Vermont Woods Studios encourages sustainable shopping.
Spending more time outdoors encourages reflection on your eco footprint! This is me enjoying nature in Poultney, VT.

My Opinion

Sustainability matters, it really does. Our planet is going through some major changes that I’m sure many of us have noticed– from entire species of animals being wiped out, to our rainforests being clear-cut, to the majorly devastating natural disasters occurring throughout the world. Big things are happening, and I don’t mean to scare anyone, but it has come time for us as people to take responsibility for our contribution to global climate change and its consequences. We have to start acting responsibly and be very conscious in our efforts to reduce our individual impact on the world!

 

It won’t be easy, but as a leading nation, it is up to Americans to set a positive example to the rest of the world! Can you envision a green future for the USA? A place where we manage our forests responsibly, care for our animals, & support sustainable business rather than greedy CEOs who allow child labor and unsafe factory conditions? A place where we take a second to think about what we are supporting when we make a purchase? A place where sustainable shopping is the norm? I can!

 

The tragedy that occurred in Bangladesh was extremely eye opening for me– especially when it comes to the companies who refused to agree to safer factory standards. It makes sense… these giant corporations are profiting majorly off of practices that are extremely harmful to the environment and the people who work for them. It’s unacceptable. I like to think that “every dollar you spend is a vote” (LN Smith), and my question is, who (and what) are you voting for?

 

I vote for companies with strict environmental standards, companies who believe that our future (and the future of our children, grandchildren, and beyond) is in our hands. I vote for companies who take responsibility and make positive efforts to decrease their environmental impact. I vote for companies who pay their workers fairly and don’t expose them to dangerous conditions. I vote for a green future, a happier, healthier future!

 

I challenge you to take a look around your home and think about where your products are coming from. Were they made in a factory overseas or by an American craftsman? Were they made from sustainably managed forests or were they made from wood harvested from the rainforest? Does the company you “voted” for have safe, ethical standards of pay and work conditions for their employees?

 

Just think about it. Literally envision your favorite items in your home being made, and the hands that created them. That’s the first step– just become aware that as consumers, we have the power to change the world. Every dollar is a vote!

 

 

 

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-summer

This is part of the back yard of Stonehurst, the property we're trying to purchase for our new Vermont Woods Studios office and showroom.  The plan is to do a green renovation of the main farmhouse (not shown), creating a unique, luxury shopping experience for customers seeking Vermont's handcrafted sustainable furniture.

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.

 

 

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.

 

Fine-furniture-online

Top 3 tips for buying fine furniture online: Buy from a fine furniture specialist, order white glove delivery and get a lifetime guarantee.

When I started Vermont Woods Studios seven years ago, most people told me that no one in their right mind would consider buying expensive fine furniture online.  But I would.  And I figured I was not the only one who preferred researching my purchases on my own rather than being "sold to" in a traditional furniture store.

 

If you're one of those people too, I'll offer some advice to help with your research.  Although we were one of the first, there are now literally hundreds of online stores selling fine furniture.  So here are my Top 3 Tips for Buying Fine Furniture Online:

 

BUY FROM A FINE FURNITURE SPECIALIST

Amazon, Ebay, YLiving, Sears, Wayfair and most big online stores carry "fine furniture".  But they also carry watches, silverware, desk accessories, umbrellas and cough drops.  So do you really trust them to know anything about your investment in fine furniture?  I don't think so.  Honestly there are so many things that can go wrong with a fine furniture purchase– you need to deal with someone who anticipates all possible issues involved in ordering, customizing, shipping and delivering your furniture.  Someone who will be immediately accessible and responsive if you get home from work and find a soaking wet box containing your new table or dresser on your doorstep.  Someone who will have already discussed delivery logistics with you such that something like that simply doesn't happen.

ORDER WHITE GLOVE SHIPPING AND DELIVERY

Many online "fine furniture" stores offer base prices that either do not include shipping or include "curbside shipping", which literally means the furniture is brought to your curb and you bring it into the house yourself.  Alternatively "white glove" shipping and delivery services bring your new furniture into your home, unpack it, assemble it, help you inspect it for possible shipping damage and remove the packaging materials.  You need this service not only to save your back and make sure your assembly is correct but also as a sort of "insurance policy" against shipping damage.  Even if it costs a couple hundred dollars extra, trust me– it's worth it.

GET A LIFETIME GUARANTEE

High quality, wood furniture makers offer a lifetime guarantee on their fine furniture– period.  This is your peace of mind regarding quality, especially when you're buying online. It takes the risk out of the deal.  If you're investing a substantial amount of money in fine wood furniture and your store won't guarantee it, go somewhere else.  Legitimate online fine furniture stores will offer the guarantee if you ask for it.

