Archive for the ‘Cutting board’ Tag

The Board Chronicles: Harvest Festival Sacramento 2018   1 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.

** ** **

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!

** ** **

The Camp Fire was largely contained by now, but this event still was smoke impacted on November 16 – 18, 2018. Sacramento is much closer to Paradise (only 88 miles), but the smoke was less bothersome, and got better every day. But would it be enough?

After having a very, very disappointing event last weekend, I was hopeful. That’s all I had, really. If this event didn’t score, then I would be in a deep hole.

New Ideas

  • Last week was my first Harvest Festival, so I got a $100 discount off of the price. This week, no discount. I paid the full $1,590, which was now the most I’ve ever paid for an event.

Observations

  • I arrived at the motel Wednesday night and was in the middle of a little insurrection. There was no hot water in the motel due to some plumbing issue. People were yelling, checking out, not checking in … it was a mess. I got the room key & hoped (that word again) that I would have hot water the next day.
  • I did.
  • Friday started hot. I was ‘whelmed by 1pm. I had people standing in line – 3 deep – to give me money a couple of times. Those are good times.
  • I had a person give me a suggestion for a sign (this never ends well):
    • If you love someone, set them free
    • If you hate someone, set them free
    • In fact, set everyone free
    • People are stupid. Get a dog.
  • Requests were for an appetizer server with a slot for a wine glass, odd cribbage boards, a thinner heart-shaped board (mine are 3/4″ thick), and 2 separate requests for deviled egg trays. These are my people … and this will happen soon, I said to myself. A year ago.
  • Editor’s note: it’s now 2020. Deviled egg trays will happen soon. I’m working on the design now. Honest.
  • This event was great. I couldn’t believe how many pieces I was selling … and by Sunday, it was clear I had done something special.

Best. Solo. Event. Ever.

  • I sold more pieces at this event than I ever have before. Even with the increase in volume, though, my average selling price was higher than ever before. Sacramento came to shop, without question!
  • The top selling items were from the CNC. Signs were my top seller, but almost everything I sold had been touched by the CNC.
  • I had a long drive home on Monday, but there was a smile on my face.

The Food

  • Best Meal: I had a treat meal at a BJ’s that was pretty tasty. The venue was very near a shopping/restaurant district, so life was good

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 768
  • Booth cost: $1,590
  • Food cost: $232
  • Travel cost: $580
  • Total sales: $5,637
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 2
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: several
  • # transactions: 58
  • # soap & lotion vendors: my next door neighbor was a soaper, so I felt right at home
  • # woodworking vendors: many, many woodworkers are here. My favorite is a retired couple that owns (?) a company in North Carolina making lawn furniture out of white oak. Very nice work … but the “sellers” were definitely not the “makers,” at least not anymore.
  • Returning next year? Yes

Boards sold: 73

  • Cutting Boards: 15
  • Lazy Susan: 1
  • Cribbage Boards: 4
  • Signs: 15
  • Cheese Boards: 8
  • Hearts: 5
  • Cheese & Cracker Servers: 3
  • Trivets: 8
  • Small Board: 1
  • Clipboards: 2
  • Chess Set: 1
  • Serving Tray: 1
  • Coaster Set: 5
  • Sous Chef Board: 1
  • Magic Bottle Opener: 1
  • California Bear: 1
  • Wine Bottle Coaster: 1

The Board Chronicles: Harvest Festival San Mateo 2018   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.

** ** **

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!

** ** **

In California, the “professional” vendors that do handmade goods exhibit at the Harvest Festivals. There are 8 or 9 of them (depending on the year), with one in Las Vegas, and then the remainder split about evenly between northern and southern California.

Everyone says it: the Harvest Festivals are great. But be ready: you sell a lot of stuff. Biggest events of the year. Be ready.

I was ready.

In our 5th year of vending, I committed to 2 of the Harvest Festivals: San Mateo and Sacramento. Neither are close to us, of course, but they fit on the calendar.

