They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but it's still frustrating to see people take your work, copy it and sell it as their own. Unfortunately the Internet has made that a full time job for many companies around the globe.
The latest copycat we've come across is a company calling themselves American Eco Furniture. See any similarities in our logos? Our Vermont Woods Studios logo (above) has three trees made with thumbprints to signify the handcrafted nature of our furniture. The trunk on each tree is unique to convey that our furniture makers are independent, with their own styles, designs and crafting techniques. Our American made furniture is carefully handcrafted in Vermont of solid, sustainably harvested wood. It's guaranteed for a lifetime. It truly is the real thing.
By contrast, most of the furniture sold by this company is neither American made nor eco friendly.
It turns out that we can have attorneys go after this company (and the many others like it) but I'm not sure we can afford to take our focus off making Vermont Woods Studios best in it's class– in order to chase them down. It's kind of like that "Whack-A Mole" game. New scams just keep popping up.
I can't help humming that old song by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. Remember it? Ain't Nothin Like The Real Thing, Baby.
So I just have to hope consumers aren't getting us confused with the fly-by-nights. In talking with our customers we've learned they typically spend 3-4 months shopping and researching before they make an investment in American handmade furniture. I think that's what it takes anymore to make sure you're getting the real thing.
What do you think? Drop us a line in the comments section below or on our Facebook. We love hearing from you!
Our friends at Copeland Furniture in Bradford, Vermont have come out with what I think is America's best selection of storage beds. Apparently our customers agree because these platform beds with under-bed storage were our best sellers last week.
Perfect for apartment or condo living Copeland's modern beds are designed for both comfort and style. This one, the Horizon Bed is shown in a dark chocolate stain over maple wood although several lighter stain colors are also available.
Each piece in the Horizon bedroom furniture collection is handmade in Vermont with solid, sustainably harvested maple wood and carries our Vermont Woods Studios Lifetime Guarantee.
Copeland offers several other storage bed designs including the Berkeley Storage Bed, the Monterey Storage Bed, the Dominion Storage Bed and the Harbor Island Storage Bed. These American made platform beds literally do the heavy lifting when it comes to under-bed storage and customers appreciate the high quality and craftsmanship that's become synonymous with Copeland Furniture's brand. We think you will too!
So you love to cook and have your friends and family over to share the fruits of your labor. But that old "fine dining" set you got at Ikea or Pottery Barn 10 years ago is on it's last legs. The veneer is peeling off at the corners, the legs are shaky and you're ready for an upgrade. You've earned it!
Well now is your chance. All of our American made, natural wood fine dining furniture is on sale today at 15% off (if you're buying more than 1 piece… 10% otherwise).
Check it out! We'll build fine dining furniture just for you in solid natural Cherry, Maple, Oak, or Walnut hardwoods. Choose from several Vermont styles including Shaker, mission, craftsman, arts and crafts, modern contemporary and transitional. And customize your furniture online so it fits perfectly into your space.
Maybe you need just a single piece to go with an existing dining set or you're starting afresh, and wanting to puchase a dining table, buffet, dining chairs, a china cabinet, mirror, wooden benches, whatever. Browse through our store and give us a call with your questions. You can customize our furniture online, or call or visit our showroom. Either way, we'll help you find and customize the furniture that you and your guests will enjoy gathering around for many years.
It's time. And you deserve it.
Remember the story about President George Washington? When he was a little boy, he chopped down his father’s favorite cherry tree. He had just gotten a new hatchet and I guess he couldn't resist. But when Washington's father called him on the carpet, the boy admitted his mistake, saying “I cannot tell a lie”. Of course, all was forgiven in return for the honest response. I wonder if they still teach that story in our schools?
Well anyway, in honor of that "all American" act of integrity, we're having a President's Day Fine Furniture Sale where all cherry furniture (and walnut, oak and maple too!) is priced at 15% off. It's one of only a couple sales/year when we are able to offer a 15% discount store wide.
Besides getting beautiful handmade furniture at a great price, you can feel patriotic about purchasing 100% American made furniture thereby helping our country’s economy.
So here's the fine print. The sale runs from today February 16 through February 21, 2012 and features a 15% discount on all wood furniture purchases storewide (minimum purchase $1500, Copeland furniture excluded). Each piece of furniture is hand made to order and can be customized online, by phone or our Vernon, Vermont-based showroom. Just so you know… the reason Copeland Furniture is excluded is that this line is always on sale with a low price guarantee.
Dennis and Manjula have been working on getting a beautiful selection of Copeland Bedroom Furniture Sets up on our website.
Copeland is our newest line of Vermont made furniture and their styles include traditional, Shaker and modern furniture, such as the:
Berkeley Cherry Bedroom Set (Modern Asian style)
Copeland's signature style is kind of a clean, simple elegance that's very popular in the more chic neighborhhods of Manhattan and other cities. But we love it up here in rural Vernon VT too!
A few logistical details: the sets are designed to save you on shipping. We couldn't lower the prices of the furniture in the sets because we already have Copeland furniture priced as low as possible. In fact we have a low price guarantee on Copeland furniture. But with the sets, you save on shipping– which is significant. Rather than paying $300/piece for white glove delivery, you can order as many pieces as you like and pay just $450 for shipping and white glove delivery of the whole set.
Check out the sets and let us know what you think. We've tried to make them versatile so you can customize your set online with any combination of pieces you might like, but I'm sure we haven't thought of everything. Give us a call if you can't find the exact pieces you need for your set. Rebecca and Shannon will be happy to hear from you!
One more thing. So far we just have Copeland bedroom sets up but in another month or so we'll have their collection of Frank Lloyd Wright dining sets as well. If you're looking to purchase before then, just call.
