About Peggy Farabaugh
She is a CEO who brakes for salamanders, has bottle-fed rescued squirrels and spent her vacation building furniture for a rural school in Costa Rica. She believes in the future and in the people who will build it. A former distance-learning professor at Tulane University with a master’s in environmental health & safety, she turned an interest in forest conservation and endangered species into a growing, local business. She delivers rainforest statistics at breakneck speed, but knows how to slow down and appreciate the beauty of a newly finished piece of heirloom furniture.
Posts by Peggy
Big thanks to Anthony A. Chiaravallo, Founder & CEO of Conscious Connection Magazine for featuring Vermont Woods Studios sustainable, eco friendly furniture this week. Conscious Connection is widely regarded as the leading cultural creative magazine. It spotlights a “global community of thought leaders, entrepreneurs and visionaries advocating for global peace, personal transformation and eco-creative living”.
Kelsey and Anthony have been collaborating on CC’s Creative Home Living Series that focuses on incorporation of sustainably and locally sourced products into the home. We join green living expert Susan Inglis of the Sustainable Furnishings Council SFC, earth conscious designer Barry Dixon and many others in Anthony’s series on green home design.
Check out this beautifully-designed and thought-provoking venue if you’re looking for the latest on: Social Business, Health and Fitness, Eco Design and Creative Lifestyle. If you love it as much as we do, let Anthony know on his Facebook.
Sending our best wishes to all fathers today and hoping you have great fun spending time with your children.
Here’s a last minute gift idea for any “kid” who may have forgotten or even been on the fence about today. It’s not too late to lighten up your dad’s day and make him laugh. Surf on over to JibJab and make Dad a personalized Father’s Day card. It’s easy and fun. A 1 year subscription to JibJab is $12 but you can use it to create and send an unlimited number of cards to an unlimited number of people for birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, hangovers, pug day– you name it. They have hundreds of cards you can insert Dad’s (Mom’s, friend’s… whoever’s) photo into. You can upload pictures of your dad’s face from your facebook or from any jpeg photo and insert it into a funny video.
I’m not getting paid to promote them… I just think JibJab is clever software. And who wouldn’t crack up seeing themselves in a funny video? Does you Dad need a laugh today?
If you follow us on Facebook, you’ll know that we’ve been suffering from one deluge after another this “summer”. The view from our porch hardly looks like the one our polywood rockers are looking at above. No… our view is all mud puddles and raindrops. But our ever optimistic sales and customer service staff isn’t letting that get them down.
I guess our customers aren’t giving up on having a summer either because these Polywood Presidential Outdoor Rockers were our best sellers last week.
A couple years ago, in response to customer requests for outdoor furniture, we selected Polywood as the best all weather furniture to meet their needs. Customers wanted sturdy, maintenance free, all weather porch, patio, pool and beach furniture. And we wanted a product we could guarantee for a lifetime, just like we guarantee our wood furniture.
Polywood came out on top of a number of outdoor furniture lines we evaluated. It’s heavy construction is sturdy and durable– it won’t blow off the beach, deck, patio or into the pool. Polywood withstands extreme heat, freezing cold, salty air, and corrosive chemicals so you can leave it outside all year and never have to worry about where to store it. There’s no more mold, mildew, weathering, cracking or warping with Polywood and no painting, staining, waterproofing, stripping or resurfacing.
In addition to all that, Polywood is a great value– it’s a product you will never have to replace. And best of all, for our eco-friendly furniture lovers– Polywood is made of recycled plastic milk jugs.
There’s only one downside of Polywood– it can’t seem to stop the rain.
John McCarthy (of McCarthy Signs in Hinsdale) came by the other day to install the sign he’s been handcrafting for Stonehurst, our new Vermont furniture store. What did you think? It’s a 3D wooden sign that John hand-carved. What I love best about it is the level of detail he achieved in carving out the thumbprints that are the tops of the trees in our logo (Cheri Bryant is our logo artist and creator, by the way). Pretty amazing precision, I say. It’s hard to show off John’s talent online but if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and have an up-close look. Or take Market Survey of America’s word– his company was just voted Greater Brattleboro’s Best Sign Company.
