About Peggy Farabaugh

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.
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Our mission at Vermont Woods Studios is to raise awareness about where your furniture comes from.  Is Forest to Table furniture as important to you as Farm to Plate food?  Let us know why or why not on our Facebook.

Where Does Your Furniture Come From?

I started Vermont Woods Studios in 2005 to promote sustainable wooden furniture.  I’d been studying the impacts of illegal logging of the earth’s tropical rainforests and wondered “why isn’t anybody doing anything about this”?  With the destruction being driven by demand for cheap wood furniture, I realized there was something we could do to help… even from way up here in Vermont.  Thus our Vermont made furniture store was born, with the mission of raising awareness about where your furniture comes from and persuading people to buy eco friendly furniture made from sustainably harvested wood.

FSC Certification Problems

That purpose is still at the heart of our mission, although the definition of “eco friendly wood furniture” has changed.  Ten years ago the prevailing thought was that the hallmark of sustainably harvested wood furniture was a formal certification by the FSC, Forest Stewardship Council.

FSC is an international not for-profit group that promotes responsible management of the world’s forests.  It has been considered the “gold standard” for green certification and labeling of forest products since 1993.  Unfortunately, as pure as FSC’s intentions may be, the job of monitoring the entire planet’s forests has proved impossible.  With so much at stake and land areas too big to monitor, organized crime has taken over the global timber industry.  FSC certification is now systematically forged to the point where you cannot tell whether “certified” furniture is made from legal wood.

Illegal Wood:  Not Just About Climate Change & Loss of Biodiversity

A recent article by Alexander Zaitchik titled, Blood on Your Ottoman: Your Furniture’s Link to a Murderous Logging Epidemic chronicles the September 2014 murder of Edwin Chota and 3 other indigenous people in the Amazon rainforest.  The article highlights the fact that organized crime has upped the ante for illegal timber.  Murder is now fair game in their book and it’s happening more than you’d like to know.

“The first thing people can do is to revisit the assumption that buying “certified” wood products absolves them of responsibility for destroying the world’s remaining primary rainforests. If you’re buying Peruvian mahogany, or Brazilian rosewood, or Indonesian teak, there’s no way to determine whether or not it came from a legal, carefully managed tract, or whether a villager was killed for trying to keep that tree standing”.

Eco Friendly Wood Furniture = American Made Wood Furniture

Our message to conscious consumers shopping for eco friendly furniture, flooring, paper or other forest products is simple: buy American made.  In the United States logging is regulated and enforced.  There are more trees now than there were 100 years ago. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization FAO, “North American forest growth has exceeded harvest since the 1940s.  The greatest gains have been seen on the East Coast with average volumes of wood per acre almost doubling since the ’50s”.

Learn more about American made eco friendly wood furniture on our website and find out which companies say they’re “American made” versus those that truly are.

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.

Bookcases | Real Solid Walnut Wood | Shaker Style | USA Made
Bookcases | Real Solid Walnut Wood | Shaker Style | USA Made

Getting Organized with Custom Bookcases

Custom bookcases might not be on the top of your Christmas list, but think about it.  Whether you have a home office or you’re trying to tidy up and organize your books and media, custom bookcases could make your life easier and more efficient in 2013.  Not to mention more beautiful.

At Vermont Woods Studios our biggest month for crafting bookcases and other organizers is January.  Could it have to do with New Year’s resolutions?  Must be, but we’re getting inquiries almost every day lately.  I think customers are realizing that there is a 1-3 month lead time for ordering custom bookcases.  So if you’re one of those people I thought I’d offer up some tips and advice about how to choose the right set of bookshelves for your home or office.

Glass Doors, Wooden Doors or No Doors

Are you really going to use those books or movies or vases?  Or will they just sit in the bookcase and collect dust?  Are they beautiful?  Part of your decor?  Or just obligatory (someone gave them to you and you can’t seem to throw them away) and you don’t necessarily want to see them?  Do you put things back neatly?  Or are you always in a hurry?  These are the kinds of weighty issues you’ll need to unravel before you decide whether or not to add doors to your custom bookcases.  Oh… and should the doors be glass to show off your chotskies or wooden to hide the mess?

