The Board Chronicles: St Charles Borromeo Spring Boutique   2 comments

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.

There’s a woodworker in Australia that I have a lot of respect for called Lazy Larry. He does similar work to what I do, though for him it’s a full-time job. He has a great philosophy about picking events for direct sales: you don’t have to be everywhere, but you have to be somewhere!

This weekend, we elected to follow the recommendation of our good friend Jan and try an event at St Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in North Hollywood. This is their 32nd Annual Spring Festival Arts & Crafts Sale, and our first venture into the North Hollywood/Burbank area. Should be good for us.

We’re in.

New Ideas

  • Given the work day (Mrs M said she was busy with her “job”), I ended up renting a cargo van so I could get our complete 10×20 indoor setup to the Church on time. That’s better than filling 2 vehicles, anyway, but it’s the first time we’ve done the cargo van thing.
  • New for this event is being open on Friday evening, followed by a long Saturday and Sunday. The event’s open for business for 24 hours, spread over the 3 days.

Observations

  • We need a trailer. Rentals are a pain.
  • Event # 4 of 8 in our Spring Fling.
  • Load in was difficult. The church dedicates their largest parking lot to the Festival itself (carnival rides, food booths, games, etc), so the busy streets are simply overwhelmed with festival goers, church volunteers … and 20+ vendors. I should have gotten there earlier so I would not have been so tense.
  • The opening Friday evening was a vendor suggestion from last year: set-up is on Friday, so why not stay open Friday evening? We were open this year & our sales were $8. No Friday opening next year!
  • Requests: a towel holder, tic tac toe sets, chess boards (4) and a nesting set of cutting boards. I’m pretty sure I should make more chess boards so that I can point at them instead of answering the ever present question several times at each event.
  • Sales benefited from being open so many hours, but, my goodness, it was slow going at the event. Hours need to be restricted to 18 or so.
  • Mrs M fell ill Saturday night, and was unable to vendor on Sunday. Little Girl responded to my emergency request, and was there to help me at the event (not so much) and the load out (totally). Mrs M felt better by Sunday night because she didn’t have to work at her “job” or at her hobby.
  • Wonderful event producer was totally committed to the success of her vendors, which she actively curated for this event. Her attention to detail was very much appreciated.
  • It’s not easy to get into this event, I’m told. I believe it!

The Food

Friday Dinner: Dreyer’s Mint Chip

Saturday Breakfast: Bagels & cream cheese

Saturday Lunch: a couple of skewers of BBQ meat + steamed veggies + pancit from the Filopino American group from the church, who host the booth as a fundraiser. Good eats.

Saturday Snack: Trail Mix

Saturday Dinner: Jimmy Deans double cheeseburger, fries & rings. High living at 9:30pm.

Sunday Breakfast: McDonald’s # 4. Of course.

Sunday Lunch: A burrito from the festival. Yum.

Sunday Snack: 2 scoops of Mint Chip Ice Cream

Sunday Dinner: Chipotle, 3 tacos, chips & guac. Yes, we know guac is extra.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 250
  • Booth cost: $175 (10×20)
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 3 … we should count the Monsignor, right?
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: many – they were our vendor neighbors
  • Total sales: $1,926
  • # containers of product taken: 19
  • # boards available: 120
  • Saturday alarm: 6:30am. (To be fair, that was to deal with the rental van return & soap label lasering. The event started @ 10am.)
  • Sunday alarm: 6:30am
  • # transactions: 40
  • # soap & lotion vendors: just her
  • # woodworking vendors: just me
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 7:6
  • Returning next year? Absolutely

Boards sold: 13

Cutting Boards: 3

Letter Clipboard: 2

Custom Orders: 2

Large Surfboard: 2

Lazy Susan: 1

Large Sous Chef Board: 1

Large Cutting Board: 2

 

 

2 responses to “The Board Chronicles: St Charles Borromeo Spring Boutique

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  1. I’m glad you did well at this event! We have worked out the hour situation so we will not be totally exhausted by mid day on Sunday! Thank you again for helping me load up last night. It was a win-win for all of us. I’m glad Mrs. M is feeling better!

  2. There are few things better than a well-advertised and attended fair/boutique where sales are made and the participants, hosts/hostesses, and crowd are friendly. St. Charles Borromeo’s Spring Boutique in North Hollywood CA sounds like a wonderful event to look forward next April!

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