American-Made-FurnituresWe've been working hard to promote American Made products lately, in support of American workers who need jobs.  All of our furniture is 100% American Made (100% Vermont made actually– well OK, I think we have a few chairs that are made in Massachusetts) but we wanted to do more.  Dennis started our "Made in America" Holiday Gift Challenge event last month asking people to purchase "American Made" holiday gifts.  We've got about 46 takers so far and you can add your name to the list if you're on Facebook.

Well, more and more with each passing day, it seems that buying American isn't just a patriotic thing to do– it's an economically smart strategy.  In his Harvard Business Review column, Harold Sirkin sees a resurgence of USA manufacturing coming in response to changing economics.  Chinese workers are starting to fight for higher wages at the same time that the cost of fuel and shipping from China to the US are also on the rise.  Companies like Volkswagen are noticing– they recently opened a new $1Billion factory in Tennessee.

Now what will the big so-called "American" furniture companies do… like Furniture Brands International, the huge multi-national company that's bought out many of our iconic American furniture companies (Broyhill, Lane, Thomasville, etc.) over the last 30 years?  Well they anticipated this years ago and have moved many of their overseas operations from China to Viet Nam where wages are still deplorably low and regulations are even more non-existent than in China.  But that's for another day and another discussion.

The good news is that there is still plenty of American made furniture being built in the USA and the best of it is right up here in Vermont!

 

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.

Furniture-best-sellers-sale It seems unbelievable to me but we have almost 2000 items in our Vermont Made Furniture Store now. 

We're always trying to improve the navigation to make it easy to find what you like.  Recently a number of customers have suggested that we showcase our Best Sellers so they can learn from existing customer experience. 

So Rebecca worked with our craftspeople to come up with a category and a discount this week for our Top 20 Best Selling Furniture items. 

Manjula just posted the Best Seller Sale.  You can save 10% off any single best seller and 15% if you buy 2 or more.  Kendall also added a  $50 Facebook coupon:  like us on Facebook and you save an additional $50.

The sale starts now and ends at midnight on July 26.  Check it out!

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.

Furniture-american

 

Last week I blogged about Diane Sawyer's Made in America Series on ABC News.  As I was going through ABC's website I noticed that they have a great little map of the USA that shows where American made products are being produced.  The only problem was that Vermont Woods Studios Furniture was not on that map. 

So I contacted ABC and requested that we be included.  Low and behold… a few days later I got a call from Zach at ABC wanting to know what our company was all about.  I assured him that all of our furniture is made right here in Vermont by Vermont furniture makers using wood that is sustainably harvested in America, preferably locally– in Vermont and New England. 

Now we've been featured along with the many other awesome American companies on ABC's website.  Check us out!

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.

Made-in-america This week ABC News with Diane Sawyer is running a Made in America series in an effort to get people to think about American jobs whenever they buy something.   The series takes a look at a family of four in Texas.  It turns out they own hardly a thing that's made in the USA.  So ABC news clears their house out of everything imported (basically only a flower vase is left) and re-fills it with American made furniture, appliances, clothing, toys and such. It's interesting and a great reminder to buy American. 

 

Vermont-shaker-sleigh-bed At Vermont Woods Studios all of our furniture is 100% made in America but we realize that's not enough.  Like any other American company that's going to be successful selling to consumers in the USA, we have to also have the best quality, best prices, best service and best social and environmental policies.  We're always working on that and welcome your feedback and advice.

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.

Furniture made in America
Labor Day seems to be a good time to talk about American Made Furniture.  At Vermont Woods Studios Furniture, we were excited this week to read that Maine’s struggling Moosehead Furniture company has been rescued from extinction and bankruptcy by Maine businesswoman, Louise M. Jonaitis.  This 60 year old company, the largest privately owned furniture company in New England provided jobs for 250 workers in 2002 but was shut down in 2007 leaving the residents of Monson ME jobless and with little hope.

Moosehead is just one of the hundreds of small furniture makers across American that have been driven out of business by cheap furniture imports.  Why care?  I don’t think many customers realize this, but most of the furniture you see in the USA is made in China and other third world countries.  Even furniture that’s specifically labeled, “Made in America” typically has only about 30% American parts in it.
So why has the US furniture industry collapsed over the last 30 years?  It’s sad, but globalization has enabled the “lowest price” to trump all other facets of furniture shopping, particularly quality.  Think about it.  In China labor costs are about 20 cents/hour and there’s no health care cost added to that. And there’s no regulatory costs. So almost all the big companies that used to build American Made furniture (like Thomasville, Basset, Lane and even Ethan Allen) have moved their operations overseas.  Because these companies save so much money in labor and they often obtain their lumber illegally, their main costs are shipping, warehousing and marketing.  Cheap furniture–FAST is the way they’ve characterized “American Made” furniture.

At Vermont Woods Studios we’ve chosen a different path.  We know there are plenty of people out there who still value quality and wish to buy furniture that will last a lifetime– something they can proudly hand down to their children and grandchildren.  And the benefits of buying American made furniture go far beyond your own home and into the homes of American craftsmen: your decision to buy our USA made furniture means that local Vermont communities have sustainable economies and… the tradition of high quality American craftsmanship lives on. I think it’s a win-win for all involved.  What’s your opinion?

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.