:10p
  • # transactions: 26
  • # soap & lotion vendors: just Mrs M!
  • # woodworking vendors: one turner, one carver and me
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 7:1

Boards sold: 8

Lazy Susans: 2

Cheese boards: 2

Cutting boards: 2

Large cutting board: 1

Small surfboard: 1

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