July 29th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
July 29th is Global Tiger Day. Did you know there is a direct connection between tiger conservation and the furniture and flooring you buy for your home? Companies like IKEA, Home Depot and WalMart sell wooden furniture and flooring that are often obtained through illegal logging in protected tiger habitats. Much of the global timber trade is now managed by organized crime. Sources, including George Mason University and The Washington Post are reporting that the global timber trade is the new heroin industry for organized crime. Tiger habitats are being rapidly and systematically destroyed in Russia, China, Malaysia and elsewhere to provide the cheap, imported wooden furniture and flooring that’s sold in America’s big box stores.
As a result, some scientists predict that the last remaining 3200 wild tigers (down from 100,000 just a century ago) will be entirely extinct in 5 years.
As an apex predator, the tiger is one of the most important animals in all of human history. If you love tigers, have a look at the World Wildlife Fund’s initiative to double the number of wild tigers by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger. You can support the effort by purchasing sustainable products. At Vermont Woods Studios, we promote American made furniture as it is almost always made with North American wood, harvested from well managed forests. We’re using our new Stonehurst fine furniture and art gallery to raise awareness about where your furniture comes from and persuade people to purchase furniture and flooring made from sustainably harvested wood.
Tigers are running out of space and time with only 7% of their habitat remaining but your decisions about buying furniture flooring and even paper, coffee and other forest products can help save them. It’s not too late! Please like our Tiger conservation initiative on Facebook and share this post with your friends. Thanks!
July 26th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Selling handmade furniture online is considered preposterous by many. Fine furniture must be seen in person for one to appreciate the quality and workmanship that goes into each piece. But at Vermont Woods Studios we’ve been hard at work making an exception to that rule for 8 years. Much of our success is due to the talented group of web development professionals we’ve managed to persuade to join our cause– and Martin Corbin is the newest among them.
Martin’s interest in computers and digital art began when he was a young boy. As an adult, he enrolled in a PC repair course and entered the IT field, first working for a local computer shop then going freelance. Martin enjoyed experimenting with digital art, and eventually combined his interests into designing websites. However he hasn’t left his creativity behind. On his personal website he shares a bit about his artistic side:
“I was raised in an artistic household and began drawing at an early age. My mother Rita Corbin was already an established artist before I was born. I watched her work daily and used what I learned to try to make my own drawing come to life…. My approach is simple: draw or paint what I want, when feel like it, and don’t worry about how it comes out. Simple as this is, not over thinking remains a challenge. I believe this relaxed approach makes the process more enjoyable while still allowing for great results.”
I want to know how to relax and get as much accomplished as Martin has. In addition to his expertise with computers, programming and art, he is also an accomplished musician. We know Martin as a die hard Phish phan but I’ve recently learned that he has a long history with music. During Brattleboro’s heyday, he was in a band called The Weld, playing acoustic, instrumental jazzgrass music at The Common Ground Restaurant and McNeill’s Brewery. You can check out his artwork and music on his website, MartinCorbin.com.
We feel very fortunate to have Martin working with us at Vermont Woods Studios. Stop by our fine furniture and art gallery at Stonehurst to see samples of his artwork. And help us welcome Martin to the Woods by giving him a thumbs up on Facebook!
July 24th, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton
We are always happy to collaborate with organizations that make sustainability a central part of their mission, which is why we were really excited to see that we were published in Inhabitat! Inhabitat is a weblog that is dedicated to sustainable design, green innovation, and technology; they write and post stories related to sustainable building practices, materials, architecture, and design! Like us, they believe in a more conscious and ecologically focused future. I would consider them the Number 1 source website for sustainable design news around the globe.
If you are interested in green building, energy efficient home living, green interior design, emerging technologies, renewable energy, or sustainable product design– Inhabitat is most definitely the place you should go for some of the most interesting sustainability related stories around the web.
