Over the last month or two Dennis and Manjula have added a couple hundred new Copeland American Made Furniture– beds, chests, dressers and other furniture pieces to our website. Now we have to re-organize a bit so it's easy to find what you're looking for.
We've created quite a few new categories to browse by, including one for Furniture Best Sellers. These are the most popular pieces in our Vermont made furniture store. Most of them will look familiar to you, especially if you have that natural, solid Shaker Sensibilty that draws many wood furniture shoppers and interior design professionals to our store.
But others are a surprise! Copeland's modern, contemporary Catalina bedroom set and their Monterey Arts & Crafts style bedroom sets are coming on strong and fast becoming our new best sellers. Have a look and let me know which furniture peices or collection you like best.
If President's Day weekend inspires you to think about making an effort to buy more American made products, check out this website, Americans Working. It's the best one I've found for researching where to buy American made things.
It seems to me we all want to do our part for the economy and to help create American jobs. Take a few minutes to browse or search through this site for an American made version of your next big purchase… maybe furniture, appliances, clothing, building supplies… whatever. You can browse by type of product or by state where it's made.
You'll see lots of familiar brands which you'll recognize for superior quality. And you'll be pleasantly surprised to see that American made products don't always cost more. But when they do there is greater value due to higher quality. It's time to give American made products another chance!
Remember the story about President George Washington? When he was a little boy, he chopped down his father’s favorite cherry tree. He had just gotten a new hatchet and I guess he couldn't resist. But when Washington's father called him on the carpet, the boy admitted his mistake, saying “I cannot tell a lie”. Of course, all was forgiven in return for the honest response. I wonder if they still teach that story in our schools?
Well anyway, in honor of that "all American" act of integrity, we're having a President's Day Fine Furniture Sale where all cherry furniture (and walnut, oak and maple too!) is priced at 15% off. It's one of only a couple sales/year when we are able to offer a 15% discount store wide.
Besides getting beautiful handmade furniture at a great price, you can feel patriotic about purchasing 100% American made furniture thereby helping our country’s economy.
So here's the fine print. The sale runs from today February 16 through February 21, 2012 and features a 15% discount on all wood furniture purchases storewide (minimum purchase $1500, Copeland furniture excluded). Each piece of furniture is hand made to order and can be customized online, by phone or our Vernon, Vermont-based showroom. Just so you know… the reason Copeland Furniture is excluded is that this line is always on sale with a low price guarantee.
Dennis and Manjula have been working on getting a beautiful selection of Copeland Bedroom Furniture Sets up on our website.
Copeland is our newest line of Vermont made furniture and their styles include traditional, Shaker and modern furniture, such as the:
Berkeley Cherry Bedroom Set (Modern Asian style)
Copeland's signature style is kind of a clean, simple elegance that's very popular in the more chic neighborhhods of Manhattan and other cities. But we love it up here in rural Vernon VT too!
A few logistical details: the sets are designed to save you on shipping. We couldn't lower the prices of the furniture in the sets because we already have Copeland furniture priced as low as possible. In fact we have a low price guarantee on Copeland furniture. But with the sets, you save on shipping– which is significant. Rather than paying $300/piece for white glove delivery, you can order as many pieces as you like and pay just $450 for shipping and white glove delivery of the whole set.
Check out the sets and let us know what you think. We've tried to make them versatile so you can customize your set online with any combination of pieces you might like, but I'm sure we haven't thought of everything. Give us a call if you can't find the exact pieces you need for your set. Rebecca and Shannon will be happy to hear from you!
One more thing. So far we just have Copeland bedroom sets up but in another month or so we'll have their collection of Frank Lloyd Wright dining sets as well. If you're looking to purchase before then, just call.
I was browsing through a home furnishings magazine that focuses on strategy for the furniture retailer today. The publisher was writing about the revolution that Keurig has caused in the coffee industry. She noted that Keurig has caused millions of coffee drinkers to throw away their old Mr Coffee and buy a new Keurig instead. Then buy dozens of flavors of K-cups and if they don't like them, throw them out too! It's beautiful, because by creating all these choices– some that customers won't like– you're increasing sales as products are thrown away and replaced with new.
The publisher's challenge to furniture retailers was to do the same thing as Keurig– come up with furniture that would make home owners throw their old furniture out and replace it with something new and more exciting. Frequently! Just like K-cups. She even went so far as to say that retailers should figure out a way to make money every time you sit in their chairs (like Keurig makes money every time you buy another K-cup)!
Whoa! What do you think about this?
I'm amazed at the lasar-like focus on profit to the complete exclusion of environmental concerns. It seems pervasive in the furniture industry, although there are outliars (those would be the small American furniture companies that remained here in the USA when the big guys like Ethan Allen, Bassett and Broyhill outsourced to Asia 30 years ago).
