Archive for the ‘holiday boutique’ Tag

The Board Chronicles: VHS Choir Holiday Boutique 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.

This event has become one of our favorite events. We’ve done it every year! I didn’t publish The Board Chronicles in 2014 when we first did the event, but you can read about the rest here: 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. The event happens the 2nd weekend of December.

This event has what I like best about doing local events in Santa Clarita:

  • It supports arts education
  • I’m home after the event before the booth is struck at a typical event
  • The choir members do the heavy lifting for me
  • There’s an award-winning choir singing during the event
  • I see a lot of friends at this event every year

New Ideas

  • This is the ONLY table top event we are doing this year. We have 20′ of tables, and that’s it. In my typical solo booth, I have 46′ of tables just for me.

Observations

  • There are a small number of tables at this event, so it can be difficult to get into. I’m fortunate that we’ve been here for a few years … and we get the same tables every year. I love that.
  • Mrs M showed up on Saturday to help run the booth. Who knew? She had fun seeing her clients, as did I. Events like this one, in our hometown, are about legacy. It’s always good to see your friends … including those that used to be a Cub Scout in Pack 575, and now have families of their own.
  • Love. That.
  • In 2018, this event had record sales. We did not expect to repeat that this year, as we had just been at the Saugus Boutique, and didn’t expect to repeat the success of last year.
  • We were wrong.
  • Record sales. Again.
  • Note that most of our sales were of new products: Cheese Slicers, Cracker Things and Garlic Dipping Boards. Innovation is key!
  • This event just works for us. It’s a couple of weeks before Christmas, which makes it ideal for local people to find us for their holiday shopping. We had some appointment sales, we had people that knew we would be there because of this website … and it worked.
  • You bet we’ll be back in 2020.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 12
  • Booth cost: $200
  • Food cost: $25
  • Travel cost: 0
  • Total sales: $2,049
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 1
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: many
  • Saturday alarm: 6:30a
  • Sunday alarm: none
  • # soap & lotion vendors: 1 other soaper
  • # woodworking vendors: none that do what I do … but someone was there selling signs, and another doing wine barrel stave coat hangers. A third was selling wooden animal puzzles that were scroll saw work.
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 18:0
  • Returning next year? yes

Boards sold: 18

Cheese Slicers: 5

Cracker Things: 5

Serving Pieces: 3

Garlic Dipping Boards: 4

Surfboard: 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: Boutique Fantastique 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.

Home.

This is the heritage holiday boutique in Santa Clarita.

The PTSO takes over the gym (after the basketball team relinquishes ownership at 5pm Friday). The PTSO then spreads tarps over the entire floor, tapes out the spaces for 100+ vendor booths and tries to get home before midnight.

The next morning, the gates open for load in at 6:30am. As vendors drive up to the gym, they are met by hordes of students there to support the event that funds many scholarships. This is the biggest school event that we’ve encountered, and it’s a joy to be there.

Our 3 kids graduated from Saugus High … and this event raises over $10,000 each year for the SHS scholarship fund.

You bet we want to be support this event. What’s not to like?

This event has really never been a slam dunk success for us (2017, 2016, 2015), but it’s perfect in every non-financial way: we sleep in our own bed. The event is 3 miles from home. We see a LOT of familiar faces, have found a multitude of local, year-round supporters, and have fostered a great number of friendships at this event.

We’re in. No doubt.

New Ideas

  • Velda traveled to spend a week with her mother, returning on the night before this event. She anticipated she might be, uh, challenged to stay awake during the boutique, so she elected to do a (somewhat) smaller presentation, limited to her traditional wooden display on a 6′ table. Therefore, she “gave” me the other space in the booth so I could have more than just a 10×10.
  • Since this was a unique set up, I did a floorplan for how we could best use the 10×20 space. I identified the number of tables we would need: 10. Then, I only brought 9. I’ve never brought too few tables to an event before.
  • Making their debut at this event for me were Cheese Slicers, Garlic Dipping Boards, Carnivore Boards, Cribbage Boards, CNC Signs and the just-produced, aptly named Cracker Things. It appears I’ve been busy since our last appearance at Boutique Fantastique!

