Today’s post is part of a series on Vermont Woods Studios written by Vermont author, Peggy McKay Shinn.  Peggy writes full-time and lives in Rutland, Vermont, with her husband, daughter, and one remaining cat. Visit her website and check out Peggy Shinn’s books, including Deluge: Tropical Storm Irene, Vermont’s Flash Floods, and How One Small State Saved Itself.  
Sustainable Wood

Selling Vermont-made furniture from sustainable wood is Peggy Farabaugh’s mission. But customers have found far more at Vermont Woods Studios.

“There’s a warmth to fine hardwood furniture and a unique texture too. The rippled linear grain of oak, the icy smooth polish of maple, the warm silky feel of cherry, the slippery sheen of dark walnut, it beckons to be touched — table tops rubbed, chairs sat upon, cabinet doors opened and closed, smoothly and effortlessly. Which is why Peggy Farabaugh’s idea of selling Vermont-made hardwood furniture online did not seem like the best business concept when she came up with it in 2005.

“It’s ridiculous to think that you could sell fine furniture on the Internet because people have to see it and have to feel it,” said Farabaugh, who smiles and laughs easily.

More surprising, Farabaugh knew very little about either furniture or running a business.

But she had a mission. She wanted to start a business that would help save the rainforest by selling furniture made from sustainable wood grown in the U.S. (and preferably Vermont) and to bolster Vermont’s 200+-year-old furniture-making tradition.

So she started Vermont Woods Studios. From a spare bedroom in her Vernon home, she began selling unique Vermont-made furniture, such as Chad Woodruff’s quarter-sawn white oak tables, David Holzapfel’s ultra-modern yet primitive coat racks made of maple saplings and blackened cherry burls, and her husband Ken’s own maple inlaid side tables. Surprising even to Farabaugh, and through trial and error, she found a niche.

Now in its ninth year, Vermont Woods Studios has grown 35 percent in the past two years, and business doubled in the two previous years. The company now employs over a dozen people, and this past fall, they opened Stonehurst, a renovated 18th-century farmhouse and barn that serve as company headquarters and showroom. It’s finally a place where customers can see — and touch — the cherry, maple, oak, and walnut fine home furnishings that they have found on the web.

But the reasons customers have flocked to Vermont Woods Studios may surprise Farabaugh.

***

Click here for part 2, ‘Putting a Passion for the Environment to Work.’ 

 

 We wish to express our deep gratitude to Peggy for all the time and talent she put into telling our story!  And if you love part 1 as much as we do, stay tuned, we’ll be posting part 2 of our story on the blog early next week. Part 2 will include some spectacular customer stories and more insight on why we’re “more than just sustainable wood.”  

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.

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“Tiny House Nation” is a television program that features innovative Tiny Homes from across the United States. Renovation experts and hosts, John Weisbarth and Zack Giffin travel across America to explore creative small spaces and the imaginative folks who occupy them. They also help new families design and construct their own dream tiny homes! Houses can be no larger than 500 square feet, and include anything from micro-NYC apartments to caboose cars turned mini-roadtripping home. This series celebrates the Tiny House movement and its explosive growth in the United States!

We’re excited to announce that we have provided some POLYWOOD® outdoor dining furniture to the tiny home! Sustainable Living is a major part of our company, so when we saw that there was going to be an episode shot in Vermont we knew we had to get involved. Douglas and Dennis made the trip up to Montpelier to hand deliver the furniture and meet the crew. We had been waiting in anticipation to see the show on air, and we were thrilled to see the Vermont tiny home in action last night on the FYI Television network!

What do you think, could you survive life in a home less than 500 square feet?

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-life-magazine

 

We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Vermont Life Magazine staff for including us in their fall issue! The article features several beautiful photos of our showroom, craftsmen, and furniture–as well as a compelling story that fits wonderfully with the rest of the magazine. We’re grateful to Jim Westphalen and Mary Hegarty Nowlan for their support of our green mission at Stonehurst, and we’re honored that they feel it fits into Vermont Life’s mission which “celebrates the unique heritage, countryside, traditions and people of Vermont and explores issues of contemporary interest to Vermonters and visitors to the state.”

We are excited to share our story with the world, and we hope you’re excited too! For information on subscriptions or information on how to pickup a copy of your own, visit www.vermontlife.com. If you’re local, feel free to stop by to take a look at our copy!

 

 

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 Reviews

As an avid online shopper myself, I know how important it is to see some solid online reviews before you go ahead with your purchase. We have dozens of great Vermont Woods Studios Reviews from our customers posted here, here,  and a few on our Facebook page-- but we also have a great collection of visual photos of Vermont Woods Studios furniture in people’s homes across the United States right on Pinterest. This isn’t exactly a review, but if the customer is happy enough to send us a photo of our furniture as its actually lived in… that’s a great sign.

When I’m shopping online, customer photos will often inspire me to go ahead and actually buy an item I’ve been dreaming about forever. In particular, I sometimes shop for clothes online and absolutely love seeing the clothing item on a real person. It makes it feel more real, more honest, and more “homey”. The same could be said for furniture, as seeing the pieces in home gives you a great idea of how it might look in yours.

Granted, some of the photos are small and others aren’t the best when it comes to photography, but they all have character and are unique to the style and personality of the home itself. We like that, and we hope you do too.

So go ahead and check out our customer photo board on Pinterest and let us know what you think! If you have a photo of your own to submit, we’d love to see it. Send all customer photos and Vermont Woods Studios Reviews to info@vermontwoodsstudios.com!

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.

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I’m excited to announce that I’ll be running @ThisIsVT on Twitter this week! @ThisIsVT was created by the Vermont tourism department in an effort to reveal the diversity & culture of Vermont. Each week a different Vermonter gets to run the account and share what life is like in their neck of the woods. This week I’ll be sharing all of the things I love–local beer, great food, our fine Vermont made furniture, music, and bellydance!

I invite you to join me on this tweet-tacular adventure as I share photos and stories about life as a 24 year old social media marketer in Southern Vermont! See you there!

 

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.