November 22nd, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
~John Fitzgerald Kennedy
This year has flown by so fast at Vermont Woods Studios, it’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is here already. It’s a good time to slow down and reflect on all the blessings we’ve received this year. Our small furniture business and our green mission have been able to move forward by leaps and bounds, in spite of a few setbacks. We are grateful to all our customers, our furniture makers, shippers, vendors, family, friends and neighbors. We’re grateful to Elaine and Bill Ellis who sold us the Stonehurst property, our future fine furniture showroom. But most of all, we are grateful to our wonderful staff who have poured their hearts and minds in to this ambitious venture, amidst the extraordinary challenges a small business faces during these economic times. They make it all happen, they give it their very best and they’re pretty fun to work with too!
So on behalf of this fine Green Team at Vermont’s Online Fine Furniture Store, Ken and I wish you and your family a very happy and relaxing Thanksgiving.
Although I’m not going to encourage shopping on Thanksgiving Day, I do feel like I should tell you that our Black Friday sale has started. No rush though. It runs through today, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Shop till you Drop Sunday and Cyber Monday.
November 19th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
After Hurricane Sandy tore through the Northeastern coast leaving a mess of destruction in her wake, many families had to evacuate their homes and are now living in temporary shelters until they can find a way to put their lives back together. One of the consequences that many people over look when a disaster occurs is what happens to family pets when people move into these shelters. Some shelters will take pets for a few weeks but after that, these families must find other solutions for their animals. Usually this means surrendering them to animal shelters and groups that are already filled with animals displaced by Hurricane Sandy. While local humane societies are doing a fantastic job at keeping up with the influx of abandoned pets, many people are just not willing to part with their beloved pets for good.
Luckily, there’s the Sandy Dog Nannies of Vermont! This group, founded by eight caring individuals, is working on connecting families in need with reliable, acceptable fosters in Vermont. Fosters will take pets in for up to 6-8 months while their owners look for more permanent housing. The group is currently looking for volunteers to foster animals, transport animals from NJ to VT, coordinate transport missions, respite support, perform home inspections and volunteers for general administrative work.
While I wasn’t able to convince Peggy to foster a dog here at the office (yet!), Vermont Woods Studios is currently looking for ways to get involved with the Sandy Dog Nannies. We’ve volunteered to transport dogs to Vermont and conduct home visits before dogs are placed with families. I’ll keep you posted on our progress!
Blood Donations: The American Red Cross is in need of blood donations after the cancellation of over 300 blood drives. A few of us here in the office will be heading into Brattleboro to give blood in a few weeks. (Check back on our blog in early December to see how it went).
Meals on Wheels: Citymeals.org delivers prepared meals to thousands of housebound elderly New Yorkers everyday. After Hurricane Sandy, there was an increased need for non-perishable meals for NY CityMeals recipients. Being volunteers for Meals on Wheels here in Vernon, this organizations’ efforts resonate closely with us. They are accepting monetary donations that are 100% dedicated to the preparation and delivery of meals.
Help by Request: AidMatrix along with the National Donations Management Network and the American Logistics Aid Network has a consolidated list available for responders to see exactly what is currently needed in problem areas.
More Help Links: The New York Times Blog is a great place to find more links and lists of exactly what is needed.
November 14th, 2012 by Loryn Dion
About three weeks ago, we held a one day sale for the Bonnyvale Environmental Educational Center. BEEC is a member-based non profit organization founded in 1991 with the mission to develop a more ecologically informed citizenry through education and action in order to enhance and sustain the vitality of southern Vermont’s bioregion. BEEC organizes and leads many community-based environmental research and conservation programs, including watershed stewardship, reptile and amphibian conservation initiatives, and biodiversity planning and protection.
Last Friday, Manjula and I traveled to BEEC to meet with Patti Smith and Belle Coles, two of BEEC’s amazing staff, to share the details of our sale and present them with a check for $800. They revealed to us that this money will go towards future wildlife rehabilitation efforts that they have been working on. BEEC is currently looking at the feasibility of being a hub for wildlife rehabilitation activities in Southern Vermont. If you would like to learn more about how you can help with their efforts, take their wildlife rehabilitation survey.
