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 West End Artwalk came to my attention just a few weeks ago … it was an interesting little event promising artists with handmade goods in a neighborhood setting. Live music. Local restaurants doing the “Taste of Chatsworth.” Artists. Community.
It fit into our calendar.
Mrs M declined the opportunity, wanting to spend an open weekend day to make more soap, but I decided to throw the dice and be a part of this inexpensive, largely unknown event. Our friend Jan also committed, so she and I asked to be neighbors at the event. I was in booth 7; she was in 8.
- Another rare solo event for me.
- It was never clear to me what the booth size was (it would either be a 5×15 or a 10×10, it seemed). Most booths were on a sidewalk paralleling Devonshire, with the music set up on Jordan Street, I learned. Exhibiting my legendary flexibility, I just went with it.
- What information I did have was confusing, and I misread that all booths would have tables & chairs provided. I took tables anyway (Be Prepared), but neglected to bring a chair. I had to borrow one, when I discovered I had a 5×15 space with a provided shade umbrella. And nothing else.
- I arrived at 8:30am, and was able to park right behind my booth. This was a wonderful thing. Load-in to the booth was easier than the one waiting for me when I got home.
- Best fun idea: the event gave a box of chalk to a couple of young ladies, who proceeded to decorate the sidewalk with footprints, flowers & creativity. Loved that, and I wish I had thought of it first!
- There was an associated bike ride with this event, so there was a parade of bikers by the booth pushing their bikes while wearing their cycling togs. No buyers in that crowd (some had saddlebags or baskets, but most did not).
- People did keep strolling by on the sidewalk, especially after the food opened up at 1pm. The traffic was never overwhelming for this sidewalk narrowed by 20 artist booths, but there was a good flow.
- One customer enjoyed looking at my work, and wanted to, apparently, tell me a riddle in compensation. She said, “Inside a lumberyard, Hardwood and Redwood were fencing.” And then, her riddle delivered, she walked away. The end.
- Things I was asked to make: a bartop, chess pieces (x3), wine-themed gifts, an RV cutting board and a custom sink-fit cutting board.
Sunday Breakfast: McDonald’s # 4. Hello, old friend.
Sunday Lunch: A peanut butter sandwich from home … and an offered bacon-laden sandwich from a food vendor who bought a board, too. The sandwich had bacon in it. Yum.
Sunday Snack: Frogurt and pound cake from vendors offering samples to everyone.
Sunday Dinner: Velda’s pulled pork BBQ with the family. Life is good. She should stay home more. (Go with the humor, folks. Don’t get snarky. And please allow me to compliment good food when it is offered.)
- Total miles driven: 58
- Booth cost: $50
- # of people we met during the event from the producer: 1
- Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: 3
- Total sales: $620
- # containers of product taken: 9
- # boards available: 88
- Sunday alarm: none needed
- # transactions: 9
- # soap & lotion vendors: none
- # woodworking vendors: just me
- Edge grain vs. end grain: 10:1
- Returning next year? Maybe
Boards sold: 11
Magic Bottle Openers: 5
Small Surfboard: 2
Chess Board: 1
Medium Surfboard: 1
Lazy Susan: 1
Small Board: 1