Ken and I started this Vermont furniture store 10 years ago with the belief that businesses have a responsibility to make the world a better place. In developing a company that sells handcrafted wooden furniture we wanted to raise awareness about forest conservation and persuade customers to purchase furniture made from sustainably harvested, North American wood. A decade later, we’re not naive enough to think we’ve changed the world but perhaps we’ve changed a tiny part of it and that feels good. Here are some highlights of what our team accomplished this year in support of our local community and our environmental mission:
Plant a Billion Trees Project
Monarch Habitat Restoration Project
Vernon’s Giving Tree
Connecticut River Clean-up
Meals on Wheels
Vermont Food Bank Thanksgiving Project
River Arts Gallery Auction
Wags to Riches Auction
Environmental Education at Vernon Elementary School
Providing Toys & Food for Kids in the Amazon Rainforest
As we close out 2015, I extend my thanks to the customers, staff members, furniture makers, family, friends, neighbors and business partners whose support made the accomplishments of this small Vermont furniture store possible. Here’s to your health and happiness in 2016!
I founded Vermont Woods Studios 10 years ago on a mission of forest conservation. I was looking for a way to raise awareness about where wood products like furniture and flooring come from. What many people don’t realize is that when you buy these wood products from big companies like Lumber Liquidators or IKEA, there’s a good chance they’re made from trees that have been illegally clear-cut from the world’s rapidly disappearing rainforests. The idea with Vermont Woods Studios is to provide beautiful, sustainable, American made furniture as an alternative to imported furniture of suspicious origin.
The Vermont – Amazon Connection
Earlier this year, my sons Kendall & Riley and I made a trip to the Amazon rainforest to support the forest conservation efforts of Rosamaria Ruiz at the Serere Reserve in Bolivia. While there, Riley became friends with Marco Antonio Gonzales Silva, a remarkable young conservationist working on social and environmental projects in the Bolivian Amazon.
Marco’s Holiday Giving Project
Marco grew up as a “street kid” in Peru, shining shoes for a living. His dream is to help kids in the Peruvian Amazon, especially those living on the streets and working every day just to feed themselves. So for the past three years, Marco has been sponsoring a project to bring holiday cheer to these children. He uses his own money and also fundraises to buy gifts and food for the kids. Each child receives a toy, a sandwich, and some hot chocolate for Christmas. The cost is about $5 per child. Marco told Riley that most of these children have never had a toy before and do not yet understand the concept of a toy.
In his first year, Marco was able to donate to 500 kids by himself! With the help of some friends, he was able to up that number to 900 in his second year. Now in his third year, Marco took to Facebook to ask for help and we’re trying to help make it his biggest year yet!
Every Furniture Sale = a $50 Donation
We’re sending Marco a $50 donation for every furniture sale made at Vermont Woods Studios this weekend (Friday, Saturday & Sunday). The money will be donated through a GoFundMe page set up for Marco by Riley. The campaign runs until Dec. 14th, 2015 and Riley’s goal is to raise $2,500. He is promising to match the largest donation (up to $200). If you’d like to support the cause or learn more about it, please click here for details and a secure donation site. Even a $5 donation will make a big difference in the lives of these children. Thanks!
Know any Sales professionals looking for a complete change of pace? The Sales Manager job opening we have at Vermont Woods Studios is pretty unique. First of all, although we sell to customers from New York to Los Angeles, our showroom and offices are in the tiny rural town of Vernon, Vermont. It’s beautiful here and there’s lots to do if you love the outdoors (admittedly you’ll have to drive a couple hours to get to a theater or stadium though).
About the job… well it’s all about helping people and being a resourceful problem-solver. You’ll be helping our brilliant sales people and improving the tools they use to serve our customers. You’ll be helping our furniture workshops understand and fulfill our customer needs. You’ll be helping all of us here at Vermont Woods Studios to manage and grow our company. And you’ll be helping us with our mission of “furnishing a greener world”.
If you’re interested or know someone who is, check out this job opening and send us a resume. Then pick out your new office from the photos in our Stonehurst archive and let us know which one you want. This one’s Ken’s but there’s room for a second person, if you don’t mind the cold.
A Quick Look at our Facebook, Pinterest, Blog and Twitter
Check out the cool “What’s New” page that Martin put together for us– well, for you actually. He and Neville have been working on it for awhile and just launched it this week.
The page pulls news from all of our social channels like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and the Blog so we can present them to you all on one page.
It’s a quick way to catch up on all the latest happenings at Stonehurst: sales, coupons, customer reviews, new products, Vermont scenery, you name it. Have a look and let us know what you think in the comments section below or on Facebook.
Today’s Huffington Post features an article about Vermont Woods Studios by our favorite journalist and champion of women in business, Laura Dunn. The article is part of a series spotlighting the contributions of a diverse spectrum of women leading commercial businesses, academic institutions, media outlets, governments and non-profits. We are infinitely grateful to Laura for including me and Vermont Woods Studios in her line-up of famous and not so famous people who are working to change the world.
In addition to writing for the Huffington Post, Politico and The Daily Beast, Laura has her own successful blog, Political Style, which discusses politics, fashion and culture. Although she hails from across the pond, Laura interned in the US House of Representatives for Rep. Patrick J Kennedy and has worked on many election campaigns. She currently works for an Assembly Member at the National Assembly for Wales. Her feature on Vermont Woods Studios explores why we started the company and highlights the green mission that holds us together through thick and thin.
I want to take this opportunity to shout out a word of thanks to our customers, employees and other partners who have made Vermont Woods Studios successful over our 10 year existence. You are the real heroes — the ones who are fueling the movement and making our sustainable furniture business possible. We are deeply grateful.