I was ready.

Then, we had the Camp Fire: the deadliest, most destructive wild fire in California history.

Paradise got most of the press on how bad things were, and Paradise is 200 miles from San Mateo. I thought we’d be OK … not knowing the wind patterns in the bay area took the smoke right to my destination. While we were having our event, there were warnings to stay indoors.

That’s no way to have a good event that requires patrons to drive at least some distance to come to the event, y’know?

New Ideas

  • Harvest Festivals require Thursday set ups, and the events run Friday – Sunday. I drove up Wednesday for an early Thursday set up. I stayed in the least expensive motel I could find in or near San Mateo … and you can use your imagination. I can assure you while in my room I was doing my best to NOT imagine what was around me.
  • This is the most expensive event I have ever done: $1,490 for my double booth.
  • Bright yellow signs were available to me: NEW VENDOR. I appreciated that.
  • The event has prominent entertainment: there’s a Santa on stilts. There are cowboys riding horses … well, there are guys in cowboy costumes walking around with a horse costume around their waist like they are “riding.” Definitely a lot to see here.

Observations

  • This is a professional operation. 200+ vendors. Some pay for cartage to have their display pieces and inventory delivered to the aisle in front of their booth, event to event. Some are newbies like me … but the bar is very high here.
  • Some of the requirements for these events:
    • no handwritten signs
    • cover all metal poles
    • all handmade
    • focused booth lighting is required: they turn down the general illumination in the hall
  • One of the veterans introduced himself to me … and said, “you know the new guy brings coffee, right?” The promoter provides the coffee, incidentally!
  • A neighbor said she’d been vending her whole life … “my Mom was selling tie dye shirts at Dead shows.” Welcome to San Francisco.
  • Heard from a young Miss walking by: “Who’s Julia Child?” That’s not my audience!
  • I had requests for spatulas, collapsible wooden baskets (I HATE those imports, and they all are!), a checkerboard cutting board (no thanks), more boards with “crumb catchers,” small Lazy Susans, bowl-shaped Lazy Susans, tea towel holders, round cutting boards … lots of requests from a crowd that didn’t buy that much!
  • In the end, this event was destroyed by the fire. Attendance was down, I was told. This was never one of the larger Harvest Festivals, but with the fire, the event was just devastated.
  • Final analysis: with the high booth fee, high hotel and travel costs … I actually lost money doing this event.

The Food

  • Best Meal: Nope. I went out; fast food & burgers.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 727
  • Booth cost: $1,490
  • Food cost: $128
  • Travel cost: $780
  • Total sales:  $2,708
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 2
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: several
  • # transactions: not enough, but I did stay busy
  • # soap & lotion vendors: several. Not many have it going on like Mrs M does with her cold process soap, but pricing was *very* competitive
  • # woodworking vendors: Several, doing all manner of work. The craft is well represented.
  • Returning next year? No … regardless of the fire, I lost money. I won’t return quickly.

Boards sold: 41

  • Cutting Boards: 3
  • Cheese Boards: 7
  • Small Boards: 2
  • Large Serving Piece: 5
  • Trivet: 1
  • Serving Tray: 1
  • Signs: 12
  • Custom Orders: 2
  • Clipboards: 2
  • Coasters: 2
  • Bread Saw: 1
  • Cribbage Board: 1
  • Lazy Susans: 2

The Board Chronicles: Big Spring Home & Garden Show 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.

** ** **

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!

** ** **

This Home & Garden Show is held at the LA County Fairground in Pomona. I thought it was worth a chance. It’s not the largest Home & Garden Show – but it is in LA. Since it’s just over an hour from home, I’ll be sleeping in my own bed each night. I just have over 2 hours of freeway driving each day. What could go wrong?

The event was held March 8 – 10, 2019.

New Ideas

  • This is the same set up that I did last week in Fresno at that Home & Garden show. This one is in one single hall … but the hall is big enough that the designated parking area for my trailer is inside of the hall, down by the stage. Its. A. Big. Building.