Last week I wrote a blog about Copeland Furniture and why Vermont Woods Studios is the best place to buy it. Rebecca thought it was helpful and asked if I would write something similar for the rest of our furniture. So, here you have it: The Top 10 Reasons To Buy Fine Wood Furniture From Us.
We know you can buy your furniture just about anywhere, including the grocery store. We're not the cheapest or the fastest deal out there. But what we can offer is the very best VALUE in terms of quality, price and longevity. Our furniture is designed to last forever and we back that with a lifetime guarantee.
Check out the other reasons to buy from us.
We have conversations with customers every day about the color of real cherry wood furniture. It's no wonder! When I just googled "real cherry wood" these images are what came up. Quite a variation, isn't it?
First of all, half of these images are NOT of cherry wood. When the big American furniture companies started off-shoring their furniture to China over 30 years ago they found it cheaper to use rainforest woods (rather than import cherry from North America and then export it back to North America as furniture). So they stained these cheaper woods and gave them various trade names containing "cherry".
Many times customers come to us looking to buy real cherry furniture that matches existing cherry pieces in their homes. After discussions and emailing pictures back and forth they are shocked to find that their "cherry" furniture from Bassett, Broyhill, Ethan Allen, Thomasville or other big "American" companies is not cherry at all but rubberwood, poplar or some kind of engineered hardwood.
At Vermont Woods Studios, our cherry furniture is indeed made out of real, solid North American Black Cherry wood. The color starts out as a light pink and slowly ripens to a rich reddish brown over time, depending on how much light the furniture is exposed to. See various colors of cherry wood as it changes colors.
Scroll down to see how our Manifesto evloved
Today the World Wildlife Fund reports that after losing nearly 70 per cent of its forest habitat and half its population in one generation, the Sumatran elephant is heading for imminent extinction due to deforestation and habitat loss.
These elephants are not alone. According to the American Museum of Natural History in New York, 3-5 species become extinct every hour of every day. That’s up to 45,000 species every year!
What we’re doing at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture is trying to raise awareness about the how your choices as a consumer directly affect the extinction of endangered species like the Sumatran elephant. If you can avoid buying imported forest products, especially wood furniture and flooring (if it’s not clearly labelled Made in America–pretty much any furniture you’ll find at Home Depot, Walmart, Bob’s, Lowe’s or other big box stores is imported) you’ll be doing your part to lessen global deforestation and destruction of the habitat these elephants live in.
What else are we doing?
We support a number of projects to save endangered species. Here’s one I was pretty excited about last week: when I was on the Vernon Selectboard a few years back, our town partnered with the Vermont Division of Fish and Wildlife DFW to protect habitat and save the critically endangered spotted turtle from extinction. Last week we were able to celebrate our work. It’s 6 or 7 years later, but finally through a long process, the turtle habitat is being cared for and hopefully we’ll start to see their population come back.
How about you? Tell us what you’re doing in the comments below or on our Vermont Furniture Facebook.
In the world of Vermont's Made to Order Furniture there are many advantages: your furniture is handcrafted especially for you, you can customize it to fit exactly into your space, you can feel good about the fact that your furniture is made from trees that are harvested sustainably with respect for the forest environment… and so on. But there is one downside to having furniture built just for you: it takes time.
Depending on who is making your furniture (we work with a dozen or so independent furniture makers), and what they've already got in their cue, it can take anywhere from 2-16+ weeks from the day you place your order to the day it is complete. Typically the crafting time is about 6-8 weeks, but specialty items or furniture that's being made by our most popular craftsmen can take longer.
Then after the furniture is built, it takes another 1-5 weeks to ship it, depending on where the customer lives. Fine furniture cannot be FedEx'd (unless maybe it's an end table or something that's been designed for quick-ship).
So Rebecca uses a series of emails and phone calls to keep clients in the loop during the crafting and shipping process. She and a customer were talking aout it in terms of old Vermont sayings yesterday– like "slower than molasses running uphill in January" and "It takes less time to do something right than to explain why it was done wrong".
In this world of instant gratification, where most furniture buyers walk into Bob's Discount Furniture, Ikea or Ashley Furniture and walk out an hour later with something that's substandard and unsustainably produced overseas by huge multi-national conglomerates, we find ourselves immensley grateful to our customers for their patience in waiting for the real thing. When buying furniture that's built to last a lifetime, we hope you'll feel it's worth the wait.
ps– Vermonters have a bunch of other funny old sayings. If you're interested, learn what "dryer than a popcorn fart", "flatlander" and "a chewing match" mean here at Virtual Vermont.
What does "Custom Wood Furniture" mean to you? In talking to our customers, I can say that it means many different things to different people. At Vermont Woods Studios we have fine furniture that falls into varying degrees of what might be called "custom wood furniture", including:
- Made To Order Wood Furniture– this is our most popular type of furniture and our most affordably priced. Each piece is built here in Vermont especially for the customer however, it's not "custom furniture". The designs are existing tried and true designs that are pictured on our website. Some people will call "made to order" furniture "custom furniture" but as you read on, you'll see the difference.
- Customized Wood Furniture is the next step toward "custom furniture". Let's say you see a table on our website that you love but you need it a little longer or wider to fit in your space. Or you like a buffet but you'd like us to install your own drawer pulls. Or you want to select a different wood species than what's offered. Customized furniture takes existing designs and modifies them slightly. Since our furniture is made to order, it is easily customized and small changes don't usually add much to the price. Customized furniture is kind of a cool way to get unique furniture, tailored to your specific style and size at an affordable price.
Next Post: True Custom Wood Furniture and Custom Artisan Wood Furniture