Observations

  • This event is a well-oiled machine right now. I arrived at the parking lot at 5:45a to line up for the gate to open. There are about 10 unloading slots (and only 2 for a trailer), so you have to wait to get in. Once you’re in, there are MANY students to carry your gear to your booth space while you go park your car. I was unloading at 6:30a, parked at 7a, and began set up with Mrs M.
  • It took all of 3 hours this morning. We had a unique set up, with mesh walls, the Trimline framework, 9 tables … and I stacked 9 containers to mimic my 10th table. Covered the containers with a table cloth, and it worked well. Hmmmmmmm.
  • Back story: Mrs M hates it when I put multiple copies of the same sign up for sale. I generally do this with 2 signs: “Why Limit HAPPY To An Hour?” and “The Answer is BEER. No One Cares What The Question Was.” I put up different colors of each sign; I make about 6 versions of each. HAPPY and BEER are always gold, but the other copy could be red, blue (2 shades), green (2 shades), black or purple.
  • Mrs M hates it when I post all of those copies on the walls. Today, with the ticking clock measuring our set up time, she was right to observe that putting up multiple copies would spend time I might not have to get the signs up before our opening at 10a.
  • I put up just 2 of each.
  • First question of the day: “Do you have more of these?
  • Second question of the day: “What other colors do you have?”
  • Yes, I did say I told you so. Who could blame me?
  • Well, we know who could, and who did.
  • Fabulous weather for this event: mid-80s both days. And I do know that Californians love to do their holiday shopping when it’s in the 80s.
  • This event blew up on Saturday; I had my best day ever at Boutique Fantastique. Was it because my display was bigger? Because we were absent last year? Because all of my swell new products (which were the top sellers)? No clue. I had a good day. A very good day. Most vendors reported strong sales.
  • Mrs M, on the other hand, had a slow weekend. Not a good combination with her jet lag.
  • Were her sales down because of the smaller display? Because she didn’t put price tags up on Saturday? Because our neighbor put a big furry waterfall of clothing outside of her booth, blocking the view to Mrs M’s display? There’s no way to know. But maybe next year….
  • Cracker Things were a hit. # 1 comment from multiple ladies in the booth: “Those are cute!”
  • I take that as a win.
  • I generally assume I’ll sell no cutting boards this weekend, which has been basically true in the past. This is probably because the students are selling their work by the front door, and every Mom/Cousin/Aunt has to buy the board that their student made. That’s all good. This year, though, I sold 4x cutting boards, all of which were bigger sizes than the students make.
  • I take that as a win.
  • Load out was smooth. Mrs M and I got the merchandise put away, then she went home to nap. Students showed up to help me do the rest, and the work moved quickly as other vendors left and I gained more help. When I went to go move the trailer to the loading zone, 100% of my gear was on the curb waiting when I drove up. 4 guys helped me load … and I was home 2 hours after the Boutique closed.
  • HUGE win. HUGE.

The Food

  • Best Meal: The youngest Mrs M, AKA MrsMowry, joined us for dinner with her beau, AKA the Engineer, on Saturday night. The Mrs M’s collaborated and stirred up a pasta surprise. The Mr M’s watched football and drank whiskey.
  • Honorable Mention: I forget how good Jersey Mike’s sandwiches are. They sell 4″ subs at the Boutique, and that was my lunch both days.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 24
  • Booth cost: $275
  • Food cost: $24
  • Travel cost: $0
  • Total sales: $3,035
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 3
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: 0
  • Saturday alarm: 5a
  • Sunday alarm: nope
  • # transactions: we had a good Saturday, but Sunday was slow. Too slow for jet-lagged Mrs M
  • # soap & lotion vendors: 2 other vendors were “soap adjacent”
  • # woodworking vendors: several vendors had wooden objects on display, but the only real “competitor” I had was the high school woodshop, which sells small student-made cutting boards to fund wood purchases for the program. I am a supporter.
  • Returning next year? Yup.

