Bye-bye-shannon

Shannon (right) and me walking off a very big Going Away Lunch of Tacos and Mango Juice

Today we have the bittersweet task of saying goodbye to Shannon.  She's been answering your phone calls and emails, working with our craftspeople to ensure your furniture is built to spec, arranging the shipping and delivery of your furniture and generally jumping through whatever hoops are necessary to make things go smoothly for you.

 

But now Shannon is off to another adventure and will be bringing her talents to the Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition, working with teens and adults to prevent substance abuse.

We're sorry to see her go, but wish Shannon all the best in her new job. 

Just so you don't worry about your orders that may be in crafting or shipping, I will let you know that Shannon's done an excellent job of training Heather G who will step into her job here at Vermont Woods Studios.  Heather is backed up by Douglas, Kendall and myself so hopefully, between the four of us we'll make this transition seamlessly for you.

Once again, we'd like to thank Shannon for all her hard work and fine contributions to our company.  Come back and join us for Taco Wednesdays, Shannon!

 

 

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

 

Shannon-birthday

Congratulations to Shannon! Next time maybe I'll get permission to include more than her hands in the picture ;)

 

 

If you call or stop by Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture today looking for Shannon, you will unfortunately have to chat with Douglas or me instead. 

 

Shannon is celebrating a special occasion today.

 

We wish her a relaxing Spring day, which in our world of rural Vermont typically means one of raking leaves and hiking with the dogs.  Enjoy! 

 

But don't forget to come back tomorrow.

 

 

 

Holly-callie

Rescued girls, Kallie and Holly are pondering just the right activites for their Mom's surprise party

 

 

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

 

Green-cleaning-products

Shannon purged our office of Clorox, Febreeze and Glass Plus, replacing them with greener cleaners by BioKleen, EcoVer and Seventh Generation

 

Guest Blogger:  Shannon Albritton

WARNING: No hazmat suits, protective eyewear or gloves required to read this message

My very first thought when we launched our Green-Up Your Workplace Challenge here at Vermont Woods Studios was “I can’t wait to get those toxic cleaning products out of our bathroom!”  There’s nothing worse than walking into a ‘freshly cleaned bathroom’ and needing to open the window to dissipate the smell of bleach and chemicals. I was quick to volunteer for the task of purchasing a new assortment of green cleaning products. Permission granted!

My personal aversion to the odor of chemical-based products aside, there are a variety of factors to consider when selecting cleaning products:

 

 

Important reasons to consider when going green with your clean:

  • When toxic chemicals are sprayed, dumped, rinsed or washed the hazardous environmental effects are outstanding
  • 6 billion pounds of chemicals are dumed into the environment each year
  • Cancer, autism, birth defects, skin & respiratory sensitivies and asthma are on the rise without adequate explanation why

Possible environmental consequences of using chemical cleaning products:

  • Air pollution
  • Bioaccumulation of toxic substances in plants and animals
  • Endocrine disruption in wildlife, which affects reproductive ability
  • Ozone depletion
  • Water pollution

And, if the above isn’t enough to convince you, consider the following warning label comparison:

Warning Label Clorox Clean-Up reads: Eye & Skin Irritant: Causes substantial but temporary eye injury. Do not get in eyes or on clothing. Wear protect eyewear (really?) Harmful if swallowed. For sensitive skin or prolonged use wear gloves. Avoid prolonged breathing of vapors and use in well ventilated areas. (Yeesh! – did they forget the hazmat suit?)

Warning Label Biokleen Bac-Out Bathroom Cleaner: Caution: In case of eye contact, flush eyes with cool water for 15 minutes. In case of ingestion, do not induce vomitting; drink plenty of water to dilute. (That was easy)

Have I convinced you yet? Here comes the reinforcement…

  • Animal Testing – I’ll leave the gory details to your imagination but let’s face it, choosing products which use No Animal Testing and No Animal Ingredients should be a no-brainer in 2012. Store shelves provide a variety options and alternatives for friendlier choices that don’t include a science lab full of beagles testing your bathroom cleaner for skin allergies…

Products from earth-friendly companies like Biokleen (my personal favorite), Ecover, Seventh Generation offer a safe and comprehensive product line for cleaning your office and home. Many products are available in concentrated form which also helps keep our planet green. Less waste in plastic bottles and containers has a direct impact on our energy consumption and pollution from manufacturing. In many cases these concentrated products are very cost effective because you’re not paying for the bottle over and over again.  I’ve been using Biokleen for years and strongly recommend them. Not only are their products safe and green they actually work and smell wonderful!

So, let’s recap: Choosing to green-up your workplace by replacing toxic cleaning products laden with harsh chemicals with green cleaning alternatives is my # 1 choice because it:

  • Removes harsh chemicals from the air
  • Keeps chemicals from leeching into our water systems and plants
  • Prevents negative effects on the reproduction of our wildlife
  • Keeps the air quality safe for myself, my coworkers & our customers
  • No hazmat suit, protective eyewear or gloves required
  • No Animal Testing or Animal Products
  • Concentrated formulas save on waste and pollution
  • Smells great – no artificial fragrances, colors or preservatives

Now head on over to the Vermont Woods Studios Virtual Green-Up Your Workplace Challenge and show your love for my #1 green-up tip. Be sure to share your green cleaning tips with the rest of us and tell us how you’re greening up your workplace too!

