December 31st, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton
Now that the holidays are behind us and a fresh new year lies ahead, I can’t help but start thinking about my new years resolutions and the ways in which this year will be different. I’m not one for hoping to lose weight or become rich in the new year, but rather, I hope to make small behavioral changes that can improve communities and help change lives. Shopping small and buying handmade products is one way in which I hope to make a difference this year as someone who loves to shop!
There are many different reasons why shopping handmade is important, and could make a great resolution for you too! It’s important to note that there is no WRONG reason, and that each of us has our own connection with the idea of shopping small.
1) Community: By buying something handmade, you might feel a special connection to the place where you bought it from. That feeling of camaraderie makes your purchase that much more special and important, because you know you are supporting a real person and place and that the maker deeply appreciates creating something special for you.
2) Mindful Spending: A phrase I’ve heard a lot recently is “every dollar you spend is a vote.” This has greatly influenced the way I see my spending, as the things we buy can certainly be seen as an extension of our selves.
3) Love: Buying handmade is a wonderful way to show love and support for a local artist, craftsman, local business, etc.
4) Originality: No two items are ever exactly the same when you buy handmade. Besides being able to customize your item to your liking, you can feel good knowing that your purchase was really made just for you.
5) Eco-Friendly: Shopping small and handmade is usually an indication that you are making a sustainably responsible purchase; many crafters use mostly locally sourced materials and do their best to ensure that their creations don’t have a negative impact on the environment.
Shopping small is important to each of us at Vermont Woods Studios, and its a central part of our mission. By making small changes in your shopping habits, you can be a part of a huge movement to support what matters… the people.
Wishing you a very happy new year filled with love, prosperity, and health!
December 25th, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton
From all of us at Vermont Woods Studios, we’d like to wish you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a new year filled with health, prosperity, and happiness! Thank you so much for your continued support of our business and our mission!
Peggy, Ken, Douglas, Dennis, Neville, Liz, Michelle, Loryn, Sean, Martin, Kelsey, and Nina.
December 22nd, 2013 by Liz Francese
My grandma occasionally calls me indecent names when I forget to call or miss a family get-together. The berating is really a gesture of love (like when she noticed my jeans started fitting a bit tight and she slid the store-bought cookies in my direction) and it really just means she wants me around more often. I don’t miss these occasions out of preference for hanging out with my mean cat, but the three hour commute from Vermont to Rhode Island often deters my ability to swing by on a moment’s notice.
As our family grows larger it is more and more difficult to track down every member for my once in a blue moon trips to the Ocean State. During the holiday season, I can sometimes feel like I’m missing out or even experience a bit of guilt when I miss a get-together. This year, however, I’ve found new ways to connect and enjoy my family; I hope others can use these resources to connect with theirs as well!
First on my agenda this year was getting my new address out to everyone, either directly or by reporting it to the family bulletin board… aka Mom. This way I can be sure to receive photos and cards in the mail. Then, as my co-workers pass by and admire the dimple-dotted cheeks of my nephews and nieces, I can quietly brag about how inevitably cute my future offspring will be.
I only hung my lights this past week so I can’t honestly say I am sending out cards this year. Besides, without kids, who really cares to see my mug on the front of a cutesie shutterfly Christmas card? In all seriousness though, this will certainly be first on my list next year-with or without little feetsie-toed babes.
iPhone Photo Library
My brother also has a telecommuting relationship with my family and, given my grandma’s warm embrace of his every visit, it’s pretty obvious he is better at keeping up with the fam’ than I am. This year, as he adopted his first iPhone, he found yet another way to reinforce the bond: a shared photo library. From the erecting of my parent’s Christmas tree to Gingerbread house decorating and cookie baking, we have shared Christmas moments across distances. We can even send comments and “like” each other’s photos; it’s like a themed, personalized Facebook without all of the ads or other “friends” peering in.
This old, by tech standards, tool works great for those spreading themselves a bit thin this holiday season. After all, each family has at least two sides and when the kids get older, it is common they start dividing their holiday time among their newly formed families. Skype is also great for those with loved ones serving with the military abroad, or working that indecently long yet eloquently paid Christmas shift at the hospital.
Is Skype a bit much for you? Shoot a quick video on your phone or, better yet, give your relatives a call. If you’re lucky, you’ll be put on speaker phone so you can talk to everyone at once.
Eventually, you’ve just got to go visit. Whether or not you can make it on the big day, coming for a short stay in recognition of the holidays is just as valid. If you want to take it a step further, invite everyone to your little visit, like my brother Frank did by hosting Franksgiving. When he knew he would be spending Thanksgiving with his significant other’s parents, he created a whole holiday for himself. The shindig turned into an opportunity for all of our loved ones, especially those with other Thanksgiving plans, to join us at the kitchen table.
December 21st, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
We are so lucky at Vermont Woods Studios! Neville’s wife Carol surprises us with delicious treats every now and then. This week: Christmas cookies and a loaf of stollen. Which is your favorite? Sugar cookies, nut cups, chocolate chips, brownies, gingerbread?
If this is making you hungry and you’re not on Carol’s “Nice List,” not to worry. Check out Vermont Cookie Love. They offer “fresh-baked cookies that we ship the same day they come out of the oven. Or if you want the optimum hot-out-of-the-oven experience, you can buy our frozen cookie dough and bake the cookies yourself. Our cookie dough is all natural, with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. We source ingredients that are non-GMO, we use no hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, and cookies baked from our dough contain 0 grams trans fat.”
Could be the next best thing to Carol’s cookies. What do you think? Let us know on Facebook or stop by Stonehurst, our new fine furniture showroom and art gallery in Vernon, Vermont. Better be quick though– I’m not sure how long these irresistible Christmas cookies are going to be around.