Custom Bookcases, Bookshelves, Glass Doors, Wood Doors, No Doors

Custom bookcases might not be on the top of your Christmas list. But whether you have a home office or you’re trying to tidy up and organize your books and media, custom bookcases could make your life easier and more efficient in 2013. Learn more and shop for solid wood bookcases with full length glass doors, half length glass doors, full length wooden doors, half length wooden doors or no doors on our website.

One Big Bookshelf or a Couple Small Ones?

Once you’ve decided what kind of doors are best for your bookshelves, you’ll want to measure your space and get the cabinets to fit perfectly into it.  Some people love the integrated design of one big bookcase unit like the Modern Shaker Home Office Center Cabinet above (make sure you can fit something this big up the stairs and into your room!).  Other people like the versatility of combining several small bookcases in different ways.  One thing we always mention to customers is: if you’re getting a series of bookcases that you may want to place flush up next to each other, be sure you specify “no overhang”.  That means any molding along the top will be eliminated either on one or both sides, depending on how you want to configure the bookcases.

Measure Twice and Cut Once

We try to make it easy to customize your bookcase online, but it really is a good idea to give us a call or stop by the showroom to order custom bookcases, especially if they’re over-sized or designed to sit flush against each other.  We’ll help you get all the measurements right for your space so they’ll be no surprises when your furniture arrives.

Learn more and shop for solid wood bookcases with full length glass doors, half length glass doors, full length wooden doors, half length wooden doors or no doors on our website.

 

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.

50-shades-of-cherry
Google image search results for ‘real cherry wood”. Half of these are NOT cherry wood.  Many are illegal rainforest woods, brought to you by organized crime which has taken root in the global timber industry.

Cherry Wood: Will The Real Color Please Stand Up?

We have conversations with customers every day about the color of real cherry wood furniture.  It’s no wonder!  When I just googled “real cherry wood” these well over 50 shades of cherry came up.  Quite a variation, isn’t it?

First of all, half of these images are NOT of cherry wood.  When the big American furniture companies started off-shoring their furniture to China over 30 years ago they found it cheaper to use rainforest woods (rather than import cherry from North America and then export it back to North America as furniture). So they stained these cheaper woods and gave them various trade names containing “cherry”.  For example Makore, an increasingly rare African wood being illegally logged in Sierra Leone and Gabon has been sold under the trade name Cherry Mahogany, though Makore is not closely related to either cherry or mahogany.  Worse yet,  it is listed as an endangered species due to illegal logging and exploitation by organized crime which has taken root in the global timber industry.

Many times customers come to us looking to buy real cherry furniture that matches existing cherry pieces in their homes.  After discussions and emailing pictures back and forth they are shocked to find that their “cherry” furniture from Bassett, Broyhill, Ethan Allen, Thomasville, Drexel, Lane or other big “American” companies is not cherry at all but rubberwood, poplar or some kind of engineered hardwood.

At Vermont Woods Studios, our cherry furniture is indeed made out of real, solid North American Black Cherry wood.  The color starts out as a light pink and slowly ripens to a rich reddish brown over time, depending on how much light the furniture is exposed to.  See various colors of cherry wood as it changes colors.

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.

Copeland Bedroom Furniture Sale Image
We’ve never done this before…but we’re excited about it! Copeland Bedroom Furniture is going on sale! 

Our President’s Day furniture sale will start this Friday and I have some good news for Copeland Furniture fans. For the first time (and possible the only time) we are able to offer a discount on Copeland bedroom furniture! The Copeland President’s Day sale starts Feb 13 and continues for over 2 weeks until March 1, 2015.

Copeland Berkeley bedroom furniture sale
Our Copeland bedroom furniture sale includes FREE shipping plus a 10% discount on this beautiful Berkeley collection (and all your other favorite bedroom pieces from this iconic Vermont furniture brand).

