January 27th, 2014 by Peggy Farabaugh
Who put this Vermont Big Tree Society 2004 calendar on my desk over the weekend? What a pleasant surprise to see while un-bundling (that’s winter outerwear not cable TV or software programs) on this icy cold Monday morning. Whoever the Big Tree Elf is, he or she left the calendar open to the August 2004 month where a beautiful photo of our Stonehurst champion Sassafras tree was featured in all it’s glory.
Well we happen to think it’s glorious, anyway. To others it might look a little nerdy and decrepit but it’s still a beloved old tree and the largest of it’s species in all of Vermont. I learned from the calendar that the Sassafras is an intolerant (of shade) tree which is common as a pioneer (a hardy species that’s the first to colonize previously disrupted or damaged ecosystems, beginning a chain of ecological succession that ultimately leads to a more biodiverse steady-state ecosystem, ref: wikipedia). It’s one of only a few tree species who’s leaves come in 3 different shapes. Plus it’s fragrant and the roots can be used to make sassafras tea!
Are you surprised to see how much Vermonters love their trees? As furniture makers, working with sustainably harvested wood we are especially interested in Vermont’s big trees and the issue of sustainable forestry throughout the Green Mountain State (and beyond). Vermont Woods Studios was founded on the principles of forest conservation. Last year we received a $100,000 grant from the states Working Lands Initiative to further our efforts in promoting sustainable forests and the eco-friendly Vermont made furniture produced from them.
Fellow treehuggers– stop by Stonehurst to see Vermont’s biggest sassafras tree. Then come in and enjoy a cup of tea or hot cider as you browse through the gallery of fine furniture that Vermonter’s are making out of sustainably harvested New England wood.
And whoever the Big Tree elf is, I am sending a million thanks out to you. Please reveal your identity on our Facebook!
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, a 200 year old farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.
January 22nd, 2014 by Kelsey Eaton
As I walked around our beautiful furniture and decor showroom today, I found myself in meditative awe at how beautiful even the smallest details can be. From the furniture to the pottery, linen, and artwork– the simplicity of a curve, line, or edge proved to be just as beautiful as the whole.
The way light shines on the wood, reflects on the glass, or highlights the intricacy of a piece of pottery are such subtle aspects of our showroom that should not be overlooked.
I’ll keep this post short, and invite you to visit our showroom to see for yourself the exquisite detailing in each piece we have at Stonehurst.
January 9th, 2014 by Peggy Farabaugh
Douglas and Dennis are on a mission to constantly keep our furniture showroom fresh and interesting. Each time customers come to visit Stonehurst things will look a little different. Right now it’s the snowy white show outdoors that’s most exciting but there’s quite a bit going on inside too. The guys like to move furniture off the floor frequently to make room for new styles and designs. That’s good news for anyone looking for a deal, a bargain or a discount.
Today we’ve got a dining furniture sale going on with tables, chairs and benches on clearance. Time to move ‘em out. These are all top quality, handcrafted, solid wood pieces, made in Vermont and New Hampshire. If you’re in the neighborhood or plan to pass through southeastern Vermont on your way to a ski resort, stop by and have a look. I can now truthfully say, a visit to Stonehurst is worth the trip.
January 8th, 2014 by Kelsey Eaton
Just yesterday we received a wonderful review from one of our customers. She had visited Stonehurst to get a true feel for the quality of our pieces, and needless to say, had a great Vermont Furniture shopping experience with us in person and online! Here is what she had to say:
Our bedroom furniture has arrived and we love it! It is beautiful. Everything about this experience was perfect – the showroom tour, where everyone was so friendly and helpful, and where there was a lot to look at, the furniture itself, the update halfway through, and the delivery.
Thank you – we made do for a long time with used furniture I never really liked that much. This was worth the wait and the money. I’m already looking forward to another trip (when it’s a bit warmer out!) to see you, and a few more Vermont Woods additions to our household.
–B.R from Rhode Island
We’re so glad that B.R (name withheld for privacy) had a good experience with us, and proves to us that making a visit to Stonehurst before you place an order can enhance your shopping experience and allow you to see just how beautiful our wood furniture is. If you too have been using old, used furniture in your home; consider making the upgrade to custom handcrafted wood furniture instead. Backed by a lifetime guarantee, it’s more than worth it.
