Archive for the ‘Mr M’s Woodshop’ Tag

New signs   Leave a comment

These signs have been a total surprise to me.

Honest.

My goal was to decorate the booth. Add some color. A little sass. Personality. Verticality.

Apparently, I’ve done that. And while doing that, I’ve created another product category: CNC signs. This batch of 31 signs completes all but 1 that I have designed; I didn’t have enough wood to do that blank in this batch. What I have done is replaced all of those sold at the last event, and then some.

These signs include thoughts from some of the great philosophers of our society. Some of the great food experts of our society.

Hippocrates. Julia Child. Shakespeare. Mark Twain. Miss Piggy.

You get the picture.

All of these signs will be on display this weekend at the next event for Mr M’s Woodshop, the Camarillo Fiesta & Street Fair. No clue where my booth will be … so, look for my banner and find me!

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My Surprise: People Buy My Signs

The Rest Of The Litter   Leave a comment

I’m committed to the Pig Business.

It took me several decades to get there … but I believe in the power of the Pig.

Last weekend, I heard yet another story from a lady that had received her Pig cutting board from a relative, who gave them to everyone in the family.

She loved her Pig.

Though I can’t share in the love, I do understand. These are fun cutting boards, charcuterie boards, whatever … and there are family traditions of support for them.

I’ve met one lady who will only cut on Pig cutting boards, and she just ordered her second one from me. That one will be in a new, smaller size. I resisted that idea, at first … but pigs do come in many sizes.

And I’m in the pig business. This current batch came in a litter of 12, but only 6 were finished at a time. The first batch is linked below. Also linked below is the story of how I first got into the pig business, 50+ years ago. Enjoy!

Oh … and if you haven’t heard, I am running a Kickstarter campaign RIGHT NOW to help me expand the workshop’s capabilities. If you are interested in backing my campaign – and getting some cool stuff as a reward – then, please, click here: Handmade Cutting Boards & Wooden Serving Pieces.

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Half Of The Litter

A Litter Of Pigs

The Board Chronicles: 4th of July Street Fair 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.

It’s become our tradition.

This is our 4th year celebrating our nation’s independence through vendoring on Main Street in Ventura, CA. Read about the first 3 events here: 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Ventura’s a beach community, about an hour due west of our home in Santa Clarita. History has taught us that it’s definitely a great place for us to go a-vendoring.

We don’t do fireworks on the 4th, but we do watch the parade of Red, White & Blue go by our booth. It’s a wonderful thing.

New Ideas

  • I’m embracing my inner foodie. I’ve made a new batch of signs that are all food themed, and I’m going to put up all of my mesh walls so I can hang them. That means my traditional open corner that allows 2-sided viewing of cutting boards will go away … now, I’m using the open corner for sign display on the outside of the booth. That’s how a traditional 2D artist displays their work. Just sayin’.
  • The new worry: will curbing the cutting board display hurt those sales? Is trading sign display for cutting board visibility a bad thing?

Observations

  • Why do events always start at 4 in the morning?
  • On the road shortly after 5a. We can do this. We have done this.
  • We’ve got the routine pretty much down at this point. We arrived at the event at 6:10a, and both of our neighbors were already well into their set-ups. We were able to load in with a minimum of trouble. From there, it was a rush to set-up, because we know this is an early crowd. The 10am official start means nothing.
  • The signs are an immediate hit. 3 are sold before set-up is done.
  • I have no inventory to replace signs when they sell (sigh).
  • My neighbor, across the aisle, is a direct competitor for Mrs M with bath bombs, lotions, and such. Direct competitor. Apparently the promoter (the city of Ventura) does not care.
  • At all.
  • Such is the case at many city-sponsored events. They may know how to stage a vendor event, but that doesn’t mean they know/care about the subtleties of managing vendor relationships.
  • I had a manly encounter with a woodworker:
    • He walks into the booth.
    • He fondles a board.
    • He fondles another board.
    • He looks at me, smiles, nods.
    • I reciprocate with a smile and a nod.
    • He leaves.
    • We communicated everything we needed to communicate, right?
  • The stream of humanity by the booth was impressive. People are definitely here … but here to shop? Vendors always try to count shopping bags as they walk by the booth … and there are never enough, it seems. We were busy throughout the day, thank goodness.
  • Lady holding a plaque: “Can you cut on this?”
  • AAARRRGGGHHH!!!
  • For reference, Mrs M’s all-time favorite question, from a customer holding a boar of soap: “How do you use this?”
  • When appropriate, I did mention my Kickstarter campaign to anyone that might care. Former customers, walk-in prospects … I did talk about supporting my Kickstarter campaign. Wasn’t this a good transition for my naked pitch? If you’re interested, see the video & read all about it, here.
  • We never had time to go walkabout, which is a good thing, I guess. Therefore, we have no idea who else is at this event beyond our small circuit for lunch & such around the neighborhood. We did hear that there are a lot of soapmakers.
  • Woodworkers? No clue.
  • We began tearing down at 4:45p. Banners. Price tags. A “soft close,” which is totally against our nature. Sales, though, had largely stopped before 4pm. We had no late surge on this day.
  • Sales were down a bit from last year, but far beyond the 2 years prior. Not a record setter, but definitely worthwhile.
  • Requests were for a rooster board (sigh), smaller Lazy Susans (sigh) and a dachshund board (NO. Why do people want to cut on dogs?).