Last year I started reading about Vermont’s Working Lands Enterprise Initiative. Paul Costello, the Executive Director of Vermont’s Council on Rural Development had begun leading a movement to protect the Green Mountain State’s pastoral landscape from unplanned, unsightly, unsustainable development. I don’t know Paul personally but I see him as a modern day Paul Revere who leveraged the power of the Internet to spread the word about how we can use sustainable agriculture and forestry to build a thriving rural economy in Vermont.
In a very short time frame, Paul and his band of “working lands” believers have achieved unbelievable success, including getting Vermont’s legislature to allocate $1 Million in grant money for green businesses willing to pitch in and help. The idea was to provide incentives to “stimulate a concerted economic development effort on behalf of Vermont’s agriculture and forest product sectors by systematically advancing entrepreneurism, business development, and job creation.”
It was just one of those lucky moments in life when I read about the Working Lands Grant last year as we were in the middle of planning our new Vermont-made furniture gallery at Stonehurst. We were a perfect match for the grant. Our furniture is all made in Vermont. It’s sustainable, eco-friendly and made from Vermont grown wood when practicable. We support all the links in the economic chain from the forest through the land-owner, forester, sawyer, lumber yard and craftsperson to the customer. The whole Stonehurst concept of raising awareness about where your furniture comes from and how it’s made fit the grant criteria like a glove.
Fast forward a year. The Working Lands Enterprise Boards have worked tirelessly all year, developing their concept, selling it to the public and the Legislature, securing funds, soliciting competitive proposals from businesses and evaluating those proposals. Last week it was time for them to make a decision on which businesses would win the awards.
Drum roll please. Ta Da!! Vermont Woods Studios was selected for a $100,000 grant award to be used to complete the construction and landscaping of our Stonehurst Vermont Made Furniture Showroom. This is a huge achievement for us and one that will allow much of the polishing of our venue to happen now, rather than over a period of years. We are enormously grateful to Paul Costello and all of the good people who have worked so hard to make the initiative possible. And of course to the taxpayers of Vermont who we feel a strong need to repay in terms of economic benefit and increased consumer demand in the furniture sector of our economy.
I’ll write more in the coming weeks about the Initiative and the other companies who also won awards. We are honored to be in such good company.
Do you love Vermont’s rural landscape as much as we do? Join the Working Lands Partnership, help keep Vermont green and be a part of it’s future!
Michelle just forwarded me this customer review on our solid wood bookcases:
Hi Michelle, We just wanted you to know how pleased we are with our bookshelf! It is just beautiful, and exactly what we hoped it would be. The construction and craftsmanship is first class, and we could not be happier with it. Please extend our thanks to your outstanding craftsmen/craftswomen for a job well done! We plan to post some very favorable comments about the work you did for us on your website. Is there any other way we could help “spread the word” about the great products and service you are providing, that would be helpful to your business? We want to do all we can to encourage and support builders of fine, American-made, furniture like Vermont Woods Studios. Best regards, Raymond and Bobbie S, Austin, Texas
What a great way to start the day, right? We’re sending our sincere thanks out to Raymond and Bobbie and also beginning to work on a webpage for them and other Vermont Woods Studios fans to publicly gush about Vermont’s fine furniture. Have any other feedback or suggestions for how we can make the most of your testimonials? Post your comments on our Furniture Testimonials page, in the space below, or better yet on our Facebook.
Looking for more detail about how customers like their Vermont made furniture? Check out these other blog posts:
- Furniture Reviews: Customer Ratings For Quality
- Online Furniture Shopping: Customer Reviews, Ratings and Complaints Drive Continuous Improvement
- Online Furniture Shopping: 2011 Customer Satisfaction Survey Results
- 98% Customer Satisfaction Rating for Vermont Made Furniture
- Vermont Furniture Reviews on Sitejabber
Yesterday I traveled to the Paramount Theater in Rutland for Vermont’s First Economic Summit. Where else but Vermont could a small business owner like me elect to join the Governor, many of his Cabinet members and some of the most successful CEOs in the state to brainstorm about our economic future? New York? California? I don’t think so. Only in Vermont.
Anyway, about 125 people gathered to discuss the opportunities and challenges of doing business in America’s greenest state. On one hand our taxes are high, environmental regulations are onerous and the cost of living is barely affordable for most workers. But, somehow we love to live, work and play here anyway.