Do you have a great Vermont Woods Studios review to share? Post your experience in the comments section, leave us a note on Facebook, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
January 7th, 2014 by Peggy Farabaugh
We’re in the middle of winter here in Vermont but elsewhere in America people must be getting ready for Spring. We’re getting lots of inquiries about our Polywood all weather Adirondack chairs. It seems we’re not the only ones unwilling to haul outdoor furniture back and forth from the basement every year.
Unlike the wooden chairs above, today’s all weather Adirondack chairs are made of recycled plastic milk jugs or Polywood. They offer the traditional design that’s proved itself comfy for generations along with new state of the art plastics technology that makes these chairs super durable. Polywood holds up against harsh weather such as rain, snow, ice, and salt water. It’s insect, mold and mildew resistant, requires no maintenance and even comes with a lifetime guarantee. Best of all, there are over a dozen colors to choose from and you’ll never have to touch up or paint (Polywood’s color runs all the way through each recycled plastic board).
So, let us know which Adirondack chair (wood or Polywood) and which seasonal setting (winter in the mountains or summer on the lake) you prefer on Facebook.
January 5th, 2014 by Peggy Farabaugh
This is for Sally, Pam, Ellen, Annette, Mo and all our friends from the South and West who have escaped this year’s good old fashioned Vermont winter. Today’s storm took a break this morning just in time for me to snap this photo of the furniture showroom and art gallery we call Stonehurst. It was 5F when I got to work today but warm and toasty inside.
Plenty of toboggans and sleds are out on the back porch, ready for action. But where are our young, hearty, adventurous riders? No need for a membership to Outer Limits this winter, Sean. Just bring your boots to work and trade your lunch for a couple good runs down the ski slopes. I’ll go too and we’ll share the prize for biggest loser in the 2014 weight loss challenge. Any teasing from Liz, Michelle and Loryn will surely cease and desist when we walk in all strong and fit.
Here’s Ken’s baby. This Central Boiler Outdoor Wood Furnace from Temple Plumbing and Heating in Putney keeps us warm and toasty all winter long. A green source of energy, it’s fed by wood from around the grounds at Stonehurst. The furnace supplies a radiant heating system under the floorboards throughout the furniture showroom.
So that’s what Stonehurst looks like today. Stop by and see for yourself. Sean has hot chocolate and his own homemade cookies waiting for you. Shoes are not required inside the showroom.
January 3rd, 2014 by Peggy Farabaugh
Since 100 million of us are now stuck in the middle of a blizzard, this might be a good day to curl up by the fireside with your favorite book, a cup of hot chocolate, homemade cookies and a pleasant companion. Like this Vermont Teddy Bear. He’s a recent arrival at Stonehurst, our new fine furniture showroom and art gallery in Vernon Vermont.
In showcasing the best of Vermont handmade home decor and accessories we felt Stonehurst would be incomplete without representation from the world’s largest teddy bear maker. Vermont Teddy Bear handcrafts roughly 500,000/year in Shelburne and Newport, VT. The company was started in 1983 by John Sortino, who sold handcrafted teddy bears in an open-air market in Burlington, Vermont. One of his customers was a tourist who wanted her bear mailed to her home. That request evolved into the “Bear-Gram”, a customized teddy bear placed in a box (complete with an “air hole”) and stuffed with other goodies. The rest, as they say is history.
If you can’t bear the idea of going through another Vermont snowstorm on your own, head on over to VermontTeddyBear.com. It’s not too late to get a Christmas bear like Stonehurst but keep in mind that other holidays like Valentine’s Day (Big Hunka Love Bear) and St Patrick’s Day (Kiss Me I’m Irish Bear) are just around the corner.
January 1st, 2014 by Peggy Farabaugh
People ask me why on earth I would put a fine furniture store in the middle of nowhere, aka rural Vermont. Finding people who are looking to buy American made sustainable wooden furniture is hard enough. After all, customers typically have to wait 6-12+ weeks to have their furniture custom handcrafted and specialty shipped to their homes. Plus… compared to imported furniture, American made furniture is more expensive. With such a small number of people fitting our customer profile (willing to wait for their furniture to be handcrafted of sustainably harvested wood by Vermonters earning a living wage), wouldn’t it be smarter to have our store on main street in a big city with maximum exposure and traffic?
