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.
June 13th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
John McCarthy (of McCarthy Signs in Hinsdale) came by the other day to install the sign he’s been handcrafting for Stonehurst, our new Vermont furniture store. What did you think? It’s a 3D wooden sign that John hand-carved. What I love best about it is the level of detail he achieved in carving out the thumbprints that are the tops of the trees in our logo (Cheri Bryant is our logo artist and creator, by the way). Pretty amazing precision, I say. It’s hard to show off John’s talent online but if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and have an up-close look. Or take Market Survey of America’s word– his company was just voted Greater Brattleboro’s Best Sign Company.
June 11th, 2013 by Loryn DionAll dressed up for Mardi Gras!
They came. They strolled. And they looked fabulous. This weekend, a few members of the Green Team represented VWS at the Strolling of the Heifers parade. This being my first “stroll”, I was excited to see what sights and antics Brattleboro had in store.
The parade featured floats and displays from local businesses and organizations from around southeastern Vermont. Each one had a unique theme that tied into the agricultural theme of the event. One of my favorite ideas was from Edward Jones Investments with the slogan “How’s Your Nest Egg Doing?” with a float that was decorated with some live chickens and eggs. There was also a float for an organization that is near and dear to my heart: a local FFA chapter. And of course, there were plenty of heifers. Their handlers dressed each heifer in beads, flowers and bright colors to match this years Strolling of the Heifers theme, “Running of the Bulls meets Mardi Gras.”Representing the FFA! I walked in many parades and shows as a member, but never in a cow suit!
After the parade was over, the crowd all flooded to The Common to scored some “Strolling Swag” and free gifts from more local businesses. One exhibit in the event was the Woodlands exhibit, which we were a part of. Groups offered educational exhibits and demonstrations about forestry, logging, conservation, invasive species and, of course, the final product of effective forest harvesting, furniture. Vermont Woods Studios shared a tent with Wood-Net, represented by woodworker Rick Gravelin. We showcased our sustainable outdoor PolyWood furniture, while Rick displayed a beautiful assortment of handmade, wooden clocks and watches. Michelle, Peggy and I had so much fun talking with local residents about our furniture and where it comes from and boasting about our new Vernon showroom. Michelle even got to talk about our solid wood dining furniture with Peter Welch, a Vermont Congressman.
Did you attend the Stroll this weekend? Or does your town have a local agricultural fair you enjoy? Tell us about it here or on our Facebook wall!Every year, the stroll has special “sweepers” that follow the end of the parade to clean up the inevitable messes that heifers make. I thought it would be fitting for the sweepers to follow this blog too.
June 5th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Michelle just forwarded me this customer review on our solid wood bookcases:
Hi Michelle, We just wanted you to know how pleased we are with our bookshelf! It is just beautiful, and exactly what we hoped it would be. The construction and craftsmanship is first class, and we could not be happier with it. Please extend our thanks to your outstanding craftsmen/craftswomen for a job well done! We plan to post some very favorable comments about the work you did for us on your website. Is there any other way we could help “spread the word” about the great products and service you are providing, that would be helpful to your business? We want to do all we can to encourage and support builders of fine, American-made, furniture like Vermont Woods Studios. Best regards, Raymond and Bobbie S, Austin, Texas
What a great way to start the day, right? We’re sending our sincere thanks out to Raymond and Bobbie and also beginning to work on a webpage for them and other Vermont Woods Studios fans to publicly gush about Vermont’s fine furniture. Have any other feedback or suggestions for how we can make the most of your testimonials? Post your comments on our Furniture Testimonials page, in the space below, or better yet on our Facebook.
Looking for more detail about how customers like their Vermont made furniture? Check out these other blog posts: