Office politics around Vermont Woods Studios can get pretty brutal. I’m not sure what Sean did yesterday but it must have been pretty horrendous to deserve this kind of treatment– on his birthday, no less. A Pick on Sean jar? There was quite a bit of money in it too. In spite of their denials, I have to believe those innocent looking women on the right (Michelle and Loryn, believe it or not) are involved in perpetrating this offense. Liz would have nothing to do with it– I feel certain of that.
Word has it that the crew didn’t get the response they had hoped for yesterday when they tried to raise money with a Swear Jar so they took their frustrations out on poor Sean. What do you think? Any ideas to bail Sean out of this trouble? It’s his birthday… he needs some support. Send him a few words of encouragement on our Facebook!
Editors note: Sean Henry and Liz Francese are our front line, crackerjack, Vermont-made furniture sales people. If you’ve purchased from us before you’ve probably talked to them on the phone (and you’ve definitely received emails from them) so you’ll totally “get” Sean’s tongue-in-cheek essay on how people and cherry wood change over time. If not, I guess you’ll just have to visit us at Stonehurst and see for yourself.
Let me explain something. When Liz and I were youngsters, we were adorable. No seriously, we were absolutely adorable. We were cute, blond, loveable, patriotic (me) and verbally expressive (Liz). As I am sure you can see from the pictures we were the kind of kids that parents would love to pull pictures out of their wallets to show off to all their friends. But as you can also see, things change. Well, maybe not all things change (this is where I tell you to look at both of the pictures of my favorite co-worker and see if you can find the similarities between the two pics).
Okay, so now that I have that part out of the way… The one thing I wanted to point out — and yes I am finally getting to the point — is that we both used to be blond or perhaps I should say dirty blond. We both had a nice, light head of hair and over time it has become a darker shade of brown. You may say to yourself, “what does any of this have to do with Cherry wood furniture?” Well let me tell you.
Natural Cherry wood is a lot like Liz and I. When it first arrives, it will be a light, almost dirty blond color. The light color of new Natural Cherry wood may not be what you expect to see after looking at all the beautiful images of cherry wood furniture on our website. Don’t worry, this will change. Over time, Cherry wood darkens or “ripens” as it ages and as it is exposed to light. As the Natural Cherry ripens, you will see the beauty of the wood and all its amazing characteristics come through. You will start to see a noticeable change after just a few months. After six months to a year it will have that rich, ripe auburn color. After that the color of the Cherry wood will change more gradually. You can see the difference in the pictures above.
One last thing I want to point out before I stop writing this long-winded blog (I am new at this). You have probably noticed my baby picture with the American flag and my very American red white and blue sailor suit. I thought it would be a good reminder to everyone that our Memorial Day Sale is coming up soon. So it might be the perfect time for some change and the perfect time to think about how our Vermont-Made, Handcrafted, ever-changing, beautiful, Natural Cherry wood furniture will look in your home!
Aside from a few harmless office pranks, helping customers is the fun part of our job. The moment your order is sent in, however, the real work begins: order processing.
Step One: Translate the Order
Your order is first taken in by Heather and Douglas- these two practiced order processors translate your ‘language heavy’ Order Notification into a series of short phrased descriptions and codes. These descriptions and codes are written in forms unique to each of our craftsmen.
Step Two: Peer Checking
As the orders are pending review by the craftsmen, they undergo peer checking by Sean. With the eye of a hawk, Sean compares each document (order notification, invoice, purchase order) associated with your order. Sean’s trained mind can decipher the differing languages in these documents and assure they all are saying the same thing.
Step Three: Correspondence with Craftsmen
The craftsman eventually replies in the form of a Sale Order- which Heather then scrutinizes one last time before assuring all documentation is accurate and crafting is a GO. All the while Douglas (our supervisor) plays a few rounds of Snood and grunts his disapproval of our work.
Step Four: Post Processing Party
We don’t actually have a party after each order but we do have a good time all the while. This holiday season has been a real test to our team’s order processing skills. The large influx of giving spirit has put Vermont Woods Studios sales above our goals. In return, we’d like to give a little back. If you’re looking for a belated Christmas gift or just want to finally get something for yourself after all your holiday shopping, check out our Winter Holiday Sale and save up to 20% off.
I can’t believe how lucky we’ve been at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture this year. Somehow we’ve been able to find 6 new staff members, all extraordinary in their capabilities and drive, not to mention passion for our green mission. If you’ve ever owned or worked at a small company, you know it’s not easy to find just the right professionals to bring on board. Small businesses need people who can work under pressure but go with the flow, leap tall buildings in a single bound and take out the trash, be friendly to customers and co-workers but clam up and put their nose to the grindstone when it’s time to crank out the work. Already Sean seems to be juggling those things with finesse.
He’s working for Douglas alongside Liz and Heather G as a Sales and Customer Service Representative. I’ll try to give you some inside scoop on him, so you can surprise him if he answers the phone next time you call. Let’s see. Before Sean came to us, he owned and operated his family business–one of Brattleboro’s favorite restaurants, the SteakOut. Owning a restaurant? That was our first clue that he knew how to work hard.
Sean holds a BS degree in Business Administration from the University of Vermont where he studied financial and office management. While working his way through school, he sold Cutco knives. Now I love Cutco products (they’re made in America, by the way) but they’re not exactly an easy sell. When was the last time you happily welcomed a door-to-door salesman into your home? Right. So anyone who can sell anything door to door gets my respect.
Liz and Heather have been trying to dig up some dirt on Sean (it’s so competitive around here) but at this point– still nothing. It’s early though so stay tuned. They’ll manage to unearth something good.
And speaking of Liz… could it be that she actually believed Douglas when he said we were interviewing for a personal assistant for her? Hmmm. That could explain why she keeps asking Sean to get her coffee and shine her shoes.
Stay up to date on Sean’s adventures with Liz, Heather and other enigmatic personalities at Vermont Woods Studios by visiting our Facebook now and then.