Kelsey is a Green Mountain College alumni, currently pursuing her Masters degree in Internet Marketing at Full Sail University. She is skilled in graphic design, social media, content creation, and photography! Friends might call her a marketing maven by day, and a tribal bellydancer by night!
I could go on and on about the reasons that I love Vermont– and if you’ve read my previous blogs, then you’d see that I already have. Its hard not to feel passionate about a place that values community as much as Vermont does. And it only makes sense that this week, only a few days away from the 4th of July, and a few days past the terrible tragedy that occurred in Arizona, that I write a little about community.
The week of Independence day is always an intense one, whether its because we’re just beginning to experience the real hot days of summer, or because its jam packed with planning for the in-laws to arrive for a mid-day BBQ, this week is usually a memorable one. A huge part of what makes this week is so memorable and important is because of the fireworks displays. Fireworks have the innate power to move people. I can still remember the faint sniffles and tears I witnessed from my grandmother as she listened to the womping sounds of the fireworks and the way their explosive colors filled the entire sky, several years ago. And she wasn’t the only one that was touched by them– little girls stood with their mouths open in total awe of the booming, cracking, bursts of color and light…. new parents would hold their babies close to their chests and cover their ears to protect them from the noise, while the couples would lean on each other and savor the closeness of the moment, surrounded by neighbors and friends.
Its nights like these, where the whole community huddles together and just takes a moment to breathe that I find so special. Some people may think that you have to live in a big city to get to watch great fireworks, but that certainly isn’t true, especially not in Vermont where even the smallest communities make it a point to get outside and celebrate together.
If you’re local, and are looking for Vermont fireworks, click here.
However you choose to spend your 4th of July week, be sure to take some time to soak in the beauty of the moment with the people closest to you!
American Pride is on high this week– especially with the 4th of July being just a few days away and all! This is pretty exciting for us because A) all of our products are made in the USA and B) we were recently featured in Nationalist Magazine, a fashion lifestyle magazine that features exclusively American made products, artists, and designers. Nationalist highlighted the fact that all of our products are environmentally friendly, sourced in the US, and true to Vermont Style! We were eager to collaborate with a team that is just as passionate about their ideals as we are. We’d like to extend our sincerest gratitude to the Nationalist team for featuring us in their publication!
The July issue of Nationalist mag is their first anniversary issue, and its full of great content for those of you who love style, design, and products that are made in America! Be sure to check out their most recent issue, our piece is on page 179-180!
I like to think of inspiration sites as the cut and paste magazine scrapbook of the 21st century (no scissors or glue needed!) But with the sheer number of social networking sites there are out there, I know it can be tricky (and timely) to sort through and figure out what each site is actually used for, and if they are even worth your time to join. So, allow me to explain my personal favorite social media platforms (with an emphasis on inspiration sites), and how you can use them in your life!
1) Pinterest: Pinterest is a way to “collect and organize the things you love.” Pinterest is great because no matter what it is that you are interested in, there is a board for it. A Pinterest board is a ‘set’ (like an album) of photos with a common topic. For example, say I am interested in looking up fashion for older women, I can go to Pinterest, search ‘fashion for women over 40,’ and I can browse through a variety of different boards on the topic. Many of which have links to websites where you can actually purchase the the items that are listed, or just re-pin onto your OWN board. You can follow your friends and family, or your favorite companies and celebrities—and make as many boards as you would like.
Here are some of the Pinterest pages that I think are great:
2) Flickr: Flickr is a website where you can find and host photography. It doesn’t matter if you are a professional photographer, or if you are snapping pics with your camera phone– Flickr will preserve your photos original quality, not making them grainy like on Facebook. Your photos are organized into ‘sets’ that can be arranged in any way you like. While Flickr isn’t the most common site to engage with others, some companies do use it to share high-quality photos of their products, and lots of people use it as the place to store all of their best family photographs. What I love about Flickr is it’s the easiest way to upload and store your photos, every person gets a FREE terabyte of space–and if you’re not a computer wiz and don’t know exactly how big a terabyte is, its big enough to host probably ALL of the photos you have ever taken, unless you’re a photographer. You can search through photos by any topic, such as ‘New England Beaches’ and find tons of really wonderful pictures taken by people from all over the world! Sometimes I use Flickr to find new backgrounds for my computer or phone.
3) Houzz. Houzz is a home design and interior decoration site. You can browse rooms, and find thousands of truly inspiring interior design projects and photographs. Each photo has a ‘tag’ with the source of the piece (furniture, lighting, rug, etc) linked to it, so you can find out exactly where those things are coming from! You can also build inspiration boards… so say you have plans to re-do your bathroom, you would want to create a ‘Bathroom’ ideaboard where you can post other projects and photographs to it to go back to for future reference. What sets Houzz apart from things like Pinterest is, there is a huge network of design experts on Houzz who are ready and willing to discuss projects with you. There is a discussion section, where you can get feedback on anything ‘home’ related you might need help with. Like, if I was struggling to find a paint color that really suited my space… you could take a picture of the room, post it in a discussion on Houzz, and the Houzz community can give you help and feedback about what to choose!
