Mike Jenkins is our new manager of sales, customer service & operations at Vermont Woods Studios
Mike Jenkins is our new manager of sales, customer service & operations at Vermont Woods Studios.  He has many years of experience in this role, plus he’s a super nice guy with a great smile!  Please help us make Mike feel at home in the world of Vermont made furniture.

Our New Sales & Operations Manager

We have a new manager at Vermont Woods Studios.  Please put your hands together and help me welcome Mike Jenkins to our humble abode here at Stonehurst.  Mike has taken a brave step into the world of Vermont made furniture as our Manager of Sales, Customer Service and Operations.  It’s a big job but he has already proven he’s up to the challenge!  He will be leading, supporting, mentoring and backing up Sean, Rebecca, Loryn & Michelle.  I think they’re pretty happy and relieved to have Mike’s help especially since I was filling that spot temporarily for a number of months.

World Traveler

In case you were wondering what type of experience might prepare someone for this multi-faceted role at Vermont Woods Studios, I asked Mike to share a little bit about his background.  Here’s what I got.

Mike was born in Japan. Guess which one of these adorable children is him?
Mike was born in Japan to American parents who traveled the globe as social workers.  Guess which child is Mike ;)

Mike was born in Japan to a set of wonderful parents who traveled the globe as social workers affiliated with the The Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA).  He was raised in several countries including the USA, Japan, India, Peru, Italy, Portugal, Belgium and the Netherlands.

An Enviable Career Path

Mike remembers his first job well: as a teenager, he and some friends opened a bar in the Canary Islands.  But only a very few lucky people get to be island bartenders forever.  So Mike eventually left the Canaries and moved to the USA where he met the love of his life and settled down in New England.  He began a career in retail with Crate and Barrel, a company he worked with for over 10 years, most recently in the role of Sales Manager at the Hartford store.

Mike % Juniper hiking in the Green Mountains of Vermont
Mike & Juniper hiking in the Green Mountains of Vermont.  Doesn’t get any better than that!

The Family Man

Today Mike, his wife Anne and their adorable daughter Juniper are settling into their new home across the river in New Hampshire.  They love being near family and the Green Mountains of Vermont.   Mike looks forward to the many joys of rural living, especially hiking, baking bread, making jam, home brewing and playing video games.

He is eager to to get to know our customers, craftspeople, shippers, vendors and all the other friends who make Vermont Woods Studios a special place.  Welcome aboard, Mike!  May we share many years of success together.

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.

From all our families at Vermont Woods Studios to you and your family, we send our warmest wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season.  Here are a few pics of what Christmas looks like at Stonehurst in Vernon, Vermont.  My thanks to the eternally patient and tolerant staff members who humor me along when I get my pesky iphone out and start snapping…

Made in America Christmas Secret Santa gift exchange.
Loryn, Ken and Michelle at our annual Made in America Christmas Secret Santa gift exchange.
Christmas gifts starting piling up as staff brought in gifts for local families in need
Christmas gifts starting piling up as staff brought in gifts for local families in need
Our annual Made in America Secret Santa gift exchange
Tristan, Nina and Megan showing off their Secret Santa gifts
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care...
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care…
Our annual Made in America Secret Santa gift exchange
Rebecca, Mike, Sean and Kyle – always good sports around my camera :)
Our annual Made in America Secret Santa gift exchange
Riley, Dennis and Martin raising a toast to 2015…
Giving-Tree-Drop-Off
Megan delivering gifts from our staff members to the town of Vernon’s Giving Tree.

Please send us your holiday photos or post them on our Facebook.  Merry Christmas!

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.

Megan's taking on the difficult task of selecting a favorite from the many styles and colors of Anichini linens we brought back to our showroom at Stonehurst.
Megan’s taking on the difficult task of selecting a favorite from the many styles and colors of Anichini linens we brought back to our home decor showroom at Stonehurst in Vernon, Vermont.

Anichini: The Ultimate in Luxury Linens

Last week Nina, Rebecca and I traveled up to Quechee, Vermont to visit Anichini’s company store.  Anichini is a 30 year old luxury linens company started by Susan Dollenmaier.  It’s famous the world over for exquisite textiles that are routinely featured in publications like “Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, Gotham, and House Beautiful and used by celebrities Cher, Sharon Stone, Christina Aguilera, Tom Cruise, Oprah Winfrey, Barbra Streisand, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Martha Stewart, and Steven Spielberg” (ref: wikipedia).

anichini-2
We’re sending our thanks to Noelle of Anichini ‘s company store in Quechee for helping Nina, Rebecca & I select the best linens for our Stonehurst showroom at Vermont Woods Studios.

Made in Vermont

Our showroom at Stonehurst features all Vermont made home decor items, such as:

  • Furniture, handcrafted by Lyndon Furniture in Lyndonville, VT, Copeland Furniture in Bradford, VT and a handful of small to medium sized woodworking studios around the state
  • Lighting, hand-forged by Hubbardton Forge in Castleton, VT
  • Glassware,  hand-blown by Simon Pearce in Quechee, VT

So we’ve been thinking about carrying Vermont made textiles for awhile.  Fortunately, we’re just an hour and a half away from one of the premiere textile brands on the planet… Anichini!  Who knew the Green Mountain State had such a world class assembly of home decor?

anichini-3
Decisions, decisions, decisions …

Anichini’s Company Store

The Company Store has samples of almost all Anichini linens and we had a wonderful time seeing and feeling these beautiful linens.  Nina, Rebecca and I were like kids in a candy store.  Heather and Noelle were the resident experts and they helped us select the products we thought would most appeal to our customers at Stonehurst.

anichini-4
Taking a lunch break at the beautiful Simon Pearce restaurant in Quechee, VT. Tip: the mulled cider is delicious!