So we looked at why that is and listed a lot of benefits that Vermont has to offer: beautiful scenery, short pleasant commutes to work, relaxed pace, local economies, vibrant farmers markets and co-ops, fabulous farm to plate restaurants, skiing, hiking, fishing, camping, nice neighbors, working landscapes, clean lakes, rivers and streams, sustainable development and so on. Not to mention easy access to government officials!
Then the task was reconciling the pluses and minus’ of Vermont’s economics in terms of concrete fix-it strategies. We broke out into small groups to focus on: workforce development, the Vermont brand, Vermont infrastructure, Global competitiveness, Innovation and a few other topics. I was lucky to find myself working in the Vermont Brand group with Kathleen Wanner of the Vermont Wood Manufacturers Association VWMA, Lynette Kemp of Vermont’s Department of Taxes (we tried not to hold that against her) and Colleeen Leonard, Vermont’s Working Lands Policy Administrator from the Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets.
At the end of the day all of the small groups presented their ideas and recommendations to a plenary session and we discussed plans to follow through both formally and informally. Now our challenge is to make things happen in a way that preserves Vermont’s pristine rural character and brings economic prosperity to all it’s citizens. Think it’s doable?
You can read more about the Economic Summit on Vermont Digger.
Looking for something exciting to do in Southern Vermont today? How about heading to the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum on Hogback Mountain to meet their newest resident, an American Bald Eagle?
Thanks to the efforts of the conservationists at the Marlboro Elementary School, the Vermont Community Foundation, the Deerfield Valley Rotary Club, the Marlboro Alliance and museum director Ed Metcalf, an eagle who is injured and unable to return to the wild now has a plush new home. She just arrived from the Ironside Bird Rescue facility in Wyoming where she was cared for after receiving a permanent wing injury rendering her unable to fly.
With the weekend forecast bringing 90F+ weather, you may just find yourself inside taking refuge in the living room. And then while you’re sipping an ice cold, Vermont brewed Woodchuck Hard Cider (that’s Kelsey’s favorite) or a Long Trail (Dennis’ favorite) in front of the TV, you may start wishing you had a beautiful new entertainment center or media console. Or a couple handcrafted cherry end tables to set your drink on. Well if that happens, you’re in luck! Living room furniture and home office furniture are on sale at Vermont Woods Studios today through June 13th.
Now’s your chance to update your living room or home office with real wood furniture and timeless Vermont styling that shows off the beauty of natural wood. Take 10% off any single piece, 15% on two pieces, or 20% on three or more pieces of furniture*(plus free shipping). Your new solid wood furniture will be crafted especially for you in your choice of natural Cherry, Maple, Walnut, or Oak woods. Each piece of furniture is solidly built to last for generations and backed by a lifetime guarantee.
You can customize your new living room coffee table, TV stand, bookcase, desk, or wood filing cabinet online or if you prefer, contact us at 888-390-5571 to order by phone or discuss your questions. Sean will be staffing the showroom this weekend. Give him a call or stop by, even if it’s just so he doesn’t get lonely.
As always, Copeland and Polywood furniture are excluded from the sale but that’s only because we have a low price guarantee on them every day.
Everyone’s heard of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona but are you familiar with the Strolling of the Heifers? It may not have the cache of Spain’s 100 year old spectacle but then again, you don’t have to worry about getting gored like the 15 people on record for having died during the real thing.
On the contrary, Brattleboro’s bovine parade is all about staying alive and celebrating healthy, local, sustainable living. Check it out along with the Slow Living Summit that takes place concurrently in Brattleboro June 7-9.
Our ace Community Activist, Loryn Dion is the official representative of Vermont Woods Studios at the Heifer’s parade and Slow Living Summit. Loryn’s been working with Bob Bouvier and Rick Gravelin of the Vermont WoodNet to set up a booth to introduce visitors to Vermont’s sustainable fine wooden furniture. We’ll be part of the Woodlands and Forestry exhibit that features demonstrations on forest management, wildlife of the woods, invasive species and much more.
Stay tuned for more details from Loryn and plan to stop by our Vermont Sustainable Furniture booth on the Brattleboro Common June 8 if you can.