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The Board Chronicles: KHTS 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.

First, a note about my long absence from writing these Chronicles.

I’ve been busy. I’ve been behind.

Way, Way Behind.

Way.

I have resolved to catch up, though, and one way to not get farther behind is to not let more events pile up in my “I have to write about this” pile.

This is my 5th time doing the KHTS Home & Garden Show … and it’s their 10th Annual show. It’s my home town. It’s a radio-sponsored event. It’s also city-sponsored; their Arbor Day celebration is a big part of this event which takes place in Santa Clarita’s Central Park … Soccer Fields # 7 & 8, if I remember correctly from my refereeing days.

You bet I’m there.

New Ideas

  • It just seems like a new idea … Mrs M joined me at the event! This is the first Mrs M event since December.
  • Lots of new products here for me: Cheese Slicers, Magic Knife Holders, Clocks, CNC Signs, Cribbage Boards, Card Boxes, Charcuterie Boards….

Observations

  • I was behind (remember?), so I was finishing product on Friday morning instead of setting up. It was a lovely day, this Friday. It got up to 85*. So, that’s when I finally got to do the setup. When it was the heat of the day.
  • And this is our largest setup: the Trimline 10×20 canopy + a 10×10 pop-up Undercover canopy. Yes, for the 3rd year we did a 10×30 at this hometown show, in an “L” shape. My solo setup was 4+ hours in the heat.
  • I did as much as I could stand, and then stopped. No awnings for this event. I just didn’t have it in me.
  • The event starts with the Arbor Day celebration, complete with free tree giveaway to several hundred people (no clue how many … but it was a lot of trees). Those seeking free stuff didn’t seem to be my customers, but there was lots of early traffic. Lots.
  • In spite of the seemingly good traffic … we were down to prior year. Down 13%, the tally showed. Maybe Sunday….
  • The headline of this event for me was legacy. I had 4 different people come to the booth, tell me that they came to the event just to order something from me, and then proceeded to do so. 4 special orders at one event, all caused by people knowing I would be there … that’s never happened before.
  • Legacy.
  • Sunday started slowly, as all Sundays seem to. A couple of the special orders happened, then a big board sold … but it seemed like we were going to be short again. Then a large special order came in right at closing, which was great.
  • Then a couple of vendors came over after closing and picked up smaller boards. That’s what did it.

Best. Santa. Clarita. Event. Ever.

  • By $4. We beat last year by $4.

The Food

  • Best Meal: Lunches at this event were from the food trucks that KHTS brings in, and they do well. There were 10 trucks, so there was lots of choices. Definitely recommended.
  • Honorable Mention: I had to go out early Sunday morning to buy groceries (!), so I stopped at Jimmy Dean’s for a breakfast burrito. Delish.
  • Worst Meal: We tried to go to Marston’s at 8p on Sunday … but they closed early due to lack of business (the manager said that!), so we ended up at Wolf Creek. I was very disappointed … the pasta I had was Oh So Bland. We may not be back … until the next Sunday 8p dinner. Options are limited at that time, we’ve found.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 18
  • Total sales: $2,690
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 3
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: many
  • Saturday alarm: 4:45a
  • Sunday alarm: nope
  • # transactions: 49
  • # soap & lotion vendors: there were 5, which is too many for an event this size. One soaper came by & told Mrs M that Mrs M’s display last year is what inspired her to get serious about making soap!
  • # woodworking vendors: Several. Everyone does different types of work, though.
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 20:2
  • Returning next year? Yes

Boards sold: 22

  • Special Orders: 4
  • Hearts: 3
  • Cutting Boards: 3
  • Surfboards: 2
  • Trivets: 2
  • Coaster Sets: 2
  • CNC Sign: 1
  • Small Board: 1
  • Cheese Board: 1
  • Large Serving Piece: 1

The Board Chronicles: KHTS Home & Garden Show   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.

KHTS Home & Garden Show LogoAfter several years resident at the Valencia Hyatt – which had been outgrown in more ways than one – KHTS (my hometown station!) decided to do a major upgrade with their Home & Garden show.

KHTS partnered with the city of Santa Clarita to incorporate their Arbor Day celebration, and then with that support moved the event to Santa Clarita’s Central Park. Attendance of 12,000+ was expected to see the big show, maybe get a free tree, and enjoy some Southern California blue skies.

New Ideas

  • The “home & garden” vendors were moved to 4 large tents on the edge of the park, next to the food trucks. The other vendors – some with their own shade structures, and some with event-supplied canopies – were behind the 4 large tents. Lots of activity going on here, from a climbing wall for adventuresome kids to a quilt show to city-sponsored tree giveaways. This event goes big, so we felt right at home.
  • With the event 3.5 miles from home, we were. I reffed a lot of AYSO soccer on this field. Unfortunately, the grass was better before the drought restricted our municipal grass watering so severely. Didn’t like the dust blowing in the wind throughout Friday. And Saturday. And Sunday.
  • Last year, my booth location was in a photogenic garden area at the hotel: KHTS kept it as exclusive handmade area. My neighbors were local, handmade, and mutually supportive. Very nice. This year, the handmade booths were lost in a sea of vendors. Handmade vendors were in our area, but my closest neighbors included Pampered Chef (buy & sell), a hat vendor (cheap import buy & sell), a BBQ rub maker (local!), a pet supplies vendor (buy & sell), the SCV Domestic Violence Center (community group), a lending library (community group), and a clothes vendor (buy & sell). Of that batch, only the rub maker was handmade. Not so homey.
  • Last year, it was just my boards & me. This year, Mrs M’s Handmade was there with all of her products. FWIW, come to find out.

