Boys twin bed donated to Make a Wish Vermont
Come bid on this Vermont made pencil post bed that we donated to Make a Wish Vermont. The auction is Saturday, September 20th at World Learning in Brattleboro, starting at 6pm with the Brattleboro Celebrity Waiter Dinner.

September is a big fundraising month for the Vermont chapter of Make A Wish and they’re hoping to get a little help from you.  “We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.”  What could be a better mission than that?  The Make a Wish website shows a couple recent wishes & dreams that have come true, locally:

  • Aaron, a 16-year-old boy suffering from cancer who always dreamed of going to Comic Con in New York City was flown there with his family.  They met celebrities at the show and attended Spiderman on Broadway
  • Lexi, a 15 year old girl, also suffering from cancer was flown to Spa Atlantis in the Bahamas to swim with the dolphins.  “We will always have the great memories and many pictures of the Bahamas, and when she goes back to the hospital next week, she will have all her stories and pictures to show the doctors. Lexi’s trip has re-energized her for what lies ahead.”

At Vermont Woods Studios we’re attending the annual Brattleboro Celebrity Waiter Dinner on September 20 and donating the pencil post bed shown above to the auction that night.  A few details about the dinner and auction:

Come and enjoy a gourmet meal at World Learning served by a team of “celebrity waiters”, including Steve “Corm” Cormier and Dave Manning, Jerry Goldberg and David Brown, Tom Nasiatka and Mary Linney, Gina Pattison and Karen Henry, Stephan Morse and Bob Woodworth, John Benouski and Steve Sweet, Diedre Baker and Laurie Blair, and Jane Baker and Kate O’Connor. Plus Corm will be Master of Ceremonies and co-host the auction. Saturday, September 20th at World Learning in Brattleboro. Beer and wine cash bar at 6pm; dinner served at 7pm. COST: $50 per person (cash or checks only). Proceeds from the dinner as well as any tips earned by the waiters will go toward granting the wishes of Vermont children with life-threatening illnesses. You will also have the opportunity to bid on gift certificates and other items to be auctioned off during the evening. For more info or to RSVP: contact Barb Harris @ 257-7803, e-mail: bharris115@yahoo.com

If you can’t make the dinner, there’s also the Wallace Golf Tournament at the Mount Snow Golf Course which takes place tomorrow, September 12 and the 2014 Walk for Wishes at the Shelburne Museum on Sunday, September 13.  We hope to see you at one of these fun events!

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.

We spend so much of our lives sitting at a desk, from elementary school all the way through our work careers–but we seldom put much thought into the quality and style of the wooden desks we use. Is it eco friendly? Is it stylish? Does it represent me well? Is it even practical for my space? While there are plenty of desks on the market, many of them are mass-produced and are only built to last a few years. The wooden desks we carry at Vermont Woods Studios add sophistication, style, and a feeling of intention to your office space. If you’re a professional who takes pride in your work, then you deserve a beautiful wooden desk that will speak to your unique taste and personality!

Why Wooden desks?

There are plenty of articles and websites out there that propose that plastic is the future for the modern office. We’d have to kindly disagree. Most plastic furniture, if not recycled, is not eco-friendly and does not represent a 21st century office space. Perhaps a trendy startup might choose plastic furniture for its array of color options, but the mature work environment needs something much more than that to represent it’s values and style. Our wooden desks are 100% built in the USA with skill and integrity and made with sustainably harvested wood, giving you the benefit of supporting local craftsmen and loggers without contributing to mass deforestation.

If you are ready to ditch your mass produced desk and get a real natural wooden desk that you can love and be proud of for decades to come, take a look at our 5 sophisticated wooden desk selections:

1. Classic Shaker Writing Desk

Wooden Desks

2. Custom Stowe Writing Desk

Wooden Desks

3. Modern Shaker Executive Desk

Wooden Desks

4. Contemporary Craftsmen Executive Desk

Wooden Desks

5. Berkeley Secretary Desk

Wooden Desks

Would you add one of these wooden desks to your office space? Let us know in the comments and tell us what’s your favorite! Visit our website to browse dozens more wooden desks.

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.

Today’s post is part 2 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

Peggy-Farabaugh-Sustainable-Furniture-Maker-620x400

Before Vermont Woods Studios took flight, Peggy Farabaugh’s career path had many twists and turns.

Raised in Plattsburgh, New York, she majored in chemistry in college and from 1980 to 2005 worked in occupational and environmental health and safety at various institutions around the country. A lover of the outdoors and a frequent hiker, her environmental interest soon extended beyond local forests thanks to her two sons. From watching educational TV (e.g., Steve Irwin’s The Crocodile Hunter), the boys became curious about the rainforest, so the family took vacations to Central America to learn about them firsthand. Farabaugh remembers being astounded when they learned that one-and-one-half acres of rainforest disappear every second.