I’m sure that’s true for most fine furniture stores but at Vermont Woods Studios we’re on a mission to raise awareness about where your fine furniture comes from. Wood furniture comes from the forest and we believe the people involved in all aspects of furnishing your home have an opportunity to show you how choosing sustainable furniture makes a difference: in forest conservation, global warming, clean air, wildlife preservation and in the way you feel when you’re sharing a meal at your table.
See this barred owl who visited us at Stonehurst today? He’s able to be here because (under the direction of professional forester Lynn Levine) we’re managing 100 acres of forest for wildlife habitat. We believe businesses have as much obligation as governments to conserve our planet’s resources and protect endangered species. We believe our customers support that philosophy and want to see it in action. As we venture into the new year we extend our thanks to them and pledge our continued efforts in the area of forest and wildlife conservation.
Come visit our sustainable furniture showroom at Stonehurst. See first-hand how your choice of furniture can make the world a better place.
December 30th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Much has happened to our little Vermont furniture store in 2013. Most notably, we’re no longer housed at George’s Mill, adjacent to the Vernon post office. 2013 brought continued growth that gave us enough confidence to expand into a permanent location.
Stonehurst is our new home– a 200 year old farmhouse sited on Pine Top, a former ski area in Southeastern Vermont. Citing our furniture showroom on a scenic 100 acre forested lot helps us raise awareness about our mission of forest conservation and show customers where their furniture comes from. It was this concept that the state of Vermont supported through a $100,000 competitively awarded 2013 Working Lands grant that helped us complete Stonehurst renovations 2 years ahead of schedule.
Other progress in 2013 included adding a fine art gallery to our offerings. In addition to expanding our Vermont made furniture selection, we’re proud to offer original artwork by many important Vermont artists including Susan Osgood, Linda Marcille, Georgie Runkle, Donna Scully and Janet Picard.
Another 2013 showroom (and website) addition was Vermont made home decor. We now carry handcrafted ceramics by Brattleboro artist Laura Zindel and Vernon potter Bronna Zlochiver, kitchen accessories by JK Adams of Dorset, textiles by Donna Tosi of Vernon and Cricket Radio of Shelburne and hand-turned pens by Micah Ranquist of West Brattleboro. New artisans are joining us frequently to increase the variety of Vermont made home decor accessories we can make available at Stonehurst.
2013 also brought many important upgrades to our website, thanks to Neville and Martin up in our genius room. As a new employee in 2013 Martin, was joined by Michelle (in Sales and Customer Service) and Kelsey and Nina (in Marketing). We feel very lucky to have them join the Vermont Woods Studios family!
After 8 years of building this sustainable furniture business– in 2013 we are finally in a space that’s truly worthy of the beautiful handcrafted furniture Vermont is so famous for. With customers journeying here from all across the country, we can finally say “Come to Stonehurst. It’s worth the trip”.
We are immensely grateful to our creative and hard-working staff for making this 2013 progress possible. Although we’ve come a long way, we know that in many ways our efforts have just begun. In 2013 we built it. In 2014 we have to make sure they come. Please help us spread the word! Join us on Facebook or in the comments section below. We’d love to hear your thoughts on Vermont’s sustainable furniture and/or the Stonehurst experience.
December 19th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
The last few days have brought a bounty of fluffy white snow setting us up for a beautiful first Christmas at Stonehurst. Ken went out to the old carriage shed and rescued this antique sign that marked entry to the Pine Top Ski Area from the 1940s to the 1960s. It’s now resting safely in our mudroom (er- entryway) accompanied by all the latest maps, magazines and brochures on Vermont travel (did I mention that we’re now an official Vermont Information Center? More about that later).
For a small ski area in a small town, it’s amazing how many people have stopped by to tell us stories of when they skied here at Pine Top 50 years ago. We had a lovely couple from Manhattan visit us a few weeks ago. They were here to shop for furniture but after looking out the window at the ski slopes and seeing the Pine Top sign, Marcia realized that she had skied here when she was a boarding student at Northfield School (now NMH). What a coincidence!
Today the sign out front welcomes people to Stonehurst, Vermont’s sustainable furniture showroom and art gallery. With all the freshly fallen snow, now is one of the prettiest times of year to visit Stonehurst. If you’re longing for the old fashioned Christmas you remember as a kid, stop by and see us. We’ve got hot chocolate, warm apple cider and of course there’s always a bottle of red in the wine rack. Christmas shopping was never this fun, even back in the 1950s!