If you’re looking to purchase Copeland furniture, like all shoppers you’re looking for the best price, right?  You’ve noticed that all retailers are charging essentially the same price for Copeland.  What’s up with that?  Well as the Internet becomes a larger venue for shopping, more and more furniture manufacturers are setting a minimum price that we retailers must abide by.  In Copeland’s case it’s a fair price that’s commensurate with the value of their furniture.  It’s meant to help keep Copeland’s retailers from going out of business, declaring bankruptcy and damaging the Vermont furniture industry.  Thus in the past, you haven’t seen lower Copeland prices unless they were for a floor model or a scratch and ding sample.

Copeland Dominion bedroom furniture
Copeland’s Dominion bedroom furniture is also on sale with a 10% discount from Feb 13 – Mar 1, 2015.

But now, for President’s Day Copeland has announced their first ever bedroom furniture sale.  All your favorite Copeland bedroom collections will be discounted by 10%.  That’s huge because Copeland’s everyday pricing is a great value and very competitive with similar high end brands.  This sale is a true bargain!

Love mid century modern design?  This Copeland bedroom furniture sale features the Catalina collection, a beautiful expression of MCM style.
Love mid century modern furniture design? This Copeland bedroom furniture sale features the Catalina collection, a beautiful expression of MCM style.

Here’s a run down on what our President’s Day sale includes for Copeland bedroom furniture collections:

Check out our website for details and give us a call, visit us at our beautiful Stonehurst showroom or order online at your convenience.  We’ll look forward to hearing from you!

 

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.

douglas-tristan
Tristan’s been learning the Vermont Woods Studios ropes from his dad since he was barely a teenager. I took this snapshot a couple years ago when we were renting a tiny office space from Teddy George at George’s Mill in Vernon.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had the pleasure of welcoming Tristan Fletcher into our family of hardworking fine furniture specialists at Vermont Woods Studios.  Tristan’s been helping us since back in the day when we were working out of the guest bedroom in my house.  He was barely a teenager when we started recruiting him to help with data entry and photo-shopping.  Over the years he’s added additional skills like computer networking and troubleshooting to his repertoire.  Not to mention lawn-mowing, wood cutting/stacking and showroom cleaning.

Come to think of it, Tristan’s probably a serious competitor to Ken and Loryn when it comes to winning the VWS “jack of all trades” award.

Here's Tristan and fellow "groundskeepers" at Stonehurst last summer.  The foursome (from left, Teagen Fletcher, Riley Farabaugh, Trenton Fletcher and Tristan)
Here’s Tristan and fellow “grounds keepers” at Stonehurst last summer. The foursome (from left, Taegen Fletcher, Riley Farabaugh, Trenton Fletcher and Tristan) managed to keep smiling (mostly) throughout  the process of cutting and stacking 40 cords of wood.

When I asked Tristan how he acquired his expertise with computers he said he got interested by playing online video games. “While at my friend’s house I saw his custom computer and at that moment it started my interest. As a computer gamer the technology is never enough so I tinker and get as much performance as I can. New leading edge things come out which make the computer work better/faster and instantly I need to have them.

I’ve been customizing computers for about 3 years.  There’s nothing like having all the separate parts and spending a day building and putting a computer together to experience the final product and being able to say “I made that”.

Tristan
“There is nothing like spending a day building and putting all the pieces of a computer together and being able to say “I made that”.
When he's not going to school, working at Vermont Woods Studios, building computers or hanging out with friends, Tristan likes to draw.
When he’s not going to school, working at Vermont Woods Studios, building computers or hanging out with friends, Tristan likes to draw.
Big sister, Taegen adds a little levity to the task of maintining our furniture showroom at Stonehurst.
Big sister, Taegen Fletcher also helps us out at Vermont Woods Studios.  No job is too big or too small

Everyone’s excited about having Tristan on board full time now at Stonehurst. We’ve stationed him in the Brainiac Room with Neville and Martin where he’ll be helping them turn our dreams into reality.  It’s great to have you on board full time, Tristan!

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.