Boards sold: 34

  • Cutting Boards: 4
  • Cracker Thing: 8
  • Cheese Slicers: 6
  • CNC Signs: 3
  • Lazy Susans: 3
  • Surfboard: 1
  • Garlic Dipping Boards: 5
  • Trivets: 2
  • Special Order: 1
  • Heart: 1
  • Cheese Board: 1

The Board Chronicles: Carpinteria Museum of Natural History Holiday Boutique 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.

In the continuing saga of how far behind am I, here’s one part of that. So, from Carpinteria:

We have done this event 3 times … and had a no call no show one year due to weather. It was going to rain, 100% … and I just didn’t have it in me. But, I digress.

This event is the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. It’s sponsored by Carpinteria’s Museum of Natural History, which sponsors a monthly swap meet on its grounds. In November, though, it transforms into a handmade event.

Sort of.

But, we like Carpinteria. The weather can be outstanding … as it was for us in 2014 and 2015. I tried something else in 2017 … and decided to go back in 2018. Mistake?

New Ideas

  • We have a double booth, but we’re committed to not taking the trailer. The booth location in the back of the museum is just not workable for a trailer. Since we can’t get a street/front booth space, we’re driving separately.
  • I don’t like doing single day events, so this is a rare one for us. Thank goodness. Drive 70 miles, set up, do the event, load out, drive home. A full day of fun.

Observations

  • We felt the legacy of being at this event almost immediately. It’s good for people to remember you. It’s even better when they buy again.
  • A Lady asked me, “Are you the one with the sense of humor?”
  • Uh…. Sure. That’s me. Funny guy.
  • There were an incredible 6 woodworkers at this small neighborhood event. One guy was selling small cutting boards for $10. Uh huh.
  • At the end of the day, it wasn’t much of a buying crowd. Competitive pricing was brutal (even if the quality of work wasn’t). Other vendors also had a tough day at this event in 2018.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 280
  • Booth cost: $200
  • Food cost: $8
  • Total sales: $412
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 1
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: a few
  • Saturday alarm: 4a
  • # transactions: 21
  • # soap & lotion vendors: a few
  • # woodworking vendors: more than a few
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: nope
  • Returning next year? nope

Boards sold: 2

Small Boards: 2

 

The Board Chronicles: VHS Choir Holiday Boutique 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.

Yes, I’m behind. So, so behind. I’m working on it, though, and that’s why I’m publishing these event reviews from months ago. Hope you agree that they’re still worth it.

The Valencia High Choir sponsors an annual Holiday Boutique as a fundraiser for their award winning choir.

The choir sings Christmas carols during the event. In costume.

What’s not to love?

New Ideas

  • Nope. We’ve been here, done this … and we love it. One of our favorite events.

Observations

  • Set up is always easy, with choir kids there to do the heavy lifting. Love. This.
  • This event is unique: Friday sales during the school day, so faculty, staff & students have easy access to the boutique. Saturday hours are provided for the general public. Some vendors complain about the Friday hours, but the event works for us.
  • We missed our other favorite high school fundraiser (Saugus High’s Boutique Fantastique) in 2018 due to a death in the family. Luckily, many of our legacy customers that missed us in November found us at this December event … so we had record sales.
  • It’s good to have a back-up.
  • I love hometown events.

The Food

  • Best Meal: We ate at home. Always the best.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 18
  • Booth cost: $200
  • Food cost: nope
  • Travel cost: nope
  • Total sales: $1,837
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 1
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: many
  • # transactions: 71
  • # soap & lotion vendors: one other soaper, and a lotion vendor as well. But nobody does handmade like Mrs M. IMHO.
  • # woodworking vendors: just me
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 12:1
  • Returning next year? Absolutely

Boards sold: 13

Special Orders: 4

Cutting Boards: 3

Cheese Board: 1

CNC Signs: 3

Trivets: 2

 

The Board Chronicles: Trailer Park Holiday Boutique 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 brief note about timing: I am BEHIND. This event happened last December, and I’m just now getting to blogs from the 4th quarter. My apologies to my loyal readers. Draw your own conclusions about why I’m so, so far behind. Meanwhile … from Hollywood:

This is an office boutique.

