The Board Chronicles: Montrose Arts & Crafts Festival 2019   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.

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A note about my absence. After a few months of getting more and more behind … I still haven’t caught up.

I will, just not today. In the interim, here’s the latest installment of The Board Chronicles for all of you that have been missing my missives.

Enjoy, and thank you for your patience!

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This event is one of those that every serious Southern California makers should do. That’s what we were told, anyway.

The event is held on the main street of nearby Montrose (near Pasadena, about 27 miles away from home). We’ve done it the 3 previous years; read about it here: 2016, 2017 and 2018. The event is always the first weekend in June; so this year it was June 1 & 2, 2019.

You’ll see that I have a love/hate relationship with the event. It’s an easy, sleep-in-my-own-bed kind of event. We’re in a good spot, we have great neighbors, and sales have been dependable in spite of the sometimes oppressive heat in June. We have lot of legacy customers that come to see us at this event. That’s a very good thing. On the other hand, results have not been stellar, though they have grown in each of the last 2 years.

What’s not to like?

New Ideas

  • No new ideas; we’ve been there & done, uh, this. Predictability can be a good thing, yes? Much nicer than driving into a strange town not knowing how to get to your booth. I share a 10×20 with Mrs M, so I only have a limited display.
  • There’s a new event organizer this year that promises stricter control of the offerings from the supposedly handmade vendors. We’ll see.


  • I had one of “those” people in the booth, who asked, “Can I get a custom sign in 2 days?”
  • Uh, no. Sorry.
  • Some people just don’t get me. That should be no surprise, I would guess.
  • This should be a good weekend: moderate temperatures. Legacy customers.
  • Except it wasn’t. Mrs M did fine, but my sales were the worst in 4 years. On Sunday, I (incredibly) only sold one board. Predicting the marketplace is always a dicey proposition. For some reason, the customers just didn’t find me this year.
  • It’s true that there are several competitors at this event, but that’s not new. There were no changes from last year, in fact. I think this was just not my year.
  • To make matters worse, we had our bag of mesh walls (that I hang my signs on) walk away from the event … and not in our trailer. The bag must have been stolen during our takedown; both Mrs M and I inspected our area after our booth was struck to ensure nothing was left behind … such as a 5′ long, bright white vinyl duffle.
  • Requests were for a backgammon board (still no) and a pizza server … which I’ve made before, but haven’t had for years. Hmmmm.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 112
  • Booth cost: $650
  • Food cost: $54
  • Total sales: $1,540
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 0
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: 0
  • # soap & lotion vendors: there’s a bunch
  • # woodworking vendors: Several, including at least 4 other makers of cutting boards & such
  • Returning next year? Yes

Boards sold: 5

  • Cutting Boards: 2
  • Signs: 2
  • Heart: 1

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