Observations

  • Oh. So. Boring.
  • On Friday, I had one sale, for $45. I’ve got a bad attitude, and I’m just getting started here. The traffic … no. Not at all.
  • Nice enough event, really, but there was not enough there there to keep me interested. Home & Garden Shows are a numbers game, I believe, and this one isn’t big enough to support me.Lesson learned!

The Food

  • Best Meal: Still saving money. Have you seen how low the sales are in the first quarter?

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 368
  • Booth cost: $800
  • Food cost: $65
  • Travel cost: $0
  • Total sales: $1,650
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 1
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: 1
  • # transactions: 14x in 3 days. Horrible. Did I mention the event is 23 hours long?
  • # soap & lotion vendors: Yes, there were a couple.
  • # woodworking vendors: My neighbor installed wooden doors. Does that count?
  • Returning next year? Nope

Boards sold: 17

Signs: 5

Cutting Boards: 4

Cheese Slicers: 4

Large Serving Piece: 1

Cheese Board: 1

Coaster Set: 1

Special Order: 1

The Board Chronicles: Fresno Home & Garden Show 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.

** ** **

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!

** ** **

This was my 3rd appearance at the Fresno Home & Garden Show: you can read about my previous successes in 2017 and 2018.

This event isn’t great, and the 3 day event does require some patience to get through. However, the crowd is significant, they aren’t stopped by a bit of rain, and the event always delivers a good result. So far.

You bet I’m going back to Fresno! The event was March 1 – 3, 2019.

New Ideas

  • This is my first year at this event with signs. I took the Trimline frame, put up the mesh walls, and did what I do these days.

Observations

  • This event is worth my time, but it just has no sex appeal for me. I’m in building # 6 (not that you can find that designation anywhere but on the vendor map). The building does have some handmade vendors, but it’s mainly buy & sell. Want stretchy plastic bowl covers made in China? Got ’em. Want a set of pots & pans? Got ’em. Want a vacation to Lake Tahoe to see time shares? No problem. There’s also a big vendor selling patio furniture, another that’ll do your roof. It’s a pretty crazy environment.
  • Vendor parking is in a remote lot, but they provide a shuttle service in tricked out farm wagons. That’s appropriate for a county fairground, right?
  • A vendor in my building, “Would you like a hand spa? 30 seconds to wash away your dry skin?” He said this over and over and over and over. That’s not my idea of a good time. I’m sure he sold something, but yuck.
  • I didn’t spend much time doing walkabout at this event: I can only do this before the gates open at 10a, since I’m solo for the weekend in Fresno. There were a couple of other woodworkers that do similar work; one has a CNC and does cribbage boards. No one has the wood variety that I do ….
  • Another vendor in my building was selling bottle openers with an under-powered magnet hidden under a decorative tin that was glued to the cheap wood that mounted the bottle opener. I think they were $15 each, or 3 for $30. Something like that. Note that I had no Magic Bottle Openers to bring … and I haven’t made any since, either.
  • The thing about this event is … the crowd just keeps coming, and there are enough buyers mixed in that the event works for me. It’s a numbers game, and this first quarter event is just good enough to stay on my calendar.

The Food

  • Best Meal: nope. This is about saving money. If there are good restaurants in Fresno, I haven’t found them. I haven’t looked.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 408
  • Booth cost: $1,000
  • Food cost: $92
  • Travel cost: $432
  • Total sales: $2,542
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 0
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: 0
  • # transactions: 19, spread over 3 days and 22 hours of the event
  • # soap & lotion vendors: there were at least a few, a couple were handmade
  • # woodworking vendors: everything from redwood exterior signs to wine barrel patio furniture to pallet wood signs
  • Returning next year? yes

Boards sold: 21

Cheese Slicer: 2

Cutting Boards: 3

Cribbage Boards: 3

Cheese Boards: 4

Coaster set: 2

Trivets: 2

Chess pieces: 1

Lazy Susans: 2

Sign: 2

The Board Chronicles: Great 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.

