The Board Chronicles: Palos Verdes Street Fair 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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We do this event because we like a restaurant.

No one said we had to be logical.

This Street Fair in Palos Verdes was an average event for us last year. Not spectacular, but it was OK. Worth visiting again, we thought. Maybe.

Last year, we found an Italian restaurant that we simply loved, so we wanted to go back to visit it again. The restaurant was better than the event, really, but what’s wrong with that?

Time to see how we would do at the 32nd Annual Palos Verdes Street Fair.

New Ideas

  • I asked that they move our booth this year away from the screaming, so we were put farther from the entrance and closer to the stage. Less screaming is good.


  • This is a nice little community street fair. There’s free music, there’s alcohol and there are about 75 vendors. It’s mainly buy & sell, but it’s local, it’s small, and it feels like home. I want to like this Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event.
  • Set up on the street near the stage is a bit cramped, so we were there for set up on Friday evening. We arrived at 5:45p, for a 6p set up.
  • They made us wait until 6p. There was no reason for us to wait that was visible … the street was clear, but booth was marked … but we had to wait until the clock ticked. OK, so I started out a bit annoyed.
  • The guy looked at my boards and said, “My board didn’t turn out this well in high school.” Then, he didn’t buy anything. So, apparently, my work is better than a teenager’s, but not something he needed. That seemed to be how this weekend went.
  • Sales were down almost 50% from last year. This event went from about average … to a waste of my time. The only good part of the weekend was the food. Since that’s one of the reasons we booked the event, perhaps we should take that for the win.
  • But then we had to pack up and things took a turn.
  • The sales event ended at 5p, while music was still playing. We were told that the first cars would be allowed on the street to pack up at 5:30. There was a schedule; each vendor had one of 2 entry times. My problem was that cars began getting in the queue to get onto the street much earlier than that – and they simply blocked traffic to get in line. What were people thinking? Event security, manning the barricade at the entrance, did not care what vendors were doing on the street, probably because it was on the other side of the barricade. It began to get crazy.
  • When I saw that other vendors were blocking traffic, I would not do that. Across the street from the vendor entrance was a parking lot entrance, so I parked the Jeep & trailer there, and told the security guy at the barricade that I was there ready for my appointed time to enter.
  • The problem, of course, was that the queue was out of control at this point. Vendors got in line with no regard for when they were supposed to enter the street.
  • When the barricade was opened, it got crazy. Vendors began to just force their way in, and security was no longer in control.
  • Enter Frenzied Velda.
  • We had been communicating by cellphone so she knew what was happening and where I was waiting. Mrs M went to the security guard and complained that the line was out of control. The security guard did nothing. Mrs M complained. Cars kept moving without following the printed rules, and Frenzied Velda had had enough at that point.
  • She simply stood in the middle of the vendor entrance and dared cars to hit her. Obviously, this was NOT SAFE.
  • It was then, and only then, that event organizers got involved and restored a semblance of control to the vendor entrance. I was allowed to enter soon after, at my appointed time and before those in the queue that were attempting to jump the line … and run over Mrs M.
  • Okay, first obstacle overcome. Now it was time to load the trailer.
  • The problem now was that we were slinging containers and loading into the trailer on a crowded street, while dodging the strollers, senior citizens in walkers, and skateboarders that were STILL on the street as they left the free concert. People were everywhere. They were darting in and out. Vendors were trying to load, and some were not concerned about the little people that were trying to go home … with no regard for what the vendors were trying to do.
  • Obviously, this was NOT SAFE.
  • I will not return to this event for that reason. If the Palos Verdes Chamber of Commerce doesn’t understand how to obey traffic laws and provide a safe environment for their patrons and vendors, then I will not support their fundraiser.

The Food

  • Best Meal: Ortega 120. This art-filled discovery had wonderful Mexican food … and served 120 different tequilas. Alas, I didn’t have a sampling, but the evening was wonderful.
  • Honorable Mention: Gaetano’s Restaurant. Wonderful Italian food, 2 years in a row. Get the bruschetta.
  • Worst Meal: Fair food for lunch. Of course.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 185
  • Booth cost: $739
  • Food cost: $288
  • Travel cost: $254
  • Total sales: $1,141
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 0
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: 0
  • # transactions: 34
  • # soap & lotion vendors: there were a couple, as is normal at events like this
  • # woodworking vendors: none that do what I do, though there was a turner there, as well as a couple of purveyors of imported Chinese crap wooden boxes & such.
  • Returning next year? Hell, no.

Boards sold: 8

  • Cutting Board: 1
  • Charcuterie Board: 1
  • Cheese Boards: 2
  • Trivets: 2
  • Heart: 1
  • Serving Piece: 1

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