The Board Chronicles: Westlake Village Community Street Festival   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.

Westlake Village Street FestivalBoasting over 100 vendors, the Community Street Festival is a cooperative venture between the city of Westlake Village and the Rotary Club of Westlake Village that actually produces this event. This year is the 22nd annual, so expectations were high as I packed the Jeep on Saturday … and prayed that the Sunday event would be in the non-rainy part of the weekend.

The weather broke spectacularly, with blue skies and a warm sun on my face at 8a as I was setting up. It cooled some in the afternoon as the clouds and breeze returned, but the weather was great as long as you didn’t look to the sky in the north, where it was dark grey. The weather at the event, though, was really fine.

New Ideas

  • This was a rare event that Mr M’s Woodshop was given permission to do solo. No Mrs M at this event – and no Mrs M products, either. This was all me, all the time.
  • New display pieces were used for the first time: crates holding Magic Bottle Openers, Clipboards & Sous Chef Boards were featured on two tables. This was a huge upgrade, and now allows these pieces to be displayed easily, and in quantity, without having to hang them in the air (and bang into people’s heads).

Westlake Village 01Observations

  • No signage to help me find the designated parking lot for vendor entry. There was a map … not much help for me while driving. After 2 wrong turns, I found the guy with the clipboard standing in the driveway for the right office building. An address would have been really helpful in this GPS age.
  • First time at a new event, and I arrived early. This event had assigned times for street entry, and they made me wait in a parking lot for 30 minutes until my assigned time approached … even though there were few vendors actually on the street. Control appeared to be important to the organizers.
  • Set-up was very spaced out; every booth was a corner location, 10×12. The booths were set up on a wide street; everyone could have been 10×15. At least.
  • I don’t really like short, one-day events with a full outdoor set-up, and I certainly don’t like doing day-long events solo. All I can do is sit in the booth and wait for the next conversation. This was exacerbated by the fact that my last transaction was at 1:30, and the crowd had totally disappeared by 3p.
  • Mr M was a lonely, lonely man.
  • Only one cash transaction today: everything else was on a card. I didn’t even need to bring change!
  • Lots of dog walkers. No clue why two white poodles were air brushed & colorized. One was purplish, and the other was green and blue, with a number 10 left in white on its side. Why would someone do that to their dogs?
  • The most vicious dog moment was when there were 9 dogs in close proximity and they suddenly went into aggressive mode. Between the 9 dogs, they may have all weighed 30 pounds. Total.
  • This is the first event that I’ve shown two products in quantity: Magic Bottle Openers (9) and Clipboards (11). I sold 6 of the bottle openers … so they have found at least one appreciative audience!
  • Requests I received: Chess boards (3), a birthday gift for an 80-year-old, furniture refinishing, an RV cutting board & a charcuterie board. I’ve got 1 chess board and 2 charcuterie boards in the shop, but they aren’t done. There’s always more to do….
  • In the end, this wasn’t a great day, but it’s certainly true that the weather forecast was ominous at best. The actual weather was better in the morning, but the final results from this event were less than spectacular.

The Food

Sunday Breakfast: Jack In The Box # 28. Won’t be doing that again.

Sunday Lunch: A ham & cheese sandwich brought from home.

Sunday Snack: Nope; I was tied to the booth … and this wasn’t a good event for eating, anyway, with only 2 food trucks in residence.

Sunday Dinner: Velda’s meatloaf. Yum.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 102
  • Booth cost: $160
  • # of people I met during the event from the producer: 1
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: 1
  • Total sales: $585
  • # containers of product taken: 15
  • # boards available: 122
  • Sunday alarm: 5:14a
  • # transactions: 9
  • # soap & lotion vendors: 2 – Mary Kay Cosmetics was there, and a small batch soaper as well
  • # woodworking vendors: 2 – me and a wood turner
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 9:2
  • Returning next year? Maybe

Boards sold: 11

Magic Bottle Openers: 6

Lazy Susans: 2

Cutting Board: 1

Small Board: 1

Large Sous Chef Board: 1

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