Coming Soon!

Rebecca already has a nice selection of Anichini linens displayed in our showroom at Stonehurst.  Nina will be taking professional quality photos over the next several months.  She and Tristan will then be posting items for sale on our website.  You can bookmark the Home Decor section of our website and check in from time to time to see it all coming together.  Better yet, visit us at 538 Huckle Hill Road in Vernon, Vermont to see Anichini linens in person.  You’ll be glad you did!

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.

A pen and ink drawing of the O'Neil Family Farm's Percheron draft horses, Maude and Tony by Iowa artist William A Webber.
Stonehurst‘s newest piece of art:  a pen & ink drawing of 2 draft horses by Iowa artist, William A Weber.   My Dad loved this picture and Mom was kind enough to pass it down to me last weekend when I visited her in Plattsburgh.

A Boy & His Dream

This is the story of a boyhood dream.  It begins in 1937, during the “recession within the Great Depression”.  The first child of a hard-working young Irish couple from Johnson City, NY is sent to spend the summer on his grandparents’ farm in Dushore, PA.

The lad is tasked with feeding the chickens, weeding the garden and sweeping the dirt floors. But his favorite chore is helping plow the fields with a team of black Percheron draft horses name Maude and Tony.  For many summers, little Bob was delivered to the O’Neil Family Farm the day after school let out in June and returned to his parents in Johnson City on Labor Day weekend, just in time to start the new school year.  Driving and caring for the team of blackies quickly become his passion and thus the dream was born.

Dad and Aunt Joanie riding Tony at the O'Neil Family Farm in Dushore, Pennsylvania
Dad and his sister (Aunt Joanie) riding Tony at the O’Neil Family Farm in Dushore, Pennsylvania.  I have to say this gentle giant looks like he lived a much more strenuous life than the pampered pets who would follow in his footsteps some 60 years later.

“One Day I’ll Have My Horses”

The boy was my dad.  But farming wasn’t in the cards for him and like his parents he wound up raising a family and making a living in a small city.  “You mark my words”, he’d say “one day I’ll have my horses”.  We all laughed.

But, despite the years that passed and the naysayers and the remote odds, his dream never died.  In 1985, Dad flew out to Millersburg Ohio to meet with his dear friend Monroe Miller, a Percheron horse breeder.  He returned home driving a trailer with 2 young geldings, he named Prince and Tony.  The horses were Dad’s pride and joy. Although their plowing chores were few, Prince and Tony were often pressed into service giving hay rides and sleigh rides to local children.  They lived an honorable life.

Dad's Percherons pulling a sleigh at Christmastime in 1993. Plattsburgh, NY.
Dad and his Percherons, Prince & Tony, pulling a sleigh at Christmastime in 1993. It was a holiday tradition that our family cherished for many years. Plattsburgh, NY.

Driving the Team Back to a Farm: Stonehurst!

Last weekend when I went to Plattsburgh to visit my mother I saw this familiar drawing of the 2 Percherons that Dad had purchased from Iowa artist William A Weber.  I asked if I could relocate the boys to Stonehurst, which had been a working farm on and off for over 200 years.  It would be a fitting place for the horses to retire as Stonehurst in the 1930s would have been quite similar to the O’Neil Farm that Maude & Tony served at that time.  Mother agreed & now the 2 two horses hang on the wall looking out the windows of our showroom to the farmland that houses our sustainable furniture store today.

Come Visit Stonehurst and Meet Prince & Tony

Love horses?  Farms?  History?  Come visit us at Stonehurst!  You can enjoy the 109 acre plot of beautifully managed farm and forest land that’s now home to Prince and Tony.  And if you’re in the market for sustainable, American made furniture or Vermont made home decor, all the better.  See you in the showroom!

 

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.

Pine Top Hosts Stoddard Reunion
Jim and Betsy Stoddard are on the left. Don and Barbara Stoddard are in the middle and that’s Vernon’s beloved Town Historian, Barbara Moseley on the bottom right.

Pine Top, the lost ski area that’s now home to our Vermont furniture showroom, holds many memories for families that skied and stayed here during the 1940s, 50s and 60s.  We’ve been corresponding with the Stoddard family for a couple years now.  Don and his brothers Jim and Sandy have shared many of their happy memories with us and we’ve been hoping one day they would drop by for a visit.

The Stoddards, Barbara Moseley and me at Pine Top, October 2015
From right: Don Stoddard, Barbara Moseley, Jim Stoddard and me.

This week they did!  I was able to catch up with Barbara Moseley, Vernon’s Town Historian and invite her to join us.  Barbara worked at Pine Top when she was going to college.  She remembered the Stoddards fondly and was excited to get together and reminisce with them.

Map of Pine Top, created by Barbara Moseley
Here’s the Pine Top map Barbara created. This photo was taken earlier when Sigrid and Bill Wares of Moorestown, New Jersey stopped by to share their Pine Top memories.

We had a wonderful time chatting over apple cider and donuts & strolling along between Toby slope and Pelley Run.  Barbara brought over copies of the Pine Top map she recently created (from memory) and the Stoddards each took one home to enjoy.

If you have your own memories of Pine Top, stop by Vermont Woods Studios anytime and take a trip down memory lane.  It’s good for the soul.

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.