The Board Chronicles: Taste Of Encino   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.

TasteEncino is a nice community in the southern part of the San Fernando Valley. It’s a little outside of our normal circle in the Los Angeles sprawl, but we were excited to return to what was the rather unfortunately named 28th Annual Taste of Encino.

Why unfortunate? When they say “Taste,” you shouldn’t expect to find good food, or the restaurants of Encino. Expect to sample the varied experiences & concerns of Encino. And eat fair food, at your peril.

Last year, we had a marginal event, with sales of $506 against a booth fee of $150. It fit on our calendar, though, so we scheduled our return with high hopes and a bigger plan.

New Ideas

  • As with almost all of our events this year, we changed to a double booth for 2015.
  • By signing up early for our booths, we saved 10% off the application fee.
  • We were invited to use their app to make a promotional offer to anyone visiting our booth. They gave us “signage” to promote that offer. What they gave us was a piece of paper with a color picture printed on it, and a hand written copy of our offer scrawled on it. Not the way to impress in an upscale community. Or with a discerning vendor selling a premium product like Mrs M.


  • For an event trying to use social media, their lack of a graphic to share promoting their event is hard to fathom. The single graphic they produced, the above “poster,” was not readable. Bad plan. Oh, but they got all of their sponsor logos on it. And it was STILL a bad plan.
  • We arrived at 7am (the street was officially available at 6am). Unfortunately, our booth location was not yet marked. I watched the guy scrawl our booth numbers on the asphalt, and when I asked him a question, he looked at me like I was from Mars. He never did answer me. Perhaps he was only capable of chalking asphalt. As Beckett’s Hamm says, “Each to his own speciality.” Clearly, as accurate here as it was with Clov in my favorite Beckett play: Endgame.
  • Booth arrangements were terrible. No concept of flow. They put all of the vendors at one end of the street – the farthest position from the food and stage. And the bathrooms. Not good. Not good at all.
  • It was hot. Not quite as hot as yesterday in Granada Hills, thankfully, but it was still hot.
  • None of the 12 vendors (!) had a good day. As the “nothing over $5” necklace vendor next to us said, “I can’t give this stuff away today.”
  • Sitting beside Mrs M, we both opened the apps on our phones for Accuweather. We both looked at Encino weather. Her side of the booth was 2* hotter than mine. No clue how Accuweather makes weather reporting so accurate as to tell how the heat emanating from Mrs M impacts our environment.
  • On the other side of our booth was a tanning salon business promoting their brick & mortar store immediately behind their booth. Very nice young ladies were doing a fundraiser for their local fire station (truck 83 even made an appearance for photos!). Good neighbors.
  • A surprise guest appearance by Soozy (and family!) of Soozy’s Achy Muscle Rub was a highlight of the day. Before she was gone, I had her quoting Timothy Leary. That’ll teach her to bring up her history paper on the 60s.
  • Met some nice vendors, and perhaps some of the conversations I had with “customers” about future special orders will materialize. Good things may still come from appearing at this event. Unfortunately …
  • As with yesterday, it was too hot for a fair comparison to last year’s results. HOWEVER, this was a bad event following last year’s marginal event. We will not return in 2016.
  • So concludes the story of The Lost Weekend: Part II.

The Food

Sunday Breakfast: Bagels & cream cheese

Sunday Lunch: Pizza by the slice from Mulberry Pizzeria, conveniently located across the street from our booth. Undersauced; not great pizza. Unfortunately. Oh, and the store was rude, telling people they couldn’t sit at a table more than 20 minutes.

Sunday Snack: Water.

Sunday Dinner: Leftover chicken piccata. Mmmmmmmm.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 102
  • Booth cost: $202.50
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 0
  • Total sales: $330
  • # containers of product taken: 24
  • # boards available: 110
  • Sunday alarm: 5:15a
  • # transactions: 10
  • # soap & lotion vendors: just us
  • # woodworking vendors: just us
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 6:0

Boards sold: 6

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