If I'm investing a lot of money in something– say a new car, I spend a significant amount of time researching my options. Then when I've made a decision on a particular car I continue to research everything about that model and the company that makes it.
Well, I figure the same is true for people when they're investing in high end, handmade furniture. But unfortunately not much performance data is available from furniture companies. Either they don't do customer satisfaction surveys or they choose not to publish their results. Why is that?
Although we're a small company, we've been surveying our customers since we started our business 6 years ago. I thought I would share some of our results and performance metrics with you over the next couple weeks. These results are taken from a survey of 130 customers who just received their new furniture over the last few months. We received 69 customer responses for a pretty decent response rate of 53%. The questions we asked them included:
Please rate our performance in the following areas
* Quality of furniture * Ease of ordering * Shipping and delivery * Response of customer sevice personnel * Would you purchase from Vermont Woods Studios Furniture again?
We've been busy lately at Vermont Woods Studios Furniture— finally moving into our new showroom in Vernon, Vermont. Yeah!!! It's taken over a year to recover from the fire last Christmas Eve that took our wonderful friend Annette's home and farm– and along with it– our showroom.
But Douglas and Rebecca have been working the last few weekends– moving all or our electronics and office systems to our new space. Ken and the boys helped move new desks and bookshelves in. This week we hope to wrap up much of the process by moving our first shipment of furniture.
The new office and showroom is located next to the Post Office in Vernon, Vermont at 2531 Fort Bridgman Rd Vernon, VT. Drop by and see us!
How would you feel about buying expensive, high end handmade Vermont furniture over the Internet? Scared? If so, you're not alone. Quite honestly, most of our customers at Vermont Woods Studios who are first-time buyers are nervous about it.
We're always working hard to improve our website, add photos that show the details of construction, quality, joinery and such but let's face it– a website simply cannot convey the quality of handmade solid wood furniture. You really have to see it to appreciate it.
GreenPeople.org is one place customers have posted their candid opinions about our furniture and our customer service. GreenPeople.org provides an independent, unaffiliated website for opinions and reviews of all kinds of businesses. We thank Steve Urow and honor his mission of promting honesty, fairness and justice in business. We recommend his site for posting reviews of any products or services you may be purchasing online or in person. Best of luck to Steve and crew!
Today I wanted to provide some detail about naturally occurring mineral deposits that are a characteristic of cherry.
In cherry wood small black flecks occur in the grain where tiny amounts of sap were stored in the cherry tree.
Mineral deposits (or pitch pockets) are natural and randomly occurring. They do not diminish the strength or quality of your furniture. As we say: they add to its uniqueness.
The frequency of mineral deposits in our furniture varies with each tree utilized but it is largely reflected in the product photos here and throughout our website. Like any other fine furniture maker we cannot guarantee the absence of mineral deposits in our cherry wood furniture and we cannot consider the presence of mineral deposits a reason for furniture returns, per our lifetime guarantee policy.
Looking for Cherry Furniture with Virtually No Mineral Deposits?
Most of our furniture makers are reluctant to offer cherry furniture without mineral deposits for a couple reasons. First, it is against our sustainable forestry principles. Up to five times the number of trees need to be harvested to produce furniture with virtually no mineral deposits. Second, the presence of mineral deposits in cherry wood can be a matter of opinion. What one customer might feel was mineral-deposit free furniture may not be the same for another customer.
If mineral deposits are an issue for you, give us a call. We’ll work something out… although I should mention that the price of a “virtually mineral deposit-free” piece is generally about twice that of the regular piece.
Last weekend, Ken, Douglas, Rebecca and I went up to Burlington for a photo shoot of our new furniture lines. It's hard to believe how much planning goes into these shoots!
We were lucky to have the expertise of set-designer Erica Ell and photographer John Goodman on board. They worked for a couple months tending to planning and lighting and propping and such. When on site, they directed our crew which included the four of us from Vermont Woods Studios plus a half dozen or more furniture makers.