The Food

  • Best Meal: Velda bought sushi for herself & teriyaki chicken for me from a nearby Japanese restaurant. Very well done: not fair food.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 115
  • Booth cost: $385
  • Food cost: $41
  • Travel cost: $60
  • Total sales: $2,099
  • Net Revenue (does not include product cost): $1,613
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: none
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: several by the anonymous “block captain”
  • Wednesday alarm: 4a
  • # transactions: 71
  • # soap & lotion vendors: Many, we were told
  • # woodworking vendors: No clue
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 33:0
  • Returning next year? Yup

Boards sold: 33

CNC Signs: 9

Coasters: 5

Trivets: 4

Hearts: 3

Magic Bottle Openers: 3

Cutting Boards: 3

Custom Orders: 2

Cheese Board: 1

Sous Chef Board: 1

Clipboard: 1

Lazy Susan: 1

My Surprise: People Buy My Signs   4 comments

I blame Delinda.

She’s our friend; she runs Sweet Spot Home Decor. She has retail experience, and knows a thing or 3 about merchandising and retail presentation.

Something I had never done until I got roped into going a-vendoring. I blame the Mrs M’s.

Yes. I blame.

So, back to Delinda. She stared at my booth, and had opinions. She got in my head. I had to add color. I had to go vertical. I had to be better.

OK, that sounds like me. So, I got creative and printed some pictures of my boards in action. Most of these pictures were taken in our back yard, in front of the pizza oven. They are good photos, if I may say so myself, and seemed to be just what the doctor Delinda ordered.

Then I got a bit more creative, and decided to make some signs. They should have a bit of sass, I thought. They would be about food & drink … just like the things I make. The signs would complement the photos, and complement the cutting boards and wooden serving pieces. I got a bunch together, and they made their premiere at Bishop Mule Days. They’ve since been seen at subsequent events in Montrose, Palos Verdes, Lompoc and Ojai.

And people want to buy them.

It was never my intent to make more things to sell! I was just trying to decorate the booth, up my game, and get Delinda out of my head. I did all of that, thankfully, but now I’m working to keep signs in stock as people choose new decor for their kitchen, family room, man cave or whatever.

I’m good with that. Here’s the latest batch!

Oh, and one more thing. I am running a Kickstarter campaign in the month of July to help me expand the workshop’s capabilities. If you are interested in backing my campaign – and getting some cool stuff as a reward – then, please, click here: Handmade Cutting Boards & Wooden Serving Pieces. Don’t delay, though: if I don’t reach my goal by July 31, then the project fails and nothing happens. I don’t want to be that guy!

 

Yes, These Are Lazy Susans   Leave a comment

I have a lot of fun making Lazy Susans. And it’s a good thing: they are a consistent seller.

They are never a huge seller, mind you, but I sell one or two at almost every show. The Lazy Susans I make are unique, colorful, robust … and most of my customers have never seen anything like them.

Families love Lazy Susans. When they can keep the little boys and girls from spinning them so fast that things fly off, that is. But that’s the joy of raising little ones, I believe. I was one once, after all.

Building a memory about a spilled bottle of ketchup: priceless.

I work to keep my Susans unique and fun. I do make simple ones now and again, and they do find happy homes. The Susans that sell quickly, though, are the ones with colors and a bit of flash. This batch belongs to that category; my next batch will have more simpler designs.

If you’re out and about this weekend, come see the Susans, Mrs M and myself at Ventura’s 43rd Annual 4th of July Street Fair. Come on out, and if you’re star spangled, you’ll fit right in.

Oh … and if you haven’t heard, I am running a Kickstarter campaign RIGHT NOW to help me expand the workshop’s capabilities. The campaign runs through July, and is currently 69% funded. If I reach or surpass my goal, then all is well. If I don’t reach the goal, though, then it’s as if nothing happened. No boards get made, no expansion happens. If you are interested in backing my campaign – and getting some cool stuff as a reward – then, please, click here: Handmade Cutting Boards & Wooden Serving Pieces.

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With All Due Apologies, Susan

 

Kickstarter: Trivets   9 comments

Have you become a backer of my Kickstarter campaign yet? Need more details?

All of the information is on my Kickstarter page, here.

Backers that pledge $35 or more can receive a pair of Trivets to protect their table or counters.

If you know people with hot stuff, then they need Trivets.