Our philosohpy at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture is different. We know we have to turn a profit to keep our business thriving but we're doing that by focusing on the fact that your furniture is a long term investment and something you can enjoy forever. We strive to make furniture with timeless designs so it will never go out of style or have to be replaced. We offer a lifetime guarantee on the quality of our furniture. And we're pretty sure you'll be handing it down to your grandchildren rather than throwing it out on the curbside with the last Keurig you bought.
We welcome your comments below or on our Facebook.
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 images are what 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".
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 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.
Today a new ten year strategic plan for Vermont's wood furniture (and other wood products) industry was unveiled by the Vermont Wood Products Marketing Council. The 2020 Vision For The Vermont Wood Products Industry provides a roadmap for our $1.8 Billion wood products industry in VT to capitalize on the state's reputation as the Fine Furniture Capital of America.
At Vermont Woods Studios Furniture we hope to be a major player in the industry's growth. We believe that American home owners are increasingly looking for sustainabilty, quality and authenticity in their home furnishings. That puts Vermont in an excellent marketing position as our furniture makers have consistently focused on those attributes for 200 years, producing a superior, high quality product at affordable prices.
Conversely, the vast majority of American furniture has been outsourced to Asia for the past 30-40 years in favor of cheap production. However as customers grow ever more weary of low-quality, imported furniture that's a health risk to their families, Vermont's tradition of quality workmanship and natural, sustainable materials will be important in rejuvenating the American furniture industry. And our woodworking community's ethic of collaboration rather than competition will be instrumental in leading the path forward.
We extend our thanks to the Vermont Wood Manufacturer's Association for making this report possible and look forward to working with our friends throughout the industry to get it implemented.
Check out Stephen Mills' article about Vermont furniture in the Burlington Free Press today. It's really encouraging to get this kind of exposure from Vermont's largest newspaper.
Stephen focused on a lot of the concepts we've been developing and promoting right here at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture, including the fact that Vermont truly is the Fine Furniture Capital of America and that Vermont furniture makers are the go to guys for authentically green, sustainable wood furniture.
Good job, Stephen! Thanks for spreading the good word.
Here in Vermont, January is a month when people tend to spend more time in their bedrooms. It's a cozy haven from the snow, ice and wind outside. So maybe you're curled up in bed with a laptop shopping for a new bed, or armoire? Or a modern dresser/TV stand combo that works as a chest of drawers but also has an open shelf for AV media and equipment?
Well then… we've got a sale for you on our American made, real solid wood bedroom furniture that's bound to warm you up even if you live here in the frozen tundra of Vermont. Here's how it works:
- All of our handcrafted American made bedroom furniture is now 10-15% off
- Save 10% off any single bedroom piece
- Or add additional bedroom furniture and receive 15% off every piece
Choose from our natural, eco-friendly, sustainably harvested Cherry, Maple, Walnut, or Oak solid woods. Everything comes with a lifetime guarantee and free shipping and delivery. This one-week sale starts at 8am on January 25, 2012 and runs through January 31st at midnight. Don't miss it! It's time to invest in the real thing.
A couple weeks ago I attempted to work through a definition of "fine wood furniture" at the request of one of our customers. I couldn't find any type of universally (or even generally) agreed-upon definition, so I thought I'd try to make one up. But as I waded into it, I realized how difficult even that is.
There's just so much ground to cover in "fine wood furniture" such as style, type of wood used, craftsmanship, type of joinery used, finishing products and techniques, the use of hand tools versus precision machinery, the use of veneers versus solid wood, and of course durability and longevity.
So I've been opining my way through each area– well just to generate some discussion really, because I think that would be more valuable than an attempted definition of "fine wood furniture".
Today I wanted to talk about where "fine wood furniture" comes from and how it makes it's way to your bedroom or kitchen. Would you believe that most of the so called "fine wood furniture" that's sold in America today is made in China or VietNam from wood that was logged unsustainably (and often illegally) from the rainforests of South America, Africa, Siberia and Asia? I know it sounds like extremist rhetoric, but it's really not. Kendall just published a page on sustainable furniture today, reminding us about the environmental damage that comes from rainforest destruction.
So my point is, if you're going to define fine wood furniture, you probably do need to address where it comes from. Furniture from small companies like Vermont Woods Studios that use American-grown, sustainably-harvested wood and local craftspeople is different than furniture that's made overseas with illegal wood by people paid 25 cents/hour. It feels different. It has better "karma". It makes you feel proud to own it. You find yourself telling people all about where you got it and how long it took to make and how the joinery is designed, right?
Another note– most American fine wood furniture comes with a lifetime guarantee– an important indication of sustainability.
Next post, I'd like to share some sustainable practices I've been impressed with at Copeland Furniture and Clearlake Furniture, both Vermont companies. After looking at the green practices Vermont furniture makers have been famous for over many generations, you may find youself agreeing with me that Vermont is the Fine Furniture Capital of America.
Thanks to Clearlake Furniture for the photo of their Rocking Chair