About Liz Francese
Liz works as a customer service representative and part-time office DJ. If she isn't at the gym (which is more often than you might think) she is indulging in the culinary arts, practicing her moves at local music events or hunting for records and cassette tapes with her boyfriend. Liz is also an avid reader, mediocre knitter and holds a B.A. in English with a focus on Writing.
Posts by Liz
It is our hope when the Googlers of the world click happen upon our site they see more than just photos of fine furniture but all of the possibilities in our product. Try and take a pair of scissors to a shirt off the rack at the mall and you’ll see the fastest ever Segway dismount by a security guard in known history. At Vermont Woods Studios, come in with your scissors and scrapbooking supplies- we take to herding the flocks of creativity that come our way and we hope it is apparent at first glance.
Jay from Massachusetts picked up the hint we were dropping when he first made contact with us. His dream piece began with an unusual material- copper. Unusual, that is, if you were dealing with any other fine wood furniture retailers. Fortunately for Jay, we knew just the guy to make his dreams come true.
One of our artisans, Mitch, has been hammering the stuff (copper) onto table tops, coffee tables, buffets, you name it, and was even open to slapping some on a side table. The specifications were simple: tapered legs, 24″ round and a sage green painted base.
From the first schematic to the end product, Mitch works flawlessly. You would’ve thought he was meant to be Jay’s fairy godmother the way he turned this little pumpkin of an idea into a side table with the grandeur of a royal chariot.
And Jay isn’t the only one bestowed with Mitch’s high end custom work. Anne in VT was captivated by his reclaimed barnwood masterpieces featured on our artisan page and thought ‘media center’. What a better way to merge the history instilled in the wood with the modernity of contemporary life.
With extreme precision, Anne placed her custom order. Crafting it- no sweat. So, give us a shot- what custom furniture can you dream up?
Recently my fellow office inhabitant, Sean Henry, began spear-heading our mission to obtain more customer photos or ‘real life’ images of our furniture. His unbroken concentration certainly lends much, sometimes unnecessary, dedication to his projects- so, as the more vocally inclined, I’ve taken it upon myself to help spread the word via VWS blog. This word is not just a want for more customer photos but the undying effort of our sales team to obtain these images.
Why customer photos? Well, the long and short of it is best told visually. This is a bedroom set:
And this is a bedroom set:
Which do you want more? And it isn’t even just the marketing power behind these inviting images but more the representational power of them. These handcrafted works of art are meant to please your eye and provide restful sleep or feed your family or hold your cable box- they’re meant for your home!
Fresh eyed and bushy tailed, Sean joined our crew only a few months ago, eager to make his mark and share his ideas (or “i-dears”, as he calls them). Though he’s tossed quite a few light bulbs around, it is really his re-kindling of the long forgotten ‘obtain customer photos’ mission that’s become his baby. Our white glove delivery crew might have barely made it out the door before the proud new furniture owner receives an email from Sean, adorned with this thoughtfully designed marquee:
So, if you’re a perspective buyer or just a handmade furniture fan- take a look at our customer photos album on Facebook or the Testimonials page on our website. If you already own a piece of Vermont Woods Studios furniture, well heck- we’d love to see it! Do it for Sean, at least.
One can only assume when I popped out, kid number 5, over 22 years ago, my mother rationalized, “That’s probably enough- one of them will keep me out of a nursing home.” Well, the results aren’t in for that prospect yet (the sanity clock miraculously ticks on), though she does occasionally reap the benefits of breeding an army. One of them- awesome Christmas presents. When we get our pockets together, the Francese kids can really rev up the opportunity to give back; this Christmas, Mom was blessed with a new coffee table.
A second-hand store enthusiast, Mom has an eclectic array of furnishings sprinkled through out her home. When it came to designing this beauty, she had a few goals in mind. First it had to match a very unique, sofa-table-esque piece she must have found at the corner of Lost and Forgotten. Of course, the sofa-table thing undeniably brings the room together but it is a one of a kind in terms of build and style. Second, it had to be large enough for five grandchildren to simultaneously play, color and read. Third, it had to withstand the sticky, smearing, careless hands of those same five grandchildren (with the inevitability of more to come).
We threw all that into the Vermont Woods Studios custom furniture crock pot and, in due time, served the beauty now resting front and center in the family room. The top is a natural Cherry with a rustic finish to match the antiquated look Mom loves so much. The base is Maple, painted black. I chose Maple for its durability and light color. Overtime, the Cherry will darken and serve a smooth transition from bottom to top. And finally the finish-a non-toxic, kid friendly and kid resistant, lacquer.
Mom is thrilled with her new coffee table and the results her small army is yielding. And next year? Her outdoor coffee table won’t last for long- why not some Polywood furniture that will last a lifetime!