Another thing we love about Inhabitat is that they are constantly streaming information throughout the day, so there is never a shortage of sustainable stories to read and be inspired by! Also, stories are short and to the point (what I like to call, microstories) so you can get a wealth of information without having to search for the good stuff. Links are always provided so the reader can do independent research of their own, pretty neat!
July 18th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Finding people who want to work at Vermont Woods Studios is easy, but finding just the right person for a particular job opening is hard. Over the last few years, whenever we’ve advertised a job opening, we’ve had 50-100 applicants express interest. About 25% of them are excellent candidates and we usually end up interviewing about 5-10 people for each opening.
As with any employer, we’re looking for people who are smart, hard-working, driven, creative and easy to get along with. We also consider who the new employee will be spending most of their time with and try to make sure there is a good fit between the personalities. Beyond that though, there is something intangible involved in selecting the right person. In Kelsey Eaton’s case it was a spirit of determination and courage and a notion that anything is achievable. Here’s a little bit about her background:
Kelsey’s a recent graduate of Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont where she earned her BS in Communications with a concentration in Media Practices. She is now pursuing a masters degree in Internet marketing at Full Sail University. Kelsey’s career in marketing began at age 11 when she created an e-zine called The Underworld– a weekly email publication that featured her own original poetry and photography as well as music reviews and celebrity gossip.
While at Green Mountain College, Kelsey was selected as Art Director and Marketing Manager for the school’s monthly publication, The Mountaineer. Besides using social media to connect with supporters, Kelsey also employed telemarketing– a feat no ordinary person could ever survive, right?
After graduating from GMC Kelsey worked her own freelance designer business, doing a variety of graphic design, writing, and photography projects, including work for Poultney’s famous Full Belly Deli.
Now she spends her time working with Dennis in our Marketing “Department” (that would be Dennis and Kelsey). She reaches out to customers and friends, promoting Vermont made fine furniture to local, regional and national media outlets as well as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Houzz and the Vermont Furniture Blog. In her free time, Kelsey teaches belly dancing (Loryn and Liz are her star pupils) and enjoys music and writing.
Help us welcome Kelsey Eaton to Vermont Woods Studios by giving her a thumbs up on Facebook!
July 9th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
The best part of our work at Vermont Woods Studios is seeing photos of our handmade furniture after it’s been installed in a customer’s home. I’m happy to say that we’ve put Vermont’s handmade furniture into homes in every state in America (including Alaska and Hawaii) as well as a handful of other countries. But the drawback to serving such a wide-spread customer base is that we rarely get to install the furniture ourselves and see how it looks. That makes our customer testimonials and reviews all the more important.
Last week we received this note from Mallory and Craig of Fort Worth, Texas:
Vermont Woods Folks– I wanted to let you know (at last!) how much we’re enjoying our stereo cabinet, coffee table, and console table. They’re gorgeous pieces and they’re perfect for our living room. I’ve attached a few photos, so you can see for yourselves. We’ve been getting constant compliments and questions from friends and family members–so we’re hoping to send some new customers your way! Many thanks, Mallory and Craig
The handmade furniture in their photos was crafted in Montpelier, Vermont and is available in the Cherry Moon Furniture Collection and the Vermont Shaker Furniture Collection. Check out more customer reviews in the testimonials section of our website, in the News and Reviews part of our blog or on Facebook. If you have questions or you’d like to order handmade living room furniture for your home, give us a call.
July 5th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Our thanks go out to Rima Suqi of the New York Times for including Vermont Woods Studios 4th of July Fine Furniture Sale in the Home and Garden section of yesterday’s paper. We were featured along with Nancy Koltes fine Italian bedding, Decor NYC, an upscale furniture consignment shop and Liora Manné, maker of custom luxury textiles.
Follow NY Times Home on Twitter for great home and garden tips and fabulous shopping deals in New York, New England and online.
A few details about the sale:
Our Independence Day Fine Furniture Sale is the biggest sale of the year– you’ll save 20% storewide*. It’s your chance to get 100% American made hardwood furniture at a great price. Shop online anytime for 5 more days… until July 9th. Shipping is free! Shop securely, easily, and conveniently from our online gallery. Or if you prefer stop by Stonehurst, our Vernon Vermont showroom or contact us at 888-390-5571 to order by phone or discuss your questions.