Part of our mission is to be involved with local non profit organizations, like BEEC, that support sustainable forestry projects. Vermont Woods Studios was founded to help protect trees and forests around the world, so we take our community service very seriously. We are proud to have been able to support such a great organization and we look forward to working with them again in the very near future!
Follow our blog to learn about how non profit organizations like BEEC fit in to our mission and how Vermont Woods Studios remains active and engaged in our community. You can also check out our Facebook to see other ways that we support local businesses and organizations.
November 11th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Happy Veterans Day and a heartfelt thank you to all our active military personnel and vets. On this day we start to think about the Adopt a Soldier Program we support each holiday season. I know it’s going to be hard for people to give this year, with the poor economy and recent hurricanes. But I hope this program will be a priority for some.
Our veterans, active military personnel and their families make sacrifices most of us cannot even imagine and they are suffering on our behalf. Adopt a Soldier provides a way for you to thank them and truly make a difference in their lives.
The Adopt A Soldier website provides easy ways to help, such as:
For our part at Vermont Woods Studios, we are excited to be adopting Sgt. Peter A. Avila who is currently serving with the 25th Infantry Division, 3rd Brigade, D Company located in Hawaii. Peter began in the military as a Marine and now is a US Army Soldier. He has served four tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and will soon be deployed again. Peter’s wife Crystal is suffering from kidney disease and debilitating complications. Peter and Crystal’s two little boys (Kenan and Kaleb) and a baby girl (Deanna) are growing up without their father’s presence nor do they have family members living close enough to assist in times of need. Many other military families are in similar circumstances, serving their country without complaint.
This Veterans Day weekend we are donating $20 from each sale towards adoption of Peter’s family. Please consider joining us in providing assistance to military personnel in need this holiday season. Contributions can be made online or at Soldier’s Angels or sent to the Wagram Emanuel Holiness Church, Attn: Sgt. Peter A. Avila, c/o Pastor Ronnie Norton, PO Box 784. Wagram, NC 28936, 910-369-2729.
November 10th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Vermonters from every corner of the Green Mountain state are putting together relief programs to assist our neighbors in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and other areas ravaged by Hurricane Sandy. This week Vernon and Brattleboro residents have a couple opportunities to help:
Stay tuned for more ways to help and check out Loryn Dion’s posts for updates on Vermont’s growing relief effort.
November 9th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Happy Veterans Day to all of America’s veterans and their families. The staff at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture extends our sincere thanks to you for your courage, integrity and sacrifice.
As Veteran’s Day approaches I thought readers might be interested in some of the many interesting volunteer opportunities listed on the Veteran’s Administration website. You can honor veterans by attending Welcome Home events, helping homeless Vets, donating to Wounded Warriors or contributing to any number of activities listed on the VA website.
We are running a special 15% off storewide Veterans Day furniture sale in honor of America’s active military and vets, starting tomorrow November 10 and running through Tuesday, November 13. We will donate $20 from every sale during this period to the Adopt A Soldier Program. Check back on Sunday, Veterans Day to read more about this important non-profit organization. Once again, thanks to all our military personnel for your service!
October 30th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
We are feeling very lucky this morning, waking up to intermittent rain and occasional gusts of wind from the remnants of Hurricane Sandy. Although tens of thousands of Vermonters lost power last night, thankfully Vermont has escaped the worst of the storm. As pain from last year’s devastating Hurricane Irene has yet to subside, it makes me wonder if perhaps Mother Nature has a heart after all.
Our thoughts and prayers are going out to all our friends, family and customers who are today going through the kind of nightmare we woke up to last year on August 21, 2011. In the coming days we will be thinking of you and looking for ways to help. Vermonters have a tradition of reaching out in times of need and we will be supporting our state’s efforts to send relief to hurricane victims in neighboring areas. Stay tuned for details as they evolve.
October 25th, 2012 by Loryn Dion
Here at Vermont Woods Studios, we enjoy getting out of the office from time to time to work with our neighbors on good causes that help the community. We are involved with many nonprofit organizations to lend our support for projects promoting sustainable forestry and the protection of endangered forest species. One of those organizations is the Bonnyvale Environmental Educational Center (BEEC). That’s why we are holding a BEEC Benefit Sale this Friday, October 26th.