Pieces like Copeland’s Catalina Walnut TV & Media Wall Unit make me think two things: how cool and when would anyone ever need that. Well the point is, you don’t need a TV Media Unit. Heck, you don’t even need a TV- any one can just grab a pencil and paper and scrawl away listening to the nearest radio frequency for entertainment. But even coming from a girl who enjoys spinning a vinyl on a Sunday morning- I want that TV and I want it on that entertainment unit.
Apparently another woman had the same thought this week- which is what brought my attention here in the first place. She loved the piece but… well there were a few changes she wanted to see.
Combination pieces, like our TV Media Units, might be a bit of luxury but they’re well worth it. Along with offering organization (especially for those pesky AV wires and extra remotes), they are beautiful works of art with the added bonus of the purpose they serve (who wants to watch TV on the floor?). Better yet, they can be crafted to match your own artistic vision. If this post has inspired you to dream up your perfect media unit- give us a call! We’d be happy to help make that dream a reality.
Usually when we see the word ‘Free’ it is associated with a couch that belonged to someone’s great aunt and is now sitting on the curb in your neighborhood hosting exposed springs and splintered upholstery. As a result of this common association, we’re apt to raise a skeptical eyebrow at the word. Is anything really free? Sure, you can take the couch at no cost, but you’ll be paying for the tetanus infection later.
Rest assured, there is one place where you can trust ‘Free’, and that’s right here at Vermont Woods Studios. Our free shipping guarantee is applicable to most locations in the lower 48 states- that means you too, California! And just because it is free does not mean it’s cheap! Nay, we only trust our furniture to ship with the best. Shipping companies and types will vary with individual customer orders and needs as we see fit, guaranteeing the best shipping match for you and your furniture.
White Glove Delivery
Our cream of the crop delivery service comes wrapped in a blanket and delivered by our go-to shipping guys- Clark & Reid. These guys know furniture- how to carry it, how to assemble it- and they do it with finesse and professionalism. For local deliveries, however, Vermont’s own Green Mountain Messenger may be the ones at the door boasting the amicable attitude that comes standard with a Vermonter.
Another noteworthy white glove shipper we place our faith in is Manna Distribution Services- another good name for them would be Road Runner (we hear that’s taken though). With them, the furniture may not come blanket wrapped but it will be there fast!
For smaller orders, like a single coffee table or nightstand, or orders from our Copeland line, our standard shipping treatment is threshold delivery. It means exactly what it sounds like- it is delivered right to the threshold of your home. This is usually done by the popular shipping guys like UPS or FedEx, though we use a few others for larger pieces. Occasionally we have a real do-it-yourself customers who insist on this sort of delivery, so they can put their new furniture together themselves.
Far Out Shipping
As I said above, free shipping only qualifies to most places in the U.S but those really determined to get a piece of the Vermont Woods Studios pie are more than welcome to contact us about shipping. We’ve successfully shipped to Hawaii, Alaska and Canada and we’re even in the process of sending a Dana Thomas Grand Extension Dining Table to Kuwait!
Step One: Translate the Order
Your order is first taken in by Heather and Douglas- these two practiced order processors translate your ‘language heavy’ Order Notification into a series of short phrased descriptions and codes. These descriptions and codes are written in forms unique to each of our craftsmen.
Step Two: Peer Checking
As the orders are pending review by the craftsmen, they undergo peer checking by Sean. With the eye of a hawk, Sean compares each document (order notification, invoice, purchase order) associated with your order. Sean’s trained mind can decipher the differing languages in these documents and assure they all are saying the same thing.
Step Three: Correspondence with Craftsmen
The craftsman eventually replies in the form of a Sale Order- which Heather then scrutinizes one last time before assuring all documentation is accurate and crafting is a GO. All the while Douglas (our supervisor) plays a few rounds of Snood and grunts his disapproval of our work.
Step Four: Post Processing Party
We don’t actually have a party after each order but we do have a good time all the while. This holiday season has been a real test to our team’s order processing skills. The large influx of giving spirit has put Vermont Woods Studios sales above our goals. In return, we’d like to give a little back. If you’re looking for a belated Christmas gift or just want to finally get something for yourself after all your holiday shopping, check out our Winter Holiday Sale and save up to 20% off.
Here’s a little known fact about Vermont Woods Studios- every month we give away a cutting board! The cutting boards are crafted by our own Ken Farabaugh and are available for purchase on our website. The potential recipients of these fine, handmade kitchen wares are our customers. Those who kindly take the time to complete a short customer satisfaction survey are entered in our monthly drawings.
The survey is designed to let us know a bit about your experience with Vermont Woods Studios- from the moment we first appeared in your Google search to the time the furniture came to rest in your home. Look for it in your inbox, post-delivery!
This month we were even more enthused to pick our winner in light of our Made in America Christmas Challenge. Congratulations to Kristina in Florida and have a happy holiday!