In contrast to all that holiday shopping madness, today we have Small Business Saturday. It’s a day to re-discover your local merchants and the character and richness they add to your community. They may not be able to beat the lowest prices you’ll find online but there’s an unmeasured value in their goods and services. How much is it worth to you to have a beautiful downtown? A local economy? Jobs for your friends and family? In Vermont it’s worth a lot. So we’ve come up with a list of the Top 10 Reasons to Shop Locally at your favorite downtown, mall or rural shopping outpost (like Stonehurst):
Take the kids to see Santa – you can’t do that online
Enjoy the Christmas and Hanukkah lights
Take a rest at an art gallery or book store that has a cafe
Find unique jewelry ceramics, glassware and other handmade gifts
Buy local food delicacies and eat free samples!
Listen to the Christmas carolers and bands
Bump into your friends and catch up on the neighborhood gossip
Relax and enjoy lunch and a glass of wine with your shopping buddy
Order local specialty items you can’t find online
Support your local community so it continues to be a great place to live
Have more of you own? Let us know on Facebook before you head downtown.
A few weeks ago, Peggy wrote a blog about her chance meeting with Brattleboro artist Susan Osgood. Susan is an archaeologist by day and a painter by night, so her pieces all have character and a story. When Peggy told us about Susans work, we were intrigued and knew we had to get her work on our walls. So Douglas and I went up to meet Susan and pick out a few pieces to add to the showroom.
She certainly didn’t make the decision very easy on us. Susan does all of her painting right out of her home and showcases paintings throughout her house. Susan picked out a variety of paintings for us to choose from including small gallery-wrapped pieces to some larger ones in wood-framed glass and even a few painted on actual Egyptian graffiti! I personally fell in love with the graffiti art. It feels like we’re bringing a piece of history into our showroom. I’m hoping that our customers will love Susan Osgood Egyptian paintings as much as I do.
We ended up picking out nine exquisite pieces to display throughout the showroom. We choose pieces that we thought would look best displayed with our furniture. With our art consignments, we’re attempting to create a look that our customers will be able to identify with and want to create in their own homes. With our Vermont-made furniture, art, housewares and linens, we’re developing our showroom into the ideal, artistic Vermont home.
What other types of art would you like to see here at Stonehurst? Let us know on Facebook!
Just a quick plug for our local Vermont Farmers Markets today…
Like sweet corn and tomatoes, sunflower season (in the words of Dorothy) “comes and goes so quickly around here”. So I thought we might inspire you to run out to your local farm stand or farmers market to grab some while you can. Annette and I visited the Brattleboro Farmers Market this weekend, where half a dozen vendors had beautiful local flowers for sale. Don’t they look nice in front of our new indigo door at Stonehurst?
They came. They strolled. And they looked fabulous. This weekend, a few members of the Green Team represented VWS at the Strolling of the Heifers parade. This being my first “stroll”, I was excited to see what sights and antics Brattleboro had in store.
The parade featured floats and displays from local businesses and organizations from around southeastern Vermont. Each one had a unique theme that tied into the agricultural theme of the event. One of my favorite ideas was from Edward Jones Investments with the slogan “How’s Your Nest Egg Doing?” with a float that was decorated with some live chickens and eggs. There was also a float for an organization that is near and dear to my heart: a local FFA chapter. And of course, there were plenty of heifers. Their handlers dressed each heifer in beads, flowers and bright colors to match this years Strolling of the Heifers theme, “Running of the Bulls meets Mardi Gras.”
Representing the FFA! I walked in many parades and shows as a member, but never in a cow suit!
After the parade was over, the crowd all flooded to The Common to scored some “Strolling Swag” and free gifts from more local businesses. One exhibit in the event was the Woodlands exhibit, which we were a part of. Groups offered educational exhibits and demonstrations about forestry, logging, conservation, invasive species and, of course, the final product of effective forest harvesting, furniture. Vermont Woods Studios shared a tent with Wood-Net, represented by woodworker Rick Gravelin. We showcased our sustainable outdoor POLYWOOD furniture, while Rick displayed a beautiful assortment of handmade, wooden clocks and watches. Michelle, Peggy and I had so much fun talking with local residents about our furniture and where it comes from and boasting about our new Vernon showroom. Michelle even got to talk about our solid wood dining furniture with Peter Welch, a Vermont Congressman.
Did you attend the Stroll this weekend? Or does your town have a local agricultural fair you enjoy? Tell us about it here or on our Facebook wall!
Every year, the stroll has special “sweepers” that follow the end of the parade to clean up the inevitable messes that heifers make. I thought it would be fitting for the sweepers to follow this blog too. 🙂
We’re always looking for an excuse to celebrate at Vermont Woods Studios and– lucky us– this week we had several good reasons. So last night we gathered at the Whetstone Brewery in Brattleboro to welcome Martin Corbin and Kelsey Eaton into the Woods and also… to observe American Craft Beer Week (yes, there is such such a thing).
I’ll post a couple short bios about Martin and Kelsey in the coming weeks but today I thought I should talk up Vermont’s fabulous craft beers so you’ll be able to get out and try them during Craft Beer Weekend.
According to the Vermont Brewers Association there are over 30 brewers in the Green Mountain State, from small specialty brewers like Lawson’s Finest Liquids in Warren,Vermont to nationally recognized brands like Long Trail in Bridgewater Corners, Vermont. “Maybe there’s something in the water. Maybe there’s something in the air. Maybe….. there’s something up here in the mountains. Vermont’s brewers are making magic with it.”
In Brattleboro we’re lucky to have several fine breweries including McNeills on Elliot Street and Whetstone Station next to the bridge (and overlooking the Connecticut River).
Let us know what your favorite Vermont beer is in the comments section below or on our Facebook!