BEEC is a member-based non-profit organization founded in 1991 with the mission to develop a more ecologically informed citizenry through education and action in order to enhance and sustain the vitality of southern Vermont’s bioregion. BEEC organizes and leads many community-based environmental research and conservation programs, including watershed stewardship, reptile and amphibian conservation initiatives, and biodiversity planning and protection.
Patti Smith, Director of Conservation Initiatives and Public Programs for BEEC, organizes volunteers to brave cold, rainy nights every Spring in a passionate effort to protect, preserve and guide Vermont amphibians as they cross busy roads on their annual migration. In honor of her efforts, we named our Smith Natural Vermont Furniture Collection after her.
For tomorrow only, 10% of our overall sales will go to benefit the programs of the Bonnyvale Environmental Educational Center. By purchasing any of our handcrafted bedroom, dining room, living room and home office furniture, you will help to secure the future of BEEC initiatives for years to come. You can also rest assured that all of the furniture pieces you buy from us are crafted from sustainably harvested hardwoods right here in Vermont. We’ll even make the deal better by offering you our lifetime guarantee and free shipping.
Don’t forget, our American-made Bedroom Furniture Sale is still going on. Save up to 20% on all beds, nightstands, dressers, chests, armoires and mirrors. Buy as an American-made bedroom set and save even more. Or you can save big on our Patti Smith Natural Collection and support one of our favorite Vermont naturalists.
October 22nd, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Vermont Woods Studios was born out of our passion for rainforest conservation. I remember when we were getting started back in 2005 we came up with a manifesto that explained the connection between wood furniture, rainforest conservation and global warming (in retrospect it looks a little too emotional, but at least I can say that it was spoken from the heart). Anyway, seven years later our passion for conservation has turned into a growing sustainable furniture business where each sale is used to help reforest the planet through The Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees project.
I realize most people see topics like rainforest conservation as boring but the truth is that our favorite iconic species like tigers, lions, pandas and gorillas all make their homes in the forest and all are critically endangered. With rainforest destruction proceeding at the rate of 1 acre/second (every minute of every hour of every day) there’s not much time left for these species unless we take action.
We use this blog occasionally to raise awareness about where your furniture comes from and how that affects your favorite creatures of the forest. Buy imported furniture and there’s a good chance it’s made from rare woods that have been clear-cut from the rainforest. Buy American made furniture and it’s probably made from American wood that’s been harvested sustainably. There are other things you can do to help save tigers and the rainforest. When buying coffee, nuts, rubber, paper or any type of forest product, check to see if it’s been produced sustainably.
Here’s an example of how you can make a difference. It’s a project by the World Wildlife Fund where consumers are boycotting Paseo and Livy toilet paper which are made by clear-cutting ancient, old growth trees in primary rainforests of Sumatra. The boycott is working and as a result WWF is able to help conserve Sumatra’s rare tigers and orangutans. Check out WWF’s website and see what you can do to lend a hand with this important project.
And if you love tigers as much as we do, learn more about how homeowners can help Save the Tiger on our website.
October 21st, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
If I was a cow and you gave me a choice of where I could live, I’d seriously consider Vermont. Wouldn’t you? I mean, you’d think this guy has it pretty sweet… rolling pastures with a brook running between them, expansive views of the Connecticut River, lush meadows with an endless supply of green grass to feast on. What more could a steer ask for?
But you know what they say about the other side of the fence. For this poor guy, it’s a farm stand full of freshly picked corn, squash, tomatoes and other succulent veggies. It stands there all day long, fully stocked– and abundantly available with nothing in between but a barbed wire fence and an honor system.
Can you imagine the frustration? I don’t know if I could live like that. There’s not much else to do that might provide a distraction either. A couple times a day a train goes by. Once or twice a week the Cabot truck comes to get milk from the holsteins across the street but other than that, it’s pretty quiet in Vernon, Vermont.
So I think everyone in town cheered this guy on when he finally made his move. Who could blame him? I hope he had plenty of time to indulge before anyone noticed. I don’t know what the eventual consequences were, but from the looks of things it really didn’t matter much to him.
Like this post if you think this steer should eat for free.