The Kickstarter campaign is running through the end of July … and my goal of $5,000 must be reached or exceeded by that date. If I don’t make the goal, then nothing happens. If the goal is met however, then all of the backers that have selected Trivets to be their reward will get to choose from these color & wood combinations:

1. Light Colors

2. Dark Colors

3. Red Tones

4. Brown Tones

5. Colorful, Stripey

All boards have unique coloring and grain patterns. Therefore, every piece I create is unique. I will do my best to match your requests for wood and color to the pieces that I create.

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My Kickstarter Campaign

The Woods In The Woodshop

Kickstarter: Coasters

Kickstarter: Trivets

Kickstarter: Cheese Boards

Kickstarter: Handled Cutting Boards

Kickstarter: Large Serving Pieces

Kickstarter: Best Cutting Boards

 

Kickstarter: Handled Cutting Boards   6 comments

These Handled Cutting Boards are available to backers of my Kickstarter campaign that pledge $75 or more.

All of the details are on my Kickstarter page, here.

These boards are made to be mobile in your kitchen. They can hang from the hole in their handle, so they’re easy to grab when you need to chop an onion or prep some vegetables. Do your knife work, and then carry the board directly to the stove to deliver your work for cooking.

Backers that select these Handled Cutting Boards – AKA Sous Chef Boards – as their reward will get to choose the colors/woods that I use to create the boards. Here are the options:

1. Light Colors

2. Dark Colors

3. Red Tones

4. Brown Tones

5. Colorful, Stripey

Please note that the color and grain patterns in wood vary with every board. I’ll do my best to match your requests for color and wood with the piece that I make for you.

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My Kickstarter Campaign

The Woods In The Woodshop

Kickstarter: Coasters

Kickstarter: Trivets

Kickstarter: Cheese Boards

Kickstarter: Handled Cutting Boards

Kickstarter: Large Serving Pieces

Kickstarter: Best Cutting Boards

 

Kickstarter: Best Cutting Boards   6 comments

End grain cutting boards are the king of cutting boards. They are the Best Cutting Boards.

Backers of my Kickstarter campaign (details are here) that pledge $275 or more can receive one of these end grain cutting boards. Pledge $300, and you can receive a Groovy Cutting Board, with a Juice Groove.

All of these cutting boards and heirloom quality, and making them is one of my greatest pleasures in the shop.

Backers that select the Best Cutting Boards as their reward will receive 3 custom designs from me that use the colors/woods that they select. To start the conversation, here are some examples in the various colors shown.

1. Light Colors

2. Dark Colors

3. Red Tones

4. Brown Tones

5. Colorful, (but not so) Stripey

The end grain cutting boards here are a mix of colors. All can have juice grooves that are 3/4″ wide x 3/8″ deep: much larger and much more useful than a typical juice groove found in generic, commercial cutting boards.

All wood has unique colors and grain patterns. I will do my best to match your requests to the pieces that I create.

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My Kickstarter Campaign

The Woods In The Woodshop

Kickstarter: Coasters

Kickstarter: Trivets

Kickstarter: Cheese Boards

Kickstarter: Handled Cutting Boards

Kickstarter: Large Serving Pieces

Kickstarter: Best Cutting Boards

Kickstarter: Large Serving Pieces   6 comments

If you become a backer of my Kickstarter campaign (details are here), then you will get to choose your reward.

One possible reward for backers that pledge $85 or more are these Large Serving Pieces.

They have been called large surfboards. They have been called Cheese & Cracker Servers. Get one, and you can call it what you want. For now, though, I’m calling these Large Serving Pieces.

The Cheese & Cracker Server, in action.

 

Choose this reward, and you’ll get to choose the woods that I use for your piece. Here are the options:

1. Light Colors

2. Dark Colors

3. Red Tones

4. Brown Tones

5. Colorful, Stripey

Please note that all pieces of wood are different. Color and grain patterns can very widely. I will do my very best to match your requests to the piece that I make for you.

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My Kickstarter Campaign

The Woods In The Woodshop

Kickstarter: Coasters

Kickstarter: Trivets

Kickstarter: Cheese Boards

Kickstarter: Handled Cutting Boards

Kickstarter: Large Serving Pieces

Kickstarter: Best Cutting Boards

 

Kickstarter: Coasters   6 comments

These coasters – and coaster sets – are available to backers of my Kickstarter campaign.

Haven’t heard of Kickstarter? All of the details are on my campaign page, here.

But, briefly, if you become a backer of my campaign, and my campaign goal is reached by July 31, then backers that select these individual or sets of coasters will get to choose the colors of their coasters. Here are the options:

1. Light Colors

2. Dark Colors

3. Red Tones

4. Brown Tones

5. Colorful, Stripey

Please note that wood varies in color from board to board, and therefore all pieces that I create are unique works of art. I will do my best to match your wood and color requests to the pieces I create.

More

My Kickstarter Campaign

The Woods In The Woodshop

Kickstarter: Coasters

Kickstarter: Trivets

Kickstarter: Cheese Boards

Kickstarter: Handled Cutting Boards

Kickstarter: Large Serving Pieces

Kickstarter: Best Cutting Boards

 

 

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