Trailer Park is a company that makes trailers … for movies. Clearly, they have a sense of humor.

After all, they invited me to their holiday boutique.

New Ideas

  • Nope. Did this last year; doing it again.
  • This is a table top event. I have 2 tables, plus a grid I borrowed from my good friend Jan to display a few signs.

Observations

  • Urban events are a pain. Parking. Elevators. Congestion. Nice host, though.
  • Mrs M had an OK day … Mr M didn’t. I sold one sign.
  • Ultimately, this is a low impact, low cost event. The sales were poor though; it wasn’t worth my time in the end.

The Food

  • Best Meal: Pizza take-out for lunch. Winner.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 74
  • Booth cost: $11
  • Food cost: $9
  • Travel cost: $40
  • Total sales: $156
  • Net Revenue (does not include product cost): $96
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 1
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: many
  • # transactions: 8
  • # soap & lotion vendors: 2
  • # woodworking vendors: just me
  • Returning next year? nope

Boards sold: 1

 

CNC Sign 18 – 116 Why Limit Happy

The Board Chronicles: VHS Softball Holiday Boutique 2017   2 comments

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.

I blame Velda.

Of course.

This event came at us late, after we’d booked our 4th quarter. It’s a first time event.

It’s a rule: Don’t. Do. First. Time. Events.

But, the organizer did help us get into the Boutique Fantastique at Saugus High 4 years ago, and she definitely wanted us to be a part of her new event that’s a fundraiser for the Valencia High softball team.

But it’s on a bad date, just 9 days before Christmas and halfway through Hanukkah (too late for holiday shopping, right?).

Oh, and they’re getting seventy (70) vendors for this first time event. That’s way too many unless the crowd is enormous.

For a first time event.

And, did I mention, Velda had to work at her “job” this weekend? So, I would be solo at the event.

However, she said to do it. It fit on the calendar. What was I supposed to do?

I know: just do the event and get it over with.

New Ideas

  • We teamed up with our friend Nicole, who makes lovely ceramics. She made 2 versions of soap dishes, which are now offered for the first time by Mrs M.
  • 6:30a load-in, and Mrs M took pity on me. She’ll help me set up, and then leave do go to her “job.” I appreciate the help, truly.
  • I have no expectations for this event. Well, I want to cover costs, certainly, but beyond that … no expectations. I’ve stated sales could be anywhere between $500 and $1,500. I don’t care. No expectations.
  • Gretchen Wilson, who hales from Pocahontas, IL, said it very well: “I’m here for the party.”

Observations

  • Event # 15 of 15 in our 4th quarter.
  • Sunday about 6p, it’ll be party time. But until then … back to business.
  • Can I nominate the graphic for this event as the worst of the year? They need a little bit of Christmas spirit to go with their mascot. Or, perhaps, instead of their mascot. IMHO.
  • Sports marketing is not my thing, so I’ll concentrate on marketing something I know about … like lotion bars.
  • Load in was at 6:30a; I was there a few minutes early, and the organizer led me into parking right by the gym. Load in was as easy as it could be.
  • Except for the student volunteers … who didn’t arrive until 6:45a. Don’t know why their call time wasn’t at 6:15a, but I don’t make the rules. I was mostly loaded in before the volunteers offered to help me.
  • In the end, load in was easy, and Mrs M helped with set up as much as she could.
  • The event started at 10a, and I had customers that came to see me fill the opening hours. It was 12n before I could look at the clock. Sales were not brisk, but I was busy helping people. Far beyond my expectations, luckily.
  • I finally got lunch at 1p, and was promptly ‘whelmed again by ladies clamoring for lotion bars. Happy to help; my sandwich had to wait.
  • Mostly, the aisles were empty. My neighbor hadn’t made her booth fee at the end of Saturday. Some did OK, others were frustrated. I was just happy that the party was coming.
  • Sunday, the aisles were empty. As expected.
  • Vendors started disappearing Saturday night, actually; not all returned for Sunday. Some vendors had started packing at 2p on Sunday, which is sad. The event wasn’t generating many sales, true, but when vendors start to leave any customers that are there just see “over.” The rules were clear: don’t leave before 4p, or you won’t be asked back. I wonder if the organizers were, uh, organized enough – and have the backbone – to enforce that rule.
  • My last customer came to the booth and bought several gift bags from Mrs M … at 4:03pm. We never leave early.
  • Load out was about like load in: Mrs M helped, thankfully. Student volunteers were absent, though one Dad did help us quite a bit. I was surprised that this event, conceived as a large money maker for the softball team, did not have the full support of the team, the coaches & parents. Perhaps they’d like to return to the mandatory selling of tickets to a different fundraiser, as they’ve done in year’s past?
  • Our “success” at this event was driven by repeat customers coming to find us, often at our specific invitation. That’s why we had the sales that we did.
  • Remember how I said sales could be from $500 to $1,500? We ended up near the high end of that range, because of our legacy customers. Had we relied on the customers brought by the promoter, we would have been near the low end of the range … and only achieved that because the other vendors were so bored, they went shopping in Mrs M’s booth. Thankfully.