* excludes Copeland, artisan and outdoor furniture, $2000 minimum order
July 1st, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton
American Pride is on high this week– especially with the 4th of July being just a few days away and all! This is pretty exciting for us because A) all of our products are made in the USA and B) we were recently featured in Nationalist Magazine, a fashion lifestyle magazine that features exclusively American made products, artists, and designers. Nationalist highlighted the fact that all of our products are environmentally friendly, sourced in the US, and true to Vermont Style! We were eager to collaborate with a team that is just as passionate about their ideals as we are. We’d like to extend our sincerest gratitude to the Nationalist team for featuring us in their publication!
The July issue of Nationalist mag is their first anniversary issue, and its full of great content for those of you who love style, design, and products that are made in America! Be sure to check out their most recent issue, our piece is on page 179-180!
Feel free to check them out on Facebook!
June 24th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Neville, Martin and Kendall have been leading an extreme makeover effort for our fine furniture website over the last 6 months (actually it’s been in the works for a couple years, but we weren’t able to really get it off the ground until Neville got here last December). Although everyone on our staff has had an important hand in the project, it’s been the 3 geniuses in the IT/Website room that have powered the transformation.
Today we start migrating over to the new, improved website so there will be a few unavoidable outages. In exchange for your patience we can offer you many new features that I think you will love– like return customer rewards, more intuitive navigation, easy check-out, elegant design and straightforward pricing of furniture pieces with customized options. Plus we have new, improved fine furniture bedroom sets and dining sets that will always be on sale for 20% off.
But if you happen to drop by while we’re offline today, please feel free to browse through our blog or give us a call (888-390-5571). Liz, Sean or Douglas will fix you right up! We appreciate your patience and promise to have the site back up and running better than ever, as soon as possible.
June 23rd, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Douglas and I drove up to Marshfield, Vermont this week to attend the Vermont Working Lands Grant Awards Ceremony. As I mentioned in my last Working Lands post, Vermonters value their forests and farmlands so much they’ve made it a priority to invest in the sustainable development of them. For 2013, Vermont taxpayers (through the legislature) set aside almost $1 Million in grant monies to be awarded (by competitive bid) to organizations committed to supporting our value-added farm and forest industries. That’s extraordinary!
At Vermont Woods Studios we felt that our work in developing a destination shopping experience at Stonehurst to showcase Vermont furniture (all made from sustainably harvested wood) was a perfect fit for the grant criteria. We spent months working on a grant proposal to illustrate how our plans were aligned with the state’s needs. Our proposal was submitted in January along with almost 400 others.
After a challenging process of evaluating all the proposals, a Working Lands Enterprise Board selected about 40 applicants to award grants to. We are honored to be among this group! The whole idea behind the grant is to stimulate Vermont’s farm and forest economy, creating sustainable, green jobs. So the heat is on to help revitalize Vermont’s fine furniture industry through the Stonehurst showcase. And we are committed to giving taxpayers a great return on their investment.
June 17th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Big thanks to Anthony A. Chiaravallo, Founder & CEO of Conscious Connection Magazine for featuring Vermont Woods Studios sustainable, eco friendly furniture this week. Conscious Connection is widely regarded as the leading cultural creative magazine. It spotlights a “global community of thought leaders, entrepreneurs and visionaries advocating for global peace, personal transformation and eco-creative living”.
Kelsey and Anthony have been collaborating on CC’s Creative Home Living Series that focuses on incorporation of sustainably and locally sourced products into the home. We join green living expert Susan Inglis of the Sustainable Furnishings Council SFC, earth conscious designer Barry Dixon and many others in Anthony’s series on green home design.
Check out this beautifully-designed and thought-provoking venue if you’re looking for the latest on: Social Business, Health and Fitness, Eco Design and Creative Lifestyle. If you love it as much as we do, let Anthony know on his Facebook.