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The Board Chronicles: St Charles Borromeo Fall Festival 2016   7 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.

Break’s over. Summer’s over.

Time to start our fall events … which will quickly blend into our holiday events. This event was the first of 11 planned over the next 14 weeks. So, it’s time to get busy.

We did the Spring Boutique at St Charles, which was connected to their annual carnival, so there was a lot going on. This event, though, is simply a vendor event for the congregation to shop at following their Sunday service. With holidays in the wind, this 1-day event was hoped to be stronger than the spring’s 2-day event.

New Ideas

  • The booths were not a true 10×20 this time; more of a found space that was about 15′ wide and 30′ deep. We made it work, though the display tables were in a sort of Z pattern. See the pix, below. And, for the record, I’m superstitious about being next to the door (don’t like that!), but other booth space locations don’t bother me.

Observations

  • Mrs M claimed she had to work at her “job.” Little Girl pitched in, of course … but, in the end, she was most helpful for load out. Other than that … we had some nice conversations.
  • In the spring, sales were $1,926. This fall … nope. Lots of crickets were heard during this event. People? Booth traffic? Not so much.
  • Requests were for a cribbage board (wait a week or three, please!) and a round chopping block (where were you last year?).
  • I no longer like one day events.
  • I no longer like small events.
  • Tenth worst event ever. Nothing else needs to be said.

The Food

Sunday Breakfast: McDonald’s # 4. Hello, old friend.

Sunday Lunch: A burrito from Ernie’s, from across the street. Tasty.

Sunday Snack: Nope.

Sunday Dinner: Mrs M made chicken fingers & tater tots. Comfort food.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 120
  • Booth cost: $125
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 2
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: many
  • Total sales: $269
  • # containers of product taken: far too many from every perspective
  • # boards available: 150+
  • Sunday alarm: 5a
  • # transactions: 14
  • # soap & lotion vendors: Just us
  • # woodworking vendors: Just us
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 2:0
  • Returning next year? Nope.

Boards sold: 2

1x Small Sous Chef Board

1x Magic Bottle Opener

The Board Chronicles: St Charles Borromeo Spring Boutique   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.

There’s a woodworker in Australia that I have a lot of respect for called Lazy Larry. He does similar work to what I do, though for him it’s a full-time job. He has a great philosophy about picking events for direct sales: you don’t have to be everywhere, but you have to be somewhere!

This weekend, we elected to follow the recommendation of our good friend Jan and try an event at St Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in North Hollywood. This is their 32nd Annual Spring Festival Arts & Crafts Sale, and our first venture into the North Hollywood/Burbank area. Should be good for us.

We’re in.

New Ideas

  • Given the work day (Mrs M said she was busy with her “job”), I ended up renting a cargo van so I could get our complete 10×20 indoor setup to the Church on time. That’s better than filling 2 vehicles, anyway, but it’s the first time we’ve done the cargo van thing.
  • New for this event is being open on Friday evening, followed by a long Saturday and Sunday. The event’s open for business for 24 hours, spread over the 3 days.

Observations

  • We need a trailer. Rentals are a pain.
  • Event # 4 of 8 in our Spring Fling.
  • Load in was difficult. The church dedicates their largest parking lot to the Festival itself (carnival rides, food booths, games, etc), so the busy streets are simply overwhelmed with festival goers, church volunteers … and 20+ vendors. I should have gotten there earlier so I would not have been so tense.
  • The opening Friday evening was a vendor suggestion from last year: set-up is on Friday, so why not stay open Friday evening? We were open this year & our sales were $8. No Friday opening next year!
  • Requests: a towel holder, tic tac toe sets, chess boards (4) and a nesting set of cutting boards. I’m pretty sure I should make more chess boards so that I can point at them instead of answering the ever present question several times at each event.
  • Sales benefited from being open so many hours, but, my goodness, it was slow going at the event. Hours need to be restricted to 18 or so.
  • Mrs M fell ill Saturday night, and was unable to vendor on Sunday. Little Girl responded to my emergency request, and was there to help me at the event (not so much) and the load out (totally). Mrs M felt better by Sunday night because she didn’t have to work at her “job” or at her hobby.
  • Wonderful event producer was totally committed to the success of her vendors, which she actively curated for this event. Her attention to detail was very much appreciated.
  • It’s not easy to get into this event, I’m told. I believe it!

The Food

Friday Dinner: Dreyer’s Mint Chip

Saturday Breakfast: Bagels & cream cheese

Saturday Lunch: a couple of skewers of BBQ meat + steamed veggies + pancit from the Filopino American group from the church, who host the booth as a fundraiser. Good eats.

Saturday Snack: Trail Mix

Saturday Dinner: Jimmy Deans double cheeseburger, fries & rings. High living at 9:30pm.

Sunday Breakfast: McDonald’s # 4. Of course.

Sunday Lunch: A burrito from the festival. Yum.

Sunday Snack: 2 scoops of Mint Chip Ice Cream

Sunday Dinner: Chipotle, 3 tacos, chips & guac. Yes, we know guac is extra.

The Facts

  • Total miles driven: 250
  • Booth cost: $175 (10×20)
  • # of people we met during the event from the producer: 3 … we should count the Monsignor, right?
  • Visits in our booth by a promoter’s representative: many – they were our vendor neighbors
  • Total sales: $1,926
  • # containers of product taken: 19
  • # boards available: 120
  • Saturday alarm: 6:30am. (To be fair, that was to deal with the rental van return & soap label lasering. The event started @ 10am.)
  • Sunday alarm: 6:30am
  • # transactions: 40
  • # soap & lotion vendors: just her
  • # woodworking vendors: just me
  • Edge grain vs. end grain: 7:6
  • Returning next year? Absolutely

Boards sold: 13

Cutting Boards: 3

Letter Clipboard: 2

Custom Orders: 2

Large Surfboard: 2

Lazy Susan: 1

Large Sous Chef Board: 1

Large Cutting Board: 2

 

 

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