The Farabaughs moved to Vermont in 1997 when Ken, an engineer, took a job at the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant in Vernon. At the time, Peggy Farabaugh worked remotely for Tulane University in New Orleans developing an online masters program in occupational safety and health management until Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, and Tulane closed for four months.

Farabaugh lost her job and couldn’t find one near Vernon. That’s when the business idea hit her. She loved the woods, and Ken loved woodworking. In fact, he had just built a woodworking shop on the back of their house.

“You just spent all our money on this woodworking shop,” she told Ken. “I’m going to put it to work.”

They knew other local woodworkers, like Chad Woodruff in Vernon, Dan Mosheim of Dorset Custom Furniture in Dorset, and Steve Holman, who also has a studio in Dorset. Makers of stunning custom furniture from sustainable hardwood (cherry, maples, oak, and walnut, some of it grown in Vermont), they mostly sold pieces in local galleries and craft fairs. Many had their own websites, but Farabaugh thought she could bring them a wider audience. It was the beginning of Vermont Woods Studios. Or rather VermontWoodsStudios.com, a virtual furniture gallery of “really funky cool stuff” made from sustainable wood in Vermont. While her first customer was a gentleman from Indiana who was searching the Internet for eco-friendly furniture — in keeping with her mission — she soon found that it was simply too difficult to sell enough really unique furniture online to make it worth it.

“How can somebody understand why a custom, one-of-a-kind piece costs three times more when they look the same online?” Farabaugh realized.

Enter Douglas Fletcher, a Vermonter and small business consultant. He convinced Farabaugh to add manufactured hardwood furniture from Vermont companies Lyndon and Copeland to VermontWoodsStudios.com offerings. Both Lyndon and Copeland have manufactured fine hardwood furniture in Vermont and sold it at a competitive price point for over 30 years. Both companies sell furniture in stores across the United States.

With this expanded collection from which to choose, Vermont Woods Studios business began to take off. And it continued to improve thanks to social media (e.g., the company advertises sales on Facebook, and Farabaugh regularly updates a blog). To keep up with demand, Farabaugh hired new staff, people she says share her “passion for the mission.” But that mission was expanding too.

***

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.

Sustainable, Organic Furniture from Vermont
At our Stonehurst home decor store, we’re lucky to be able to show Vermont’s sustainable furniture in a natural environment…  our showroom is in the middle of meadows & woodlands!

Vermont’s natural, sustainable furniture is simple and elegant.  It’s history hails back to the Shakers but today’s interior designers are re-discovering it, as modern green design trends continue to flourish. When it comes to bringing the outdoors in, what could be better than organic, real wood furniture?  How about…

Wildflowers at Stonehurst | Fine Furniture Store | Vermont
Here’s today’s view of Nina’s Stonehurst garden which customers love seeing from our showroom.  Trenton mowed a path through the meadow for anyone wanting to wander down and have a closer look.  Check out “Before Pictures” on Kelsey’s earlier post about planning the garden with  birds, bees and butterflies in mind.

Organic, Real Wood Furniture Embellished by Colorful Wildflowers

This Spring Nina designed and planted a wildflower garden in the backyard at Stonehurst, Vermont’s newest furniture & home decor store.  She and Dennis asked other staff members to tear themselves away from their computers now and then and help till, plant, weed and water (check out Kelsey’s story about how Nina chose flowers that would provide food and habitat for our birds, bees and butterflies).  Their efforts have really paid off as the garden is now in full bloom, providing beautiful floral arrangements for the showroom (as well as pollen & nectar for our friends in flight).

Rebecca Arranging Wildflowers at Stonehurst | Fine Furniture Store | Vermont
Rebecca’s arranging wildflowers for Stonehurst:  it’s a place to find both traditional & modern styles, organic & sustainable materials, honest craftsmanship and friendly people who are passionate about what they do.

We’ve had a lot of fun trying to integrate the sustainable furniture in our showroom with other elements of Vermont’s natural landscape this summer.  Being in the midst of a 100 acre woodland allows us to offer customers a real appreciation for where their furniture comes from.

If you’re interested in sustainability and looking to incorporate green products into your home decor, come and visit us at Stonehurst.  Any questions give us a call.  Oh yes… you certainly can bring a picnic lunch and a bottle of wine!

 

 

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.

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.

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 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.”  

Click here to read part 2. 

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.