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.

American made furniture

Longing for a new set of handmade dining room furniture for your family to enjoy during the Thanksgiving holidays?  Now is the time to think about it, as there is still time to have solid wood furniture custom crafted for you in time for delivery before Thanksgiving. 

Check out our Thanksgiving Dining Furniture Sale.  We've put everything on sale for at least 10% off.  Dining chairs and Barstools are offered at 20% off, if purchased with a table or if 6 or more chairs are purchased.

Sale ends Tuesday, September 7.  Now's your chance to finally have that high end dining set you've been wanting all these years– and at a great price.  Give us a call today, 888-390-5571.

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.

American furniture

Are you spending more time at home these days and less time going out? If you're burrowing in for the winter, maybe now is the time to curl up on the couch, take a look at the furniture in your nest and think about where it actually came from.  See how well it meets this totally biased, arbitrary and unscientific test.

If your furniture is:                                                                                   Give Yourself

  1. Made in America:                                                                                 10 points
  2. Made of local woods and materials:                                                      30 points
  3. Handmade by local craftspeople:                                                          40 points
  4. Has non-toxic finish:                                                                               5 points
  5. Made of sustainably harvested woods and/or other organic materials:    10 points
  6. Imported from China, Vietnam, India or other third world countries:    -100 points
  7. Made from illegally harvested rainforest woods like mahogany, teak:    -100 points

What was your score?  It's hard to even know because chances are there is nothing on the furniture to provide this information.  It's a good bet, however that if you didn't go out of your way to buy American and you don't know where it came from, your furniture is probably imported, made from illegally harvested rainforest wood and crafted by slave laborers making pennies per hour.

We're trying to encourage consumers to buy American furniture, that's handcrafted here in the USA from local sustainably harvested woods, by people making a livable wage.  Oddly enough, the price is roughly the same either way. 

Check out our American made furniture at Vermont Woods Studios and compare.

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.

Custom-walnut-furniture

Here's a photo of some beautiful custom walnut dining furniture sent to us by Robert T in Connecticut.  Robert basically designed the buffet himself.  He started with our Large Vertical-Buffet Media Center and had us craft it with just one side cabinet instead of two.  He also increased the height of the unit from 60"H to 67"H.  I think it came our beautifully.

Robert also customized our Round Back Chair.  This is a chair we typically offer in cherry only, but Robert called to ask if we could craft it in walnut.  Since we only make this chair style a couple times each year he had to wait, but he was willing to do that and look how nice they turned out!

The dining room set was completed with our Modern Contemporary Dining Table in solid walnut.  The finish for the set is a hand-rubbed Danish oil.  

Congrats to Robert for designing such a beautiful dining set.  Enjoy!

Find more ideas for custom walnut furniture here.

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.