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.
We love mountain air.
We decided to be a part of the 44th Annual Mammoth Lakes Fine Arts & Crafts Festival. Yesterday’s blog talked about our rather over-the-top experiences in & around Mammoth Lakes this weekend, and if you haven’t read When Nature Fights Back, please do so now.
So, with your full understanding that vending can be a glorious and relaxing way to spend a weekend, here’s the report on how Mrs M’s Handmade & Mr M’s Woodshop fared in the mountains this weekend.
- Since bears are everywhere in Mammoth Lakes, we had to put up and then take down our entire display every day. 3-day events are usually very nice, especially on the 2nd day, when you don’t have to put up or take down your display. This event, not so much.
- This is a small event, with only about 40 booth spaces. Nice variety of artists were represented, though. Painters, photographers, sculptors, jewelry makers, potters….
- John Deere pin on a bejeweled purple hat? I asked the lady if it was OK to wear those 2 together, and she said it was if you work for a John Deere dealer! Makes sense to me.
- Overheard: “I’m always looking for outhouses.” Where I come from, that’s a personal problem. But at this event, it’s just a photographer talking about one of his favorite targets.
- Mammoth Lake’s Best Western Plus has the Belladonna Day Spa. What, calling it the Arsenic Day Spa wasn’t possible?
- Overheard: “It’s No Limit Saturday! You can have all you want.”
- Our goal at these events, clearly, is engagement. Both Velda and I seek interaction with people about our products … and more, really. We want to talk to people. If it happens that they buy something, great. If they like our stuff, great. But we want to talk to people … and if you don’t want to do that, you shouldn’t be a vendor.
- One exception to the above is the guy that came into the booth, told me I was doing it wrong, and proceeded to describe some of his great-sounding projects. He then went to Velda’s side and told her she wasn’t being environmentally sensitive since she was using palm oil. Thank you, sir, you can leave now. Or would you like to meet FrenziedVelda?
- Requested: Bigger cutting boards (they can carry them), smaller chess boards (2x. It will never end.), a Magic Bottle Opener on a stand for people without wall space, chess pieces (3x), cribbage board (4x. AARRGGHH!), a pizza peel and a Chinese Checkers board.
Friday Breakfast: Bagels & cream cheese. Always a good choice.
Friday Lunch: Velda’s cheese & cracker extravaganza. Oh, and our vendor neighbor contributed some pickled beets from his garden. Yum.
Friday Snack: Velda brought a protein bar from home.
Friday Dinner: Burgers on Chantal’s patio. Great, until the smoke from the fire rolled in.
Saturday Breakfast: Denny’s. Good for this breakfast following our out-of-control Friday.
Saturday Lunch: Cheese & cracker leftovers.
Saturday Snack: Nope.
Saturday Dinner: Filet Mignon at The Mogul. Highly recommended.
Sunday Breakfast: Carl’s Jr. They were late opening, and the breakfast was not satisfying.
Sunday Lunch: I went to Nick & Willy’s to carry out a pizza for Velda & a sandwich for me. Their website says they deliver. They lie.
Sunday Snack: Haagen-Dazs from the gas station next door. Yum.
Sunday Dinner: Roberto’s Mexican restaurant doesn’t have a chef with a heritage that includes Mexican spice usage, in my humble opinion. They made El Torito seem like Mexican food. Not recommended.
- Total miles driven: 1,347
- Booth cost: $350 + 10% of sales = $680.90
- # of people we met during the event from the producer: 1
- Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: many
- Total sales: $3,309
- # containers of product taken: 24
- # boards available: 180
- Friday alarm: 5:30a
- Saturday alarm: 5:00a
- Sunday alarm: 5:45a
- # transactions: 101
- # soap & lotion vendors: just us
- # woodworking vendors: several. There was a guy that made wonderful live edge tables & benches. Another did spectacular intarsia. Another did whimsical sculptures using wood. And then there was the guy that did flavored wood chips for your BBQ.
- Edge grain vs. end grain: 34:3
- Returning next year? Maybe. Probably not. I don’t know. Would you?
Did We Break Even?
- Booth cost: $680.90
- airbnb: $615 (but we only got to stay there one night).
- airbnb refund: -$350 (so a net cost of $265 for one night in spite of the forced evacuation. We were charged 43% for staying one of four nights)
- Vagabond Inn, Friday: $225
- Sierra Nevada Lodge, Saturday & Sunday: $511
- Groceries, Friday evening: $17.36
- Ice, $8
- Thursday lunch, McDonald’s on the road: $8.74
- Thursday evening dinner, Subway: $11.02
- Emergency purchase of personal care products due to evacuation from airbnb: $32.68
- Saturday Breakfast, Denny’s: $25
- Saturday Dinner, The Mogul – The Singular Treat: $105
- Sunday Breakfast, Carl’s Jr: $22.39 (no, we didn’t eat 3 breakfasts. Welcome to tourist pricing.)
- Sunday Lunch, Nick & Willy’s: $22
- Sunday Snack: $8
- Sunday Dinner, Roberto’s: $42
- Monday Breakfast, McDonald’s: $14.51
- Monday Lunch, Ranch House Cafe: $38
- Gas: $169.21
- Sales tax to pay California/Mono County: $264.72
- Not included: Groceries purchased at home and transported up. Some were eaten (cheese & crackers, burgers) and some were left behind when we were evacuated, and then brought home when we picked them up from the airbnb home on the way home.
- Not included: wear & tear on the cars
- Not included: wear & tear on FrenziedVelda & me
Total Revenue: $3,309
Total Event Cost: $2,471.03
Cost of Goods: ???
Our cost of goods were probably less than our net revenues of $837.97, so at first glance it seems that we probably made a small net profit. And I do mean small. HOWEVER, if you add in our sunk food costs as well as IRS-attributable production costs like electricity and square footage of our home used in production, then we definitely lost money. And what did we get for our time? Nada.
But we did get a getaway weekend to the mountains to work 11 hour days!
And I got a slice of blackberry pie.
Boards sold: 37
Cheese Boards: 13
Magic Bottle Openers: 11
Cutting Boards: 3
Small Boards: 3
Medium Surfboard: 1
Small Sous Chef Board: 1
Pizza Server: 1
Bread Board: 1
Lazy Susan: 1
Chess Board: 1
Custom Order: 1