** ** **

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!

** ** **

The Great Fair is held in Fountain Hills, AZ. We actually attended this event before we were vendors; brought to it by our snowbird Aunt & Uncle that live in the Phoenix area. With their recommendation – and the promise of an all too rare visit if we just came to this event, we were all in. The dates were February 23 & 24, 2019.

New Ideas

  • The weather forecast was not good for this February event: it was probably going to be cold and wet. Therefore, we planned for it and brought our Trimline. The event has a Friday set up, so we drove in on Friday, put up the booth, and then returned to the hotel.
  • Our timing was good. Just as we had the booth up and returned to the car, the “wintry mix” began to fall. Cold & wet, indeed.

Observations

  • When we arrived Saturday morning, it took some time for me to realize that the rain that fell in Fountain Hills (we had stayed in a motel a few miles away) was colder than we had at the motel. In fact, it was freezing.
  • 4″ of heavy wet snow – actually icy slush – was on the roof of the Trimline. Walking around the event, I saw at least 12 canopies that had been crushed by the weight of the snow. Product was destroyed. Nothing good comes from weather this cold and wet.
  • As it warmed up a bit on Saturday, the snow melt began to flow. Since the event is on a hill, we had an icy river flowing through the booth all day long. Thank goodness I transport all of my boards in plastic tubs … everything was soaked that touched the asphalt.
  • Also, thank goodness I wore my hiking boots to the event with heavy socks. It was *cold* standing in the icy snow melt that flowed through the booth all weekend.
  • With weather this cold and wet, sales were poor, of course. Several experienced vendors that we respect told us to not judge the event based on this year; better sales would come with better weather.
  • Best comment of the event: 5 senior citizens walked by the booth. The ladies were all 75+. The oldest looking lady, 85 if she was a day, read one of my signs out loud as the group was strolling. The other ladies had no clue what she was talking about, so when she read this sign, her companions were shocked!
  • Will I come back? Probably. Will I pray for better weather? Definitely.

The Food

  • Best Meal: Dinner with family for the win.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 906
  • Booth cost: $1,000
  • Food cost: $158
  • Travel cost: $273
  • Total sales: $1,406
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 0
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: 0
  • Saturday alarm: 6a
  • Sunday alarm: 6a
  • # transactions: not nearly enough
  • Returning next year? No. The calendar didn’t work out for 2020. Maybe next year.

Boards sold: 26

The Board Chronicles: Winterfest 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.

** ** **

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!

** ** **

Winterfest was held February 9 & 10, 2019. It’s a main street event in Lake Havasu City, AZ, and my 2nd trip to the event. Last year, the infamous Flying Dry Soup Canopy made its way into the lore of Mrs M’s Handmade. Weather forecasts were much nicer for this weekend, so I had high hopes for my 3rd sojourn into Arizona.

New Ideas

  • I reserved a triple booth for this year … but Mrs M opted out. That left me solo for the weekend, and with a lot of space to fill. Since I only had a double canopy (the Saturday morning setup leaves NO TIME to put up the Trimline), I added tables in the “annex” that did not have a canopy over them.
  • Cheese cutters make their debut at this event. Made my first batch with Dr H’s help over the holidays.

Observations

  • The day started poorly. The load in started at 6am, and I was in position early. I was directed to line up in a parking lot across the street from the entrance … and then the event did not control which vehicles entered next. I hate being lied to. But, no big thing; I entered in plenty of time.
  • Once there, I parked the trailer and started unloading. I got yelled at almost immediately from someone that didn’t like the way I parked adjacent to my booth to unload. They were frustrated they couldn’t drive by the trailer … but the street just wasn’t wide enough for the big truck with duals and a 20′ trailer to get by me. They had to wait for me to unload. I hate getting yelled at by an idiot.
  • It was 6 in the morning. I was yelled at for no good reason. So, yes, he was an idiot.
  • Once I was unloaded, I moved the trailer to the parking lot. I followed the rules – but this event is pretty much a free for all. That’s the problem: lack of control by the organizers. In my opinion.
  • She said: “Cheese cutters. I love it. You never see these anymore.” And I’m thinking … I better keep making these.
  • He said: “Do you give lessons?” Uh, no. And, I’m from LA, so….
  • She said: “That’s a nice cheese slicer. And, I’m from Wisconsin, so I know cheese slicers.” I smiled.
  • This proved to be a good weekend, and as successful an event as you can expect in February. I left a deposit for next year.