For more tips and advice on buying fine furniture online, visit our website and maybe even consider the Top 10 Reasons to Purchase Fine Furniture from Vermont Woods Studios.

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.

Buying Furniture Online | American Made | Handcrafted in Vermont
Buying Furniture Online | American Made | Handcrafted in Vermont

So you’re thinking about buying furniture online.  You routinely purchase books and clothes online, but furniture is different.  It’s a big investment– maybe about the same dollar value as a new computer system or perhaps much more.

What if you’re not happy with it?  Can you just send it back?  How do you know which online furniture stores you can trust?  This is a big decision so it’s worth the time to do a little homework before you buy.

The good news is that there are lots of reputable furniture retailers online, offering quality products at fair prices.  A few minutes of browsing through a furniture website can usually give you a good idea of whether or not it’s honest and reputable.  Here I’ll offer the Top 5 ways to tell…

Does the company focus on selling exclusively furniture or do they sell everything from pillows to pampers to produce?  The point here is that customizing, shipping and delivering furniture are specialties that require specialization.  There’s a big difference between FedExing a pillow and delivering and setting up a bedroom set in your home.  Furniture shipping and delivery is an exacting art and science.  Don’t expect it to be done well by an online department store.  Go with a furniture specialist.

Does the company provide detailed information about their products, who makes them, how they are made, what they are made of, directions for furniture care?  Spend some time studying this information on the company’s website
scrpaers steal content
Ask where the furiture is made and what it’s made of

Make sure to take into account shipping costs, taxes, and other fees when deciding on your purchase! Many online furniture stores offer free shipping but some do not. Make sure to take this into account when searching for the best prices.
Many times making a good decision rides a fine line between price and shopping at a reputable store.

http://www.techdirt.com/blog/casestudies/articles/20120330/13111518310/furniture-designer-fights-copying-busting-up-some-chairs.shtml

Ask for contact info on former customers in your area.

Read their blog

 

Dont trust review sites that have a low alexa rating, http://www.habitationofjustice.com/affiliate-marketing-scams

Get contact info and call

 

http://www.eonline.com/news/clint_eastwood_sues_furniture_company/307243?cmpid=rss-000000-rssfeed-365-topstories&utm_source=eonline&utm_medium=rssfeeds&utm_campaign=rss_topstories

Better Business Bureau – going obsolete http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/business-bureau-best-ratings-money-buy/story?id=12123843#.T4THaI6K0ko

 

google the name with “scam”

epinions

http://consumerist.com/2007/02/20-online-furniture-buying-tips-from-an-industry-insider.html

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.

 Furniture-reviews-onlineAs fate would have it, a customer called Vermont Woods Studios today with a serious and urgent problem, just as I was in the middle of writing this blog about customer reviews and ratings.  Although our ratings are generally excellent (see yesterday's customer review ratings) occasionally something goes awry.  So we constantly push ourselves, our craftsmen, our shippers and our vendors to do better and avoid future errors.

I thought today's issue might be a good illustration of what can go wrong with furniture deliveries and what our process is for resolving customer complaints.  Here's what happened:  a customer in Arizona ordered a king size Vermont Shaker Moon bed.  The next day a customer in Sacramento ordered the same bed in California king size.  Somehow, the beds were switched and today the CA king bed was delivered to the wrong customer… clearly a huge mistake on our part.

So getting the beds un-switched and delivered to the corrrect customer is the (relatively) easy part for us.  The hard part of resolving this issue is compensating the customers for their time, frustration and inconvenience.  People often have to take time off work to accept and inspect deliveries. Understandably they can get angry over this kind of mistake. 

Since every issue is different, we try very hard to understand each customer's situation and needs as we're seeking a resolution they'll be happy with.  Today, after discussing options with the customer we offered an immediate full refund if the customer wanted to return the bed or a cash payment of $400 to compensate for the inconvenience of having to wait for the correct bed to be delivered.  The customer  thought it over and decided to return the bed for a full refund. 

We're now working with our shippers and craftspeople to fine tune our systems and make sure this error doesn't happen again.

I'd be interested to get your feedback, either in the comments below or on our Vermont Furniture Facebook.  You can see from our customer reviews and ratings that Shipping and Delivery are our greatest challenges.  This is true not just for us, but for the furniture industry as a whole.  What I can say, is that even though there are occasional shipping issues, we'll do almost anything the customer asks to make things right.  That includes complete replacement, repair, refund, cash compensation and a bunch of other things that customers have requested.  I think that's reflected in the results for this question:  Would you purchase from Vermont Woods Studios Furniture again?  98.53% of customers said yes.  We're trying to improve that too.

 

 

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.