August 15th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
If you've traveled through Vermont, you've no doubt noticed that the Green Mountain State has no billboards. None. Not a single one. They're illegal here. It's true.
So the way many Vermont businesses reach out to visitors and customers is through our Information and Welcome Centers. These respites are strategically located along our most traveled roads, particularly routes I-89 and I-91. I'll post some photos of their unique Vermont architecture another day but today I wanted to show you something on the inside: Art Galleries!
I took this picture at the I-91 Welcome Center just north of the Massachusetts line in Guilford, VT. It's part of a collection of paintings by Caryn King of Newfane, VT. You can't help but smile at Caryn's paintings of farm animals– so much personality shines through. She also does breath-taking floral paintings and commissions of your favorite pets. Her blog, A Chicken Painting Every Day is a cheerful way to start the day!
Vermont's information and welcome centers also offer tons of information and brochures on local, regional and state-wide events, activities, hotels, inns, restaurants, ski areas, outdoor recreation, shopping, sight-seeing and much more. Stop by and have a look!
What do you think about replacing billboards with Welcome Centers? Let us know below or on our Facebook.
Peggy Farabaugh owns Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture. She travels around the Green Mountain State collaborating with woodworkers and feeling very lucky to live and work in a place where nature and creativity are flourishing.
August 3rd, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
It's been well over a year now since we began our search for a new home for Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture. Our amazing realtor, Suzanne King of Masiello Realty in Brattleboro VT has been incredibly patient and helpful. She's showed us dozens of possible properties and lived through the whole disappointing saga of Skyline, a property we fell in love with last year which did not work out for us.
Now we're working on acquiring Stonehurst, a beautiful old farmhouse property located right here in Vernon VT (that's just part of the backyard shown on the left. Here's a photo of the main house). It's on 109 acres of forested land with scenic views all the way down to the Connecticut River. It used to be a ski area, Pine Top.
Our plan is to do a green renovation of the property and transform it into a luxury, destination shopping experience for customers seeking Vermont's handcrafted, sustainable furniture. What do you think? Is this the kind of place you'd be interested in if you were shopping for fine wood furniture? Let me know in the comments section below or on our Facebook.
July 18th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
If you live in Manhattan or elsewhere in New York and need to escape the crowds and concrete this weekend, grab a copy of Rebecca Dalzell's latest article in NY Magazine and head 3 hours north of the City on I-91 to quirky Brattleboro, Vermont.
Rebecca's done all the research for your last minute get-away, outlining the Where to Stay, Where to Eat and What to Do. She's even included some insider secrets on Southern Vermont's best swimming holes, antique stores and Farmer's markets.
If that's not enough to get you up here, I'll throw in a couple bonus ideas to whet your appetite:
So, what are you waiting for? Vermont's laid back, artsy town of Brattleboro is ready to welcome you for a weekend of unwinding in the foothills of the Green Mountains. Hurry up and get here so you can relax.
Peggy Farabaugh, co-founder of Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture lives and works in Vernon, Vermont- what we like to call a suburb of Brattleboro, and another place of quiet respite from the city life.
May 2nd, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Yesterday Shannon suggested take-out food from Brattleboro's newest restaurant, The Humble Kitchen. It's a food cart in the Harmony parking lot that serves Vietnamese street food, sourced locally where ever possible.
Wow, is it delicious and worth the trip, even if you're travelling from NH, MA or anywhere in Southern Vermont.
Fried mango wontons with a sugar lime sauce might sound a little exotic but you have to try them. I can't even begin to describe how wonderful they are.
In addition they have specialty dishes for meat lovers, vegetarians and vegans, like the Banh Mi sandwich, Hot Noodle Soup, Summer Noodle Bowl and a salad with local greens & ginger-lime or toasted sesame vinaigrette.
Today was opening day for The Humble Kitchen and by all accounts they had a nice turnout of support from the community. If you live in the Southern Vermont area, be sure to take advantage of this great opportunity to enjoy authentic fresh, Vietnamese cuisine. I guarantee you'll be glad you did.
April 24th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
There are only about 2200 of us here in Vernon Vermont, the home of Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture. So we typcially run into Brattleboro a couple times a week to get our necessities in terms of food, arts, movies, music, shopping and such. It's an artsy town with a decidedly green personality.
Brattleboro's Food Co-op is one of the biggest and best in our state, as is the local Farmer's Market. Many restaurants like The Works and The Marina serve local, organic food. And of course the area is full of small organic farms like Malhana Farm, Relly Bubs and Lilac Ridge.
I wasn't a bit surprised to see Brattleboro make #11 on a list of the “20 Best Small Towns in America” in Smithsonian Magazine's May issue. The editor said the number one criteria for making the list was culture: "a high concentrations of museums, historic sites, botanic gardens, resident orchestras, art galleries and other cultural assets common to big cities". But they were looking for small towns with populations less than 25,000, "so travelers could experience what might be called enlightened good times in an unhurried, charming setting".