The Food

  • Best Meal: This trip was not about the food. At all. The menu was cold bagels for breakfast, ham sandwiches for lunch & TV dinners in the hotel room. My only plan was minimizing expenses.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 628
  • Booth cost: $320
  • Food cost: $92
  • Travel cost: $354
  • Total sales: $2,299
  • Net Revenue (does not include product cost): $1,533
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 0
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: 0
  • Saturday alarm: 5a
  • Sunday alarm: none
  • # transactions: 34
  • # soap & lotion vendors: no clue
  • # woodworking vendors: no clue
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 33:1
  • Returning next year? Yes

Boards sold: 34

  • Trivets: 5x
  • Signs: 5x
  • Coaster Set: 5x
  • Cheese Slicers: 5x
  • Hearts: 3x
  • Clipboard: 1
  • Lazy Susans: 2
  • Cutting Boards: 3
  • Cheese Boards: 2
  • Cribbage Boards: 2
  • Small Boards: 1



The Board Chronicles: Claremont Pie 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.

** ** **

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!

** ** **

For 2 years running, I’ve been approached at the Claremont Village Venture event in October to do this event in March. Last year didn’t work, but this year the event did fit on the calendar, so ….

It’s always seemed like foodie events should be a natural for me. I haven’t found success at drinking events (the Winter Wine Walk in Ventura comes to mind), and the results from the Chili Cook-off and Bar B Q events have been spotty, to say the least.

But I like pie. I’m going to Claremont.

New Ideas

  • Not new … more of a back to basics idea. I’m doing a 10×10 booth with no games. Only cutting boards, serving pieces and a few signs.

Observations

  • The vendor info packet announced that a fire extinguisher was required in the booth. A check will be done, it promised.
  • ’twasn’t.
  • Very nice little event, it seems. Maybe 40 vendors. I’m in booth 201, right next to the alleyway exit from the Wells Fargo parking lot, I’m told. Sounds like a corner space.
  • It was, but only until they set up the canopy, tables & sound system for the bands that played next to me all day. They were acoustic with some amplification, but I did have to talk over the, uh, music.
  • One performer was a ukelele band. They were the loudest. Kind of fun, actually, once you got past the pronounced amateur status of the performers.
  • The event was on a pretty tight side street … Once booths were up on both sides, there was only room for about 4 people to walk down the aisle side by side. Or, that would be a couple going in each direction. That’s it. Baby strollers, Roll-ators, motorized chairs … it got interesting when the crowd thickened. Which it did: good crowd flow all day long.
  • I was immediately in front of my booth, talking to a customer about the Carnivore Boards, when a motorized chair ran into the cardboard trash can and pushed it into me, knocking me off balance. No big thing, really, but illustrative of the crowded conditions in the aisle.
  • I stayed in my booth.
  • Where I belong.
  • Lots of traffic. Sales didn’t break any records (I hate doing so few transactions in a 6 hour event!), but certainly proved to be worth my while.