Shannons-cleaner-greener-world-becoming a-reality

Behind the scenes as Shannon Greens Up Our Workplace at Vermont Woods Studios

 

 

Warning: No animals, vegetables or minerals have been harmed in the making of this message

 

 

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Guest Blogger: Shannon Albritton

Customer Champion at Vermont Woods Studios

 

Maple-Syrup-Production

It’s certainly not a news flash that Vermont has received below average snowfall this winter. Who am I kidding? We’ve probably had less snow than Georgia (please don’t fact check this). On the heels of 2011’s over-the-top weather including abominable winter snow storms and hurricane-force floods it seems Mother Nature may be taking a time-out for bad behavior… or maybe she thinks we deserve a break?

 

 

So while ‘Mother’ is kicking back in her flip-flops [I picture her sipping a blood orange, ginger mimosa from a treehouse in Costa Rica] University of Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Center is receiving calls from concerned maple syrup lovers with fears that this year’s easy-breezy winter could take the sweetness out of maple syrup production?  We just want to know; will there be syrup for our honey-buckwheat blueberry pancakes?

 

Pancakes-maple-syrup-vt

Many Vermont maple syrup producers, known as sugarmakers, are beginning the season 2-3 weeks earlier this year and some long-time producers report this to be their earliest start ever.  Sugarmakers are reaching out to one another seeking asking questions such as “When are you starting?” and “It is time?” One producer has decided not to tap his trees at all this year because he’s already seen signs of leaf buds. Once maple trees have begun to bud an off flower flavor occurs in the sap and brings a halt to the season.

 

What’s the general word from Vermont’s sugarmakers to all of us who love that sticky-sweet maple syrup, candy, taffy and it’s amber brown goodness? It looks like we’re all going to be OK. Turns out the weather while the sap is flowing is more critical than the weather leading up to the big event. Vermont sugarmakers are hoping for just the right balance of freezing and thawing temperatures during the six-week sap flow season to maintain just the right flow. For the moment they’re looking good though too many warm days and not enough freezing nights could still cause an impact. Overall sugarmakers seem encouraged that all is well in maple sugar land and our pancakes will surely be graced, once again, by our much loved liquid gold.

Although the fate of this year’s maple sugaring season may lie in the hands of a flip-flop wearing, mimosa sipping woman chilling on an exotic island, I have faith – faith that Vermont will do what Vermont always does – figure it out and make do with whatever Mother Nature blows our way.

A friend told me his young daughter has learned to read the maple trees and they tell her when the time is right to begin tapping. She hasn’t been wrong yet. I’m going to contact him and see what she’s predicting for the season. I’m guessing she’s got a hotline straight to our ‘Mother’. One thing’s for sure – Vermont’s sugarmakers aren’t ready to back down from this tap dance just yet — show us your moves Mother Nature.

Watch this delightful video of Henry Emmons, 67, of Red Rock Maple Farm in Starksboro VT and see the maple sugar flow as he started making maple syrup this week as day-time temperatures soar. (Produced my Emily McManamy, Burlington Free Press)

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

 

Vermont-woods-coffee

Bird-friendly, shade-grown coffee

Shannon is always whipping us into shape here at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture.  In the few months she's been here, she's made several suggestions to help us get greener.  For example… do you use paper towels or hand dryers in your restroom?  Neither is all that green…so Shannon got Ken to go out and purchase cotton hand towels for each person in the office (color coded, of course). She even has Douglas buying organic half and half for his coffee… who knew?

 

And now we have organic, shade-grown, bird-friendly coffee in our break room.  I had written in January about the importance of buying shade-grown, bird-friendly coffee (we learned this from our friend Roz Renfrew over at the Vermont Center for EcoStudies).  Unfortunately we've gotten spolied with our K-cup coffee brewer though and I was feeling bad that I couldn't find K-cups with bird friendly coffee.  But Shannon came through as usual and found a company called San Francisco Bay Coffee, whose:

100% Arabica coffee is shade-grown on high altitude farms over 3000 feet elevation. These farms employ a bio-diverse natural cover of shade trees to develop the beans slowly – and give them more character and depth compared to full-sun, "monoculture" coffee farms. This shade grown farming also provides habitat to animals and birds and helps restore the ecosystems including local water supplies. We are committed to organic farming as well, and we’ve perfected innovative techniques to turn coffee pulp waste into organic fertilizer using vermiculture (worm composting)! We’re spreading that technology to organic farms (and even non-organic ones) throughout the world.

I'm happy to report that the coffee tastes great!  I did take a picture of Shannon drinking a cup but she deleted it and sent this one over instead.  Everyone around here is so camera shy.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.