Observations

  • I love local.
  • My gosh, it was windy for setup on Friday! We had gusts of 20+ MPH while we were putting product on tables … and then we stopped. Too much dust in the air, and too much air movement, for that matter. Setting up on Friday allowed Mrs M to help (as she had the day off), but it wasn’t very successful due to the wind.
  • On the other hand, I had to return home for a table that I forgot to bring as well as a rubber gasket to repair the scrub wash station. Then, after I was home, I had to return to the booth for a forgotten cell phone. Good thing it was local! (sigh)
  • We go big. It’s how we do. And when we go big these days, we really don’t fit in the Jeep + the Honda. And soap is coming. We need a trailer.
  • We were there at 8:30a on Saturday and were not allowed into the booth area to unload the Jeep. We were directed to vendor parking, with no appeal possible. I hate it when events don’t follow their own rules (which had offered close-to-the-booth area access until 9am for a 10am start).
  • Little Girl helped with setup Saturday morning, and was in the booth all weekend. She told me I couldn’t write about her unique approach to prep for the event, but then I forgot what she told me I couldn’t blog about. I asked her to remind me, and then she didn’t tell me not to write about her reminding me that she painted her toenails in the booth before we opened.
  • Freedom of the press is a thing … though I don’t have a press; I just have electrons.
  • Mrs M was “working” this weekend at her “job.” She said.
  • Several former customers approached me over the weekend – several while I was talking to new customers – and gushed about how much they & their loved ones love their board(s) and how much the new customers will enjoy having their boards. Totally unsolicited, totally heartfelt, and oh, so gratifying to help people that love my hobby.
  • I love local.
  • Home & Garden shows, in my vast experience of 2, appear to have limited appeal for Mrs M’s products. There were several lotion vendors here this weekend, but our results indicate they may not have invested wisely. For our part, my boards outsold Mrs M by a wide, wide margin, in spite of the fact we were at a big Santa Clarita event!
  • A young lady (who, come to find out, went to high school with Little Girl) was playing with a flying disc (definitely not a Frisbee) with her ?nephew? or ?little brother?, when a wind gust sent it onto the roof of one of the large tents, and out of reach. Little Girl went to the rescue with the long arm of our awning adjuster, and with a slightly taller young man helping, the disc was rescued. People helping people. Community. A good thing.
  • I was asked for puzzles (that’s a new one), charcuterie boards (wow, two weekends in a row!), chess boards (of course) and toaster tongs. That’s a new one, too.

The Food

Saturday Breakfast: Bagels & cream cheese that tasted like strawberries, as Mrs M was making very fragrant strawberry lip scrub & lavender body scrub as I was eating. And then I helped her with the packaging so we’d have the new scrubs for Saturday sales.

Saturday Lunch: In & Out, courtesy of the hockey player. It’s a SoCal thing (the burgers, not the hockey so much. But, GO KINGS!).

Saturday Snack: never thought about it.

Payton if 4 - 03Saturday Dinner: Miss P’s 4th birthday party, complete with chicken tacos and some delectable bean dip made with chorizo. Dessert was a unique skirt cake, since we live in a Barbie world. Or, she does, at least. After dinner, Party Barbie was passed out cold on the floor, so Dr Barbie was trying to identify the problem with her stethoscope. Or that’s what it looked like, at least. All was good in the Barbie world.

Sunday Breakfast: Mrs M’s breakfast burritos. The best in town.

Sunday Lunch: A delectable grilled chicken, portobello mushroom & cheese combo on an Asiago cheese ciabatta roll. A great lunch from the Keep On Grubbin’ food truck.

Sunday Snack: Cookies from the Paradise food truck.

Sunday Dinner: Asian chicken wraps from Velda. A good day’s end.

The Facts

  • 2015: The Board Chronicles: KHTS-AM 1220 Home & Garden Show
  • Total miles driven: 82
  • Booth cost: $425
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 3
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: 4
  • Total sales: $1,922
  • # containers of product taken: 22
  • # boards available: 145
  • Saturday alarm: none
  • Sunday alarm: none
  • # transactions: 393
  • # soap & lotion vendors: several. I saw 3 buy & sell corporate types as well as one soaper and one retailer that was, uh, difficult to ID.
  • # woodworking vendors: 2 turners, one scroll saw artist, one patio furniture maker and me.
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 24:2
  • Returning next year? Definitely. Mrs M may opt out, though….

Boards sold: 26

Small Sous Chef Boards: 6

Bottle Openers: 5

Cheese Boards: 4

Small Boards: 3

Cutting Boards: 3

Large Surfboards: 2

Large Sous Chef Boards: 1

Lazy Susan: 1

Large Cutting Boards: 1

 

 

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