The Food

  • Best Meal: Only left-overs for dinner. I’ll take Velda’s Beef Bourguignon anytime.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 130
  • Booth cost: $125
  • Food cost: $13
  • Travel cost: $68
  • Total sales: $1,096
  • Net Revenue (does not include product cost): $890
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 0
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: 1
  • Saturday alarm: 4:55a
  • # transactions: 8
  • # soap & lotion vendors: no clue
  • # woodworking vendors: no clue
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 15:1
  • Returning next year? Yes, if the schedule allows

Boards sold: 16

  • Trivets: 4
  • Cheese Slicers: 3
  • Serving Pieces: 2
  • Carnivore Boards: 2
  • Cutting Board: 1
  • Magic Knife Holder: 1
  • Sous Chef Board: 1
  • Lazy Susan: 1
  • Coaster Set: 1

The Board Chronicles: Good Old Days 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.

** ** **

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!

** ** **

I like trying new events … but they are often high risk.

Such was the case with the 62nd Annual Good Old Days in Pacific Grove, CA. I couldn’t find a vendor that had tried the event, and the information I did get was primarily from the Chamber of Commerce, whose job it is to promote tourism!

I decided to take a chance.

30,000+ in attendance was promised. And that number of people may have been there. Somewhere.

Today, I can state with certainty that the vast majority of them never found my booth. As we shall see, that was no small task….

New Ideas

  • New events are always difficult: you have to figure out everything. This event was made more difficult because the street names changed near the downtown area where this event was set up … and every direction I received in writing as well as in person was not correct.

Observations

  • While I was trying to follow those directions, I got trapped with the trailer between a couple of kiddy rides … getting out was not pretty. Good directions would have been so, so helpful.
  • By the time I found booths 212 and 213, I was not a happy camper. But, I unloaded the trailer, parked & got to work.
  • My neighbor was some sort of chiropractor, I think. In any event, they placed their Honda generator right behind my booth.
  • I wasn’t going to catch a break at this event.
  • Community events can be very, very good … or they can be without value to out of town vendors like me. Such was the case here: it was a waste of my time. Sales didn’t get over $1,000, and I’m *never* happy with that.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 623
  • Booth cost: $570
  • Food cost: $124
  • Travel cost: $230
  • Total sales: $879
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 0
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: 0
  • # transactions: 12 (see the problem?)
  • # soap & lotion vendors: no clue
  • # woodworking vendors: no clue
  • Returning next year? Never

Boards sold: 12

  • Surfboards: 2
  • Cheese Slicer: 1
  • Cutting Boards: 2
  • Trivet: 1
  • Cribbage Board: 1
  • California Bear: 1
  • Sign: 1
  • Chess Board: 1
  • Lazy Susan: 1
  • Magic Knife Holder: 1

Last Ones   Leave a comment

It’s been a long year, and in many ways, a difficult one. Not in the shop so much … it’s when I venture out of the shop that bad things happen. Sometimes.

But, good news, I’m not leaving the shop for a while. That’s good: I can do some interesting work if I just give myself enough creative time!

I’ll be working on a few shop upgrades (FINALLY) over the next couple of weeks, as well as finishing up the last few boards that didn’t make it to the finish line. I have about 30 pieces in process including bread saws, cutting boards, cribbage boards and a, uh, new piece of wall decor. They all need a bit more attention, but that’s for another day. Thankfully.

Here’s the latest, and last 2019 treats, to make it to the finish line.

Yes, I Do Custom Work   Leave a comment

Yes, I personalize. Yes, I can customize. But, as the sign in the booth says, “Quickly? Maybe. Or Not.”

I can do things well, or I can do them quickly. It’s my goal to never move quickly if that compromises the work.

One of these pieces required a new technique: the cutting board, that was a wedding gift for Jaclyn & Spencer, had to have the board on the front edge carved on the CNC, and THEN I assembled the board. After the glue-up, I still had to do shaping & smoothing without damaging the personalization. Love the result, but it did take time to get it right. This was not a rush order for a last minute gift!

These pieces range from the aforementioned wedding gift to home decor to business gifts to special gifts for friends that have moved to the other side of the world. These special gifts are often a challenge to make, candidly. They always require special handling. But, I love the smiles on the faces of happy customers when they choose me to be the guy that makes their idea come to life.

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