GreenBuild is an international conference of the world’s leading green building experts who gather together annually to
share insights on the green building movement and its diverse
specialties, including green furniture.  The Expo has been rapidly gaining steam since it’s debut in 2002 and Vermont Woods Studios is proud to be a part of it this year as it rolls into Boston, November 19-21, 2008.

If you’re going to be in Boston during that time, please consider visiting the Expo to see all the new and exciting progress that industry leaders are making in green energy, landscaping, interior design, furnishings and much more.  Vermont Woods Studios will be featured in a multi-media presentation about Vermont’s unique status as a provider of high-end green furnishings from premium, affordable catalog furniture to ultra-luxury custom artisan works.  We congratulate our artisans and craftspeople for their fine achievements and this extraordinary measure of international recognition.  See you in Boston!

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.

Dad-and-BlackiesWeb_op_731x656_op_731x656_op_800x717
Anybody who shops online routinely knows that shipping and handling charges can be a real spoiler.  How many times have you waded deep into the purchasing process only to find that at the last stage, outrageous shipping charges appear that force you to jump ship?  It's frustrating.  It's a waste of your valuable time.  At Vermont Woods Studios, we know how precious your time is so we've decided to include shipping charges in our base prices.  That way customers can see up front, exactly what they will be paying for an item. 

What's FREE shipping worth?  Well, these days, with gas prices so high, it can  worth a LOT.  So for each shipment we  work closely with shippers to obtain the best quality and price, thus keeping your overall costs to a minimum.  Here's an example of how that can work for you.  We arranged shipment of a $6000 custom artisan console table from Vermont to Lutsen, MN this week.  Shippers quoted us a range of $700-$2100.  Quite a spread, isn't it?  We chose neither extreme, but the point is, our customer didn't have to worry about any of this.   They were able to rely on our experience and good relationships with specialty furniture shippers who have excellent reputations.  The shipment was handled safely, efficiently and economically.  Shipping is a big part of our business and we are committed to doing it right. 

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.


LilybenchM1

Did you know that furniture today, on average is CHEAPER than it was 25
years ago?  How can that be when everything else has skyrocketed in
price?  Well, over the years the furniture industry has been
transformed from one where most items were crafted legally here in the USA to
the present situation where the vast majority of pieces are made in
China, Indonesia and other third world countries.  Consumers may
initially see the low prices as a bonus, however a closer look at the
underlying realities reveals a whole host of undesirable side-effects:

  • The world's rainforests are being
    decimated at unprecedented rates due in part to illegal clear-cutting to produce
    timber for our floors and furniture
  • This loss of rainforest accounts
    for about 20% of global warming
  • Many iconic species that rely on the rainforest for
    habitat are
    quickly heading for extinction, including panda bears,
    orangutans, tigers, jaguars, gorillas and many more
  • Vast amounts of oil are required to transport the illegal timber from its
    origins in tropical rainforests to
    sawmills in distant lands and then again on
    to China for manufacture and yet again to the US for sale

In addition to the environmental issues, there is a huge difference in quality between mass produced, mass marketed imported furniture and that made in the USA.  We'll talk about that next time.

At Vermont Woods Studios, all of our furniture is handcrafted from sustainably harvested woods.  Most of our wood originates from well managed forests right here in Vermont or in neighboring Northeastern states.  When customers do request rainforest woods like mahogany or teak, we make sure they are certified as sustainably harvested, carrying the international gold seal of approval from the Forest Stewardship Council, FSC.  You can rest comfortably knowing that both your furniture and the forests where it came from will be around for generations to come.

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.

VWS-Furniture-Delivery-Truck
This is a case where the truth hurts.  Once you’ve made a decision to invest in US-made, handcrafted, heirloom quality furniture, you’re excited and want to see it in your home as soon as possible. But you’re a patient person, so waiting 8-10 weeks to have furniture specially made for you is tolerable. Adding another 1-5 weeks for white-glove shipping may be asking a bit too much, right?

At Vermont Woods Studios, we have two shipping options:

  • FREE, full-service, white-glove shipping and delivery by the finest, award-winning shipper in the country (this shipper is the one most often chosen to ship antiques for Sothebys and Christies auction services). We recommend this blanket wrap shipping option for four reasons.  First, our customers have great praise for the high level of personal service they receive with this method.  The delivery team brings your furniture into your home, sets it up wherever you like and waits while you inspect it for any possible shipping damage.  Second, the furniture is blanket wrapped and there is no packaging material to dispose of, so the environmental benefit is substantial.   Third, in all of our blanket wrapped shipment history, we have had only one incident of damage and that was very minimal and was quickly repaired to the customers complete satisfaction.  And fourth, it’s FREE!  The downside of blanket wrapping is the time frame involved, 1-5 weeks, depending on your location and the timing of your order relative to other orders in your area.

  • Express Shipping (10% upcharge).  With express shipping you will receive your furniture within 2-10 days of completion. It will be wrapped and boxed in cartons and shipped via an express delivery service.  The delivery crew will bring your furniture to your doorstep and at that time you will need to unpackage your furniture and carefully inspect each piece to be sure that no damage has occurred during shipping.  Customers must be sure to do this while the shipper waits and BEFORE they sign the waybill.  The truth is that Express shippers are often in a hurry and quite honestly, there is slightly greater risk of damage when using this option.  Damage is dealt with by repair or replacement, but we hate to see our customers have to go through the disappointment of shipping damage.  One thing we always stress, particularly with Express shipping is that customers must note any damage no matter how small, on the shipper’s waybill and contact Vermont Woods Studios as soon as possible.

Whether you’re buying furniture or any other large item that must be shipped to your doorstep, these considerations will apply.  Although we’re always looking for ways to improve our shipping time and quality, one fact remains indisputable:  Speed has its price.

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.

Vermont Woods Studios Logo 3Trees
I know we're all supposed to be ALL three of these things: better, faster AND cheaper, but the reality is that every business must carve out their niche by prioritizing one of these areas over the other two.  At Vermont Woods Studios, our main emphasis is on better, although we're always looking to improve efficiencies and control cost.  Since our furniture is all handcrafted and built to order, we have a lead time of 8-10 weeks.  That may seem like a long time compared to pieces you can pick up immediately in the nearest Big Box store.  However, when a customer is shopping for heirloom quality, solid wood furniture that will last a lifetime, 8-10 weeks usually seems reasonable, particularly if customization of the design or dimensions is needed. We urge customers to start planning their new furniture about 4-6 months ahead of time.  That gives us plenty of time to work back and forth on the design and budget, while leaving ample time for the fine art of Vermont style craftsmanship.  More on Better versus Faster and Cheaper when we talk about shipping.

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.