When you're heading north into Vermont from New York, Connecticut or Massachusetts, Brattleboro is the first Vermont exit off I-91. And Vernon is just a few miles South on Route 142. Stop in, stroll around downtown, have a cup of Mocha Joe's coffee and see if you agree with the Smithsonian. We think you will!
April 20th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Since Earth Day is on Sunday this year, we decided to have our Vermont Woods Studios Earth Day party today. Here are a few photos of the crew indulging in local, organic food from The Works, a cafe, bakery and deli in Brattleboro.
We love the food and the people at the Works but we also like their green brand.
This sign on the wall at the back of the deli tells where all the recycled materials that make up the store came from. Furniture and cabinetry were made by our friend Chad Woodruff of Woodruff Custom Furniture here in Vernon, VT. Chad used old tractor seats and scythe handles for chairs.
The vintage steel lighting at the Works was salvaged from from an old amusement park in Rye, New York.
The menu is written on an old slate chalkboard reclaimed from Northfield Mount Hermon School, in Northfield MA.
They just used a lot of imagination in designing and building the Works and everyone in Brattleboro loves going there for the good green vibe.
So here's another idea for our "Greening Up Your Workplace" Challenge on Facebook– have an Earth Day lunch with natural food from a local restaurant or deli.
April 7th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Happy Easter from all of us at Vermont Woods Studios!
I thought I'd share a few scenes from Vermont's pastoral landscape this Spring. We've got all the signs of Easter:
Lambs at The Billings Farm
Crocuses at the Vermont Wildflower Farm
One week old baby horses at Malhana Farm.
bunnies, chicks… you name it (thanks to 123rf.com/freeimages for this photo)
And of course, many local churches (this one is St Michael's Roman Catholic Church in Brattleboro) where you can participate in the all of the religious traditions and spirituality of Easter.
Maybe you should jump in the car right now and buzz up to Vermont for Easter? Our Inn owners have a cozy place for you to take respite.
March 28th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Sales are going up and we're hiring again at our Vernon, VT office of Vermont Woods Studios Furniture.
Our office isn't as crazy as The Office at Dunder Mifflin, but it's not your average workplace either.
We're constantly challenging ourselves and each other to do things better, faster and smarter and we keep up a pretty fast pace. At the same time, we try to have fun and celebrate our successes as we pursue our company's green mission.
We have 2 job positions we're looking to fill. One is for a Sales and Customer Service Associate. This person will start out working in Sales and Shipping with Douglas and Shannon, helping customers online, over the phone and in the showroom.
The second position is for a Marketing Associate. This person will start out working with Manjula and Dennis adding new products to our website and editing existing products.
Both positions are entry level and require a fair amount of data entry in the beginning. As our company grows, we try to shape the job around the person's strengths, interests and plans for future professional development so there is room to grow and pursue your passion with us.
Anyone interested in joining us should get to know our company through our website (also our blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) review the job postings and respond per the posted instructions. We plan to review resumes and references over the next month or so and will be selecting candidates in April or May.
March 7th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
I guess we tend to take these opportunities for granted in Vermont because there's such an abundance of local, all-natural food.
Our good friend Annette has been raising organic, grass-fed beef on her Malhanna farm just down the road for many years. Some photo-journalists from the Vermont Center for Photography chronicled Annette's farm last weekend and I'm trying to get permission to share some of their photos with you. In the meantime, I thought you might enjoy this beautiful video about Lilac Ridge, an organic family farm in Brattleboro, Vermont.
November 22nd, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
It was only a couple days ago that Shannon ran into my office with a look of total disbelief on her face, saying that someone named Christine Brozyna, a producer from ABC World News with Diane Sawyer would like to talk to us about our Made in America Holiday Shopping Challenge.
Wow! I thought WE worked hard at Vermont Wood Studios. In 5 days these people read all about us on the Internet, liked our company and our drive, dreamed up a segment about us for their national news show, gathered up a camera crew, drove up to Vernon VT and spent the whole day today filming our story. It was a whilrwind and I'm not quite sure if I've been dreaming myself, but I have to say today was pretty exciting, either way.
Thanks also to the local media who came out to capture the event. I love this behind the scenes video posted by Zach Stephens at The Brattleboro Reformer.
I hope you get to see all of this on Wednesday when it airs on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer at 6:30pm. Everywhere we went today, the producers set up the scene so we were telling people about our Made in America Holiday Shopping Challenge and asking them to join us. We honestly had no earthly idea how this was going to play out and we're so grateful to everyone for supporting us in our ignorance.
I can't image how they're going to boil 10 hours of filming down to 3 minutes but I trust that the genius of Christine and Eric Noll (the other producer) will prevail and everything will come out just fine. That's Christine and Eric above with Tom and Mark, the camera crew. They had us getting our picture taken holding the Made in America sign all day, so we wanted to turn the tables on them and get a photo of them holding a sign of our choice– a promotional sign for Woodruff Custom Furniture.
If you made it to this page, and even to the bottom of this page– we're sending out a big THANK you to all of you from ABC. We look forward to seeing you again, closer to Christmas. Come and check out all our American Made finds!