December 5th, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton
We love our community of Facebook fans and friends, and we wanted to give back to them for being so supportive and engaged; so on Thanksgiving we posted a contest to win 1 of 3 J.K Adams kitchen accessories! Today, one week later– we’ve picked a winner! The winner is Mary Mariah! She wins the Shelburne Ash Wood Cutting Board! Congratulations Mary!
Want to stay in the loop for our next contest? Like us on Facebook!
December 2nd, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton
What if we told you that you could get all of the same amazing Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals you can in stores, without having to leave your home? That you could avoid crowded furniture warehouses & department stores, and avoid the inevitable shove to the side while another aggressive shopper reaches for the last side table? Well, it’s true! Our Black Friday to Cyber Monday Furniture Sale is a storewide sale. You can shop conveniently from the couch while you enjoy your mild food coma!
We know that this is not only a shopping-packed weekend, but also a family-packed weekend, so we’re giving you 8 full days to save on our Vermont made, handcrafted wood furniture.
This sale begins the day before Thanksgiving and runs through Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday– with a few extra days for good measure. From Wednesday, November 27th through Wednesday December 4th our online fine furniture gallery is open 24/7 making your new furniture shopping stress and hassle free. (For additional assistance and convenience our showroom and phone lines will be staffed from 9:00am – 5:00pm each day during the event with the exception of Thanksgiving Day and Sunday, December 1st)
During this event, you’ll save 20%* on our real wood Bedroom, Living Room, Dining Room and Home Office furniture all skillfully crafted by Vermont’s finest furniture workshops. Choose from real Cherry, Maple, Walnut, or Oak woods. We can also customize your new furniture to exactly fit your space and needs. All of our furniture is traditionally built to last for generations and is backed by a lifetime warranty.
So, don’t worry about getting out of your PJs to get the best Black Friday furniture deals this year!
*Excludes Home Decor items, Copeland, Artisan and Outdoor Furniture
November 30th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Michelle had a good reminder for us in her post earlier this week. Thanksgiving “was not originally intended to promote Christmas sales”. But I have to admit that Black Friday is the first time I think about buying holiday gifts. The reality for most of us is that when you have popular toys on your list or you’re shopping for something big (like appliances, cars, computers, furniture) you can’t ignore Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
So, in contrast to all that holiday shopping madness, today we have Small Business Saturday. It’s a day to re-discover your local merchants and the character and richness they add to your community. They may not be able to beat the lowest prices you’ll find online but there’s an unmeasured value in their goods and services. How much is it worth to you to have a beautiful downtown? A local economy? Jobs for your friends and family? In Vermont it’s worth a lot. So we’ve come up with a list of the Top 10 Reasons to Shop Locally at your favorite downtown, mall or rural shopping outpost (like Stonehurst):
Have more of you own? Let us know on Facebook before you head downtown.
November 28th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
From all of us here at Vermont Woods Studios, we wish you and your family a very happy and peaceful Thanksgiving! Safe travels as you journey to Grandmother’s house or wherever the holiday may find you and your loved ones.
We have much to be thankful for in 2013… Michelle shared the details here.
November 25th, 2013 by Michelle Rooks
As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, it’s important to remember that this holiday was not originally intended to promote Christmas sales. More and more we see “Black Friday” move into Thanksgiving Day. I thought it would be nice to reach out to some of our customers, craftsmen, and Vermont Woods Studios staff to see what they are thankful for this year.
I’m thankful for my home and awesome new dog! -Kelsey, VWS Marketing Assistant
I am thankful for my incredibly supportive husband and my crazy little 2 year old. I love that I have the opportunity to stay home and care for our son – I am one lucky mom (on most days anyway!). -Lisa, Customer, Maplewood, NJ
I am thankful to live in a country where violence and terror are not the norms for resolving political differences. I am thankful for the men and women of the Armed Forces, emergency service workers and other public service members who are separated from friends and family during Thanksgiving because they are providing for the defense and safety of our communities, whether they be in war zones or here on American soil. I am thankful for those who put themselves in harm’s way to give me the freedom that I often take for granted. It is because of them that I have the ability to spend time at home with friends and family. -Loryn, VWS Sales
Health, Family & Friends! -Cheryl, Craftsman
I am thankful for my family and getting to spend Thanksgiving with them and not having to cook! -Sean, VWS Sales
I don’t want to sound too schmaltzy, but I am thankful for my family: that my wife and I are still committed to each other; that my kids are happy, successfully launched and making their way in the world; that I have an extended family whom I love and who love me. Beyond my blood family, I am grateful for the friends and community that make me feel like I’m a part of something larger than myself.
Except for a few people, in the end the great bulk of us are remembered only for how well we loved others and how well they loved us. I am thankful to have so many people to love.
Happy Thanksgiving. -Steve, Craftsman
This being my first year at Vermont Woods Studios, I am thankful to be working with such a great team doing work I enjoy, while helping the environment and supporting our local craftspeople! -Martin, VWS Webmaster
In a nutshell—I am thankful for my wonderful family, for health and for peace! -Cheryl, Customer, McLean, VA
I am thankful for our friendly, witty, quirky, dedicated staff members at Vermont Woods Studios that make our customers feel like family! -Peggy, Founder and VWS Visionary
This is my first Thanksgiving at Vermont Woods Studios. Having been part of a company downsizing a little over a year ago, I can’t believe how lucky I am to now be working with a group of like-minded people and so close to my own home. And, so my family doesn’t think I don’t appreciate them, I will give a shout out to my amazing daughters and my very patient husband. I would also be remiss if I omitted my theater and church family members! -Michelle, VWS Sales
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Vermont Woods Studios!