About Liz Francese

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.

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:

Cherry Moon Bedroom Set
Cherry Moon Bedroom Set

And this is a bedroom set:

Cherry Moon Bedroom Set- Customer Photo
Cherry Moon Bedroom Set- Customer Photo

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:

Customer Photos

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.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

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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.

Mom’s 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).

Mom’s Small Army

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!

 

Christmas 2013?

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Catalina Walnut TV & Media Wall Unit

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.

Truth is, at Vermont Woods Studios what you see is not all you can get.  With a  combination of her vision, my knowledge of the Vermont Woods Studios inventory (not to mention, incredible talent with a Sharpie) and the expertise of our craftsman- Viola!  Mary Shelley herself couldn’t have concocted a better recipe.
Maybe it is a bit strong to suggest we ‘Frankenstein-ed’ the piece together- it comes a bit more gracefully than that- but the idea was essentially inspired from what the numerous Vermont craftsmen we  work with do every day.
Left to right, top row: New England Shaker Large Entertainment Center- Wall Unit, Vermont Made Shaker Entertainment Center 40″, New England Shaker Corner Entertainment Center #2  Bottom row: New England Shaker Media Center 57″, Retractable Pop-up TV Media Center 85″, Modern Shaker Bi-Fold Door Media Center

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.

 

 

 

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Maybe the best things in life aren’t free…

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!

Threshold Delivery

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!

 

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

order processingAside from a few harmless office pranks, helping customers is the fun part of our job.  The moment your order is sent in, however, the real work begins: order processing.

 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.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.