The Board Chronicles: Emblem Charity Holiday Boutique   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.

The women’s group associated with the Elks Club is called Emblem, and Emblem/Elks Club of Canyon Country hosts a holiday boutique in their lodge. I did this event last year, and it was one of our first small, table-top events. I was home before 4pm, and thought I’d found a great idea. Of course we planned on returning when it fit into our calendar perfectly.

Speaking of the calendar, we have 3 events scheduled for this weekend. I was to help Mrs M set up this event, and then she would run it while I went to event # 2 on Saturday. Sunday, we had our third event. Our goal was to have sales over $1,000 between the 3 events.

The Emblem Charity Holiday Boutique is a low impact, low expectations event. Last year we had sales of $360, and it was great doing a local event that I could do and still be home by 4pm.

This year, we’ll be returning to the Elks Lodge for the third time. We did the Holiday Boutique in 2014, of course, and we also did their Car Show in June of this year. Sales there were $501, so I was confident we could surpass our goal of $350 at this event.

New Ideas

  • Last year, we did boards only at this event. We added a 2nd table for Mrs M’s lotions this year.
  • Last year, Mrs M stayed home and I did this event solo. This year, I helped her set up and then left for my event.
  • Mrs M stacked the boards on the table for the boards, and thought that led to more customer involvement with the boards as the customers played Jenga with them.
  • Vendors got free coffee, much to Mrs M’s delight. Good thing she did this event: I would not have cared.

Observations

  • One customer told Mrs M that I was not getting enough credit, since every board tag shows the company name first: Mrs M’s Handmade. Mr M’s Woodshop is also identified on the tag, but that gets 2nd billing. This customer thought Mrs M was taking advantage.
  • Hmmmmmmm.
  • For the record, he didn’t feel he should show support by buying something.
  • Since the summer season of outdoor events is over, we now get to do indoor events … with indoor plumbing. Life is good.
  • We were set up right by the main door, with the boards on the path from the main door, and the lotions perpendicular to that, on the path to the bar. (The tables were in an “L” shape.) Mrs M observes that most women were there to shop, and didn’t walk by her table. Most men were there to drink, and they didn’t buy lotion on the way to the bar.
  • Most of our sales were to the volunteers running the event. With total sales less than half of last year … we were disappointed. We certainly did not make our goal here.

The Food

Saturday Breakfast: 2 hard boiled eggs & part of a cinnamon roll

Saturday Lunch: from the snack bar – chicken salad on a croissant

Saturday Snack: $2 cookie from a vendor

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 24
  • Booth cost: $70
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 1
  • Total sales: $166
  • # containers of product taken: 9
  • # boards available: 39
  • Saturday alarm: 6a
  • # transactions: 8
  • # soap & lotion vendors: just us
  • # woodworking vendors: just us
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 1:1

Boards sold: 2

Small board: 1

Cheese board: 1

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