Addition, 12/18/17

The Signal covered the event, complete with a picture of me and another of Mrs M’s products. They didn’t identify me well, nor did I even know the Signal was photographing me! In any event, here’s the link.

The Food

Saturday Breakfast: Bagels & cream cheese, at home.

Saturday Lunch: Jersey Mike’s small sub … not enough.

Saturday Snack: Nope.

Saturday Dinner: Backyard Grub & Brew. New place, to me, and well worth the visit. I had short ribs. Yum.

Sunday Breakfast: Santa Clarita’s 2nd best breakfast burrito, from Jimmy Dean’s

Sunday Lunch: The Heart Attack sandwich from the smoked meat vendor that was outside. It was better than average … not great.

Sunday Snack: Mrs M gave me a can of nuts to eat, so I did.

Sunday Dinner: We we went to a new place, Mama’s Table, for comfort food. We were about the only people there, but the food was good. Definitely recommended.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 12
  • Booth cost: $210
  • Food cost: $16
  • Travel cost: $9
  • Total sales: $1,291
  • Net Revenue (does not include product cost): $1,056
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 1
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: several
  • Saturday alarm: 5:15a
  • Sunday alarm: nope
  • # transactions: 35
  • # soap & lotion vendors: one other, who was doing the “organic, natural” thing.
  • # woodworking vendors: 2 others. 1 was making American flags in various derivations, and the other was a first-timer making cutting boards.
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 10:0
  • Returning next year? maybe

Boards sold: 10

Trivets: 4

Custom Order: 1

Lazy Susan: 2

Magic Bottle Opener: 1

Cheese Board: 1

Large Cheese & Cracker Server: 1

 

The Final Pieces For 2017   Leave a comment

Well … not quite.

These are the last pieces I made to sell this year, but there are a few more special orders that will be completed by Christmas.

I promised.

There will also be a couple that may not be done until New Years … that’s OK, that was promised, as well.

But back to this potpourri of wooden things.

I started with lumber, and ended up here. These pieces were actually finished over the last few weeks. But, I didn’t have time to photograph, process and publish them, until now.

Since there’s only one event left this year – the Valencia High Softball Boutique & Silent Auction, December 16 & 17 at Valencia High – I don’t expect these pieces to sell this year. Here, you’ll see chess boards, lazy Susans, cutting boards, cheese boards and small boards.

That’s good: I’ll need something for next year, when this all starts up again.

But that’s a worry for another day. Please enjoy the latest pieces to make it out of the Woodshop!

The Board Chronicles: Trailer Park Holiday Boutique 2017   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.

Trailer Park is a company you’ve probably never heard of … but you’ve seen their work. This company makes movie trailers, and also does in-theater marketing (the posters & stand-up pieces that you see in the theater).

They open their cafeteria up in December to do a holiday boutique for their employees, and I was invited to take my stuff, and Mrs M’s stuff, to the boutique.

