Last week I bought a couple gifts for friends whom we had stayed with recently, during a trip to the Finger Lakes in New York. My favorite store for Vermont made gifts is Pieces of Vermont. It's a place where you can buy a huge variety of Vermont made products including maple syrup, artisan cheese, wooden kitchen accessories, specialty gourmet foods and Vermont gift baskets for any occasion.
Soon after I placed my order I got a personal note from owner Rick Smith thanking me for the purchase and saying that he was on our Vermont Woods Studios website shopping for a bed! Pretty good karma, right?
It turns out Rick's an extraordinary guy who grew up in Vermont, skied at Mount Snow and was an avid trout fisherman. He earned BS degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Information Technology. After a short career as a Manufacturing Engineer in the Aerospace Machining industry, Rick's life changed dramatically with a spinal cord injury, and he was forced to change careers.
He decided to create a website that would help Vermont's smaller businesses sell locally made specialty food items over the Internet and that's how Pieces of Vermont came about. Check it out next time you're looking for affordable Vermont made gifts or maybe even a little handmade treat for your own kitchen. Tell Rick I sent you.
By Dennis Shanoff
Here at Vermont Woods Studios, we have always (and only) sold 100% USA made wood furniture. Vermont made furniture to be more precise. And the reasons this matters are many and compelling. Let’s start with superb, lasting quality and built from a natural and sustainable material. Well that’s good for your wallet and very good for the planet. And when you factor in the US jobs it creates and the local economies it helps support, well to me that’s when it becomes very compelling. Our product and service choices really do matter and can make a difference.
This past year ABC news ran some Made in America feature stories. You may have seen all or part of these week long series specials on the nightly news. They did a great job of raising awareness of how little we have in our homes that was produced in this country. And the obvious “reason this matters” drawn from these segments was how it has impacted the US economy and our jobs market.
So it did get me thinking that maybe I could shift at least some of my buying to US made goods (as challenging as that sounds). I would do my part plus I certainly have been experiencing some quality issues with my offshore made products, especially tools. Why is my father’s power drill from the 1950’s still working while I am on at least my 5th one!
And my next thought was that I couldn’t be alone in this thinking and that sooner or later a “Buy American” movement would begin. If ABC news couldn’t push this movement, no one can! Well the whole ABC coverage did inspire and encourage me to think more about this and ponder what a small movement with “spreading potential” could do? When could we make a really big difference? How about the time of year when we really ramp up our spending? What would be an easy to adopt theme? And then it hit me, holiday shopping is right around the corner. How many Secret Santa office parties will there be? How many school children will be partaking in a holiday gift exchange? And how many families and friends will be having an old fashion Yankee Swap! So why not an American Made theme holiday gift party this year? And that’s just what we are going to do here in our Vermont Woods Studios office and that’s what I am going to do when it comes to my family and friend gift buying.
In the coming weeks I will be posting on this blog the results of my findings and ideas. So if you are curious as to what I find or if you want to share your thoughts or findings please come back and post your comments here (or even better– on our Facebook page).
Now imagine if a million holiday gatherings follow this Buy American theme this season… well that will really matter! Join us and pledge to Buy American this holiday season.
During their 20 years of existence, The Arbor Day Foundation has been helping replant our Nation's Forests "to restore their life-giving benefits and awe-inspiring splendor." In fact, we've helped plant over 25 million trees in forests that have been damaged by fire, insects, and disease.
If you love trees like we do here at Vermont Furniture, you might be interested in giving them as gifts for upcoming holidays like Mother's Day and Father's Day. A tree is a thoughtful gift that everybody can enjoy, and it's a gift that will last long into the future. The Arbor Day Foundation has a great gift program where they'll send you a gift tree and planting instructions for only $3 making it easy, painless and fun to plant.
So Happy Arbor Day… don't foget to go outside and enjoy your trees.
From all of us here at Vermont Woods Studios, thanks for making 2009 our best year yet!
Wishing You and Your Family a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season!
Most of us may not be planning to indulge in ultra luxury gift giving this year, but we can still look, right? I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the new pieces we're offering. Take notice, those whose stocks are up! Now is the perfect time to invest in handcrafted custom artisan furniture heirlooms that will be cherished forever. You'll never have to worry about them losing their value.
We call this masterpiece handcrafted by Steve Holman, the Mermaid's Sleigh Bed because of it's graceful, flowing lines, wave-shaped footboard and carved maple
natuilus shells on both headboard and footboard.
It's shown in cherry and curly cherry veneers, curly maple and nogal. You could make quite a splash with this gift, don't you think?
What are you planning for Valentine's Day? No–you can't count on the recession for an excuse to lapse or forget. Here's a link to World Wildlife Fund's FREE Valentine's email cards to help you out in recognizing all the special green people in your life.
And for those on a more generous budget,you can still surprise the love of your
life with the gift of our ultra luxury Heart-Shaped Valentines Chairs handcrafted by Steve Holman.
This figured maple chair with velvety red upholstery can be
customized to include your names, date or other creative personal touches. Like
your enduring devotion, these heirloom chairs will be around forever – or at
least for generations!