Well, I hope that this little explanation of these social media sites gives you a little more insight as to what they are about and how they can be both fun and useful! If you have any more questions, feel free to send us a message on Facebook or send me an email at email@example.com
When I was younger, one of my favorite events of the year was the local hot air balloon festival that took place in my town (Pittsfield, New Hampshire) each year. While it wasn’t the Quechee balloon festival, it was a hot air balloon festival all the same. I loved the way that it would bring the whole community together for a day of fun and celebration, despite whatever else was going on in the world and on the news. It seemed like even the busiest people in town always made time to come down to the festival to watch the hot air balloons or to just be in the presence of friends, family, and community members. Kids loved it too, because they’d get to come and run around and go on rides with their friends (plus there is usually cotton candy and all sorts of other goodies too). And there really is just something special about hot air balloons. They are whimsical, and magical in a way. Magical in that they never fail to give you that feeling of childhood excitement, wonder, and awe as you watch them rise. Maybe its the way their colors light up in the sky, or the fact that they get to float amongst the clouds…either way, a hot air balloon festival is a spectacular event that every person should get to experience at least once in their life (but hopefully more)!
This weekend is the 34th annual Quechee Hot Air Balloon festival, taking place in Quechee, Vermont! The weekend festivities include music from a bunch of great bands that will be playing continuously throughout the weekend, tasty food, a kiddie zone for the children, a beer and wine garden for the adults, tons of talented Vermont artists and crafters, vendors of all sorts, and hot air balloons of course!
I truly hope that you get to enjoy the unique and heartwarming experience that a small town hot air balloon festival provides– and if not this year, maybe next year!
For more information on the festival, check out their official website and Facebook page.
The woods that surround Stonehurst make it a hotspot for local wildlife, and a favorite part of the new location for many of us. From wild turkeys roaming openly in the field, to our new porcupine friend, to the neighborhood chipmunks, squirrels, and birds that call this place their home—we are excited to be a part of this wonderful eco-community.
Now that we are getting settled, it’s great to see that many of us are forming a bond with different parts of Stonehurst. You can find Kendall walking around out back enjoying the mountain fresh air, Neville and Martin outside enjoying the scenery, while Dennis is always the first to volunteer to checkup on the families of birds who have occupied the birdhouses we put up earlier in the year. Needless to say, we all care about it here for one reason or another, and that’s what makes this place so special.
Stonehurst allows us to “tell the story of where your furniture comes from,” Peggy explains. “People can look out the windows and stroll around the grounds to see and experience what sustainable forestry is… we can use our learning wall to show people how their choice of furniture affects the habitats of endangered species.” For anyone who doesn’t know, Vermont Woods Studios was created with the inspiration to help put an end to the deforestation of the world’s rainforest’s. “Every species of big cat (lions, tigers, cheetahs, etc) and every species of primates (gorillas, chimps, orangutans, etc) is critically endangered due to habitat loss,” Peggy revealed, “and many of those habitats are forests that are being illegally decimated for timber that goes into imported furniture.”
Stonehurst, to us, is more than just our headquarters—it is a reflection of our impact on the natural landscape. We want to show people that by living consciously and shopping ethically, it is possible to live (and thrive) without harming the ecosystem, and that we can live harmoniously with our friends in nature, rather than endangering them by destroying their homes and habitats.
Besides the woods that surround Stonehurst, and the animals that inhabit them, the building itself has quite an interesting story. Stonehurst started out as a farmhouse circa 1800, and has “moved through various identities as a boarding house, 4 season resort, ski area, and residential home,” Peggy explains, “Stonehurst has been transformed several times, just as our business has transformed.” And despite all of the transformation, we’ve worked hard to preserve much of its history wherever possible. Plus, all local materials were used in its renovation, adding to its Vermont roots. “The resulting space feels like a natural home to us, said Peggy, “a place where we can enjoy our work while finding success in accomplishing our mission.”
When asked about their vision of the future for Vermont Woods Studios at Stonehurst, the team had differing answers with a common theme… We would all like to see Stonehurst busy as ever, with a thriving community of happy customers raving about their furniture and excited to be brand advocates for us and for our mission. We envision “people coming from near and far to get an up close look (and feel) at the best handcrafted furniture made in Vermont,” as Martin revealed, while Dennis would like to see people coming to Vermont not only to visit Stonehurst and see our furniture, but to experience all of the culture and activities that the state has to offer as well. Peggy is hoping to see a relaxed and efficient staff, excited to learn new things and making creative strides every day… plus lots more automation and continued rapid growth. Stonehurst will bring the team closer, and allow us to work more effectively and creatively together… and will also give us more opportunities to have fun! (Liz is really looking forward to future taco parties). Most importantly, however, Peggy explains that we “want to see evidence that we are raising awareness about where your furniture comes from.”
The move to Stonehurst has been a major transformation for us, and we are excited to see what the future has in store. With a handful of wonderful memories already created here– from happy hours in front of the wood stove in Ken’s shop, to physically helping with the planning and construction of the building, to watching a lone porcupine roam our field… we have high hopes and expectations for our future here. Our sign is finally up out front, signalling the end of the “making of” portion of our Stonehurst story–a chapter we are happy to leave behind. Now, its really time to get to work!
PS. We’ve created a Pinterest board for Stonehurst! Pin us