The office is in downtown Hollywood – opposite the Chinese Theater – so traffic was a challenge. It was especially so, given that the new Star Wars movie opens tomorrow, and workers were on Hollywood Boulevard rolling out the red carpet on the afternoon of this event. I walked through the chaos that is Hollywood & Highland, and took a couple of pictures of what was going on:

From the cafeteria window, I could see the Chinese Theater courtyard that had C3PO & R2D2 posing for pictures. The area was blocked off … and security was handled by 2 storm troopers. Good choice, that.

It’s just another day in Hollywood.

New Ideas

  • A double table top display on a Thursday afternoon in an office … haven’t done that before!
  • I showed up in the loading zone behind the building, and Trailer Park sent escorts with rolling carts to take everything up in the elevator. They were required to “badge” the elevator so it would go to the 7th floor.

Observations

  • Event # 14 of 15 in our 4th quarter. I am so done.
  • I am so done.
  • I arrived on time (of course), but that was too early. They needed more time to clear the cafeteria from lunch so we could have the tables. No problem … I can set up in 45 minutes. I think.
  • I could.
  • Constant traffic, and small sales, as expected at an in-office event like this. Worth my time, probably, but no one is getting rich here.

The Food

Thursday Lunch: a peanut butter sandwich, on the road. Of course.

Thursday Snack: nope.

Thursday Dinner: Tomato rice soup & grilled cheese from Mrs M. Yum.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 52
  • Booth cost: $0
  • Food cost: $0
  • Travel cost: $27
  • Total sales: $402
  • Net Revenue (does not include product cost): $375
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 2
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: many
  • Saturday alarm: nope
  • # transactions: 13x
  • # soap & lotion vendors: One other, doing an all-natural presentation with bars selling for $14 (!).
  • # woodworking vendors: just me
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 4:1
  • Returning next year? maybe

Boards sold: 5

Small Boards: 2

Cheese Board: 1

Magic Bottle Opener: 1

Trivet: 1

The Board Chronicles: Congregation Beth Shalom Holiday Boutique 2017   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.

Congregation Beth Shalom is a Jewish synagogue and preschool here in Santa Clarita. They do a holiday boutique and book fair each year as a fundraiser for their preschool. There are about 20 vendors; we last did this event in 2015; read about that here.

They also do a spring boutique, but none of their events have fit on the calendar since 2 years ago.

New Ideas

  • Nothing new here … but it’s now unusual for us to do a table top event. We have pretty much left church boutiques behind, so this is an unusual Mrs M event in 2017.

Observations

  • Event # 13 of 15 in our 4th quarter. I need a nap.
  • Got one, after I finished sanding 9 more boards. And many more miles to go in the coming week, I assure you.
  • This is a family event. Elementary age children go to classes (“Sunday School?”) and the boutique happens for the parents – and kids – to shop as they go to & fro.
  • Lots of kids. And because it’s a safe, family environment, there are a lot of small children with limited supervision.
  • Small children love ZooSoapia. A little too much, in this case. On the other hand, ZooSoapia was our # 1 seller today, so whachagonnado?
  • He was about a 5th grader, I think. He wanted to buy a present for someone, but he didn’t have his credit card. He just had his smartphone … so he paid using Samsung Pay. He held his smartphone next to my reader, and they did an electronic handshake. Technology. Who knew?
  • This is a nice little event, and I really like the volunteer organizer that runs the event. On the other hand, we are trying to avoid one day events. If we actually follow our rule, “Go Big Or Stay Home,” there will be no repeat in 2018.

The Food

 

Sunday Breakfast: Peanut butter sandwich on the road.

Sunday Lunch: Grabbed a burger on the road home after the event.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 11
  • Booth cost: $100
  • Food cost: $10
  • Travel cost: $6
  • Total sales: $596
  • Net Revenue (does not include product cost): $480
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 1
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: Several
  • Sunday alarm: 5:45a
  • # transactions: 30
  • # soap & lotion vendors: One other, doing melt & pour … “Vegan All-natural.”
  • # woodworking vendors: just me
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 4:0
  • Returning next year? Doubtful.

Boards sold: 4

Large Cheese & Cracker Servers: 2

Magic Bottle Opener: 1

Custom Order: 1

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