February 12th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
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.
February 11th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
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.
February 3rd, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Copeland Furniture in Bradford, Vermont makes stunningly beautiful furniture and they've gotten so good at marketing it that web-based shopping carts are lining up to carry it online. You can find Copeland furniture right next to pet accessories, dishwashers and printer paper at stores like Amazon.com, Ebay, Yahoo and Yliving.
Then there are dozens of retailers based overseas that appear to sell Copeland Furniture, but their websites don't have any "about us" or "contact us" info, so who knows? I often find scrambled versions of my own blogs and website content pasted into their product pages so I don't have much confidence that anyone's really there… other than a computer and a cash register, maybe.
So if you're considering Copeland Furniture, we thought you might be interested in knowing where the best place to buy it is.
Well, of course we think it's Vermont Woods Studios and we've come up with the Top 10 Reasons Why. Besides the lifetime guarantee (which no other retailer I know of offers), low price guarantee, free shipping and our relentless customer service, there is one fact that other stores just can't duplicate. Copeland furniture is made in VT and Vermont is where we live. We are the leading authority on Vermont made furniture. It's all we sell. It's what we know. It's what we believe in. And we'll be here selling Vermont made furniture for the long haul.
One more reason. Vermont Woods Studios was founded to showcase Vermont's handcrafted wood furniture in a way that raises awareness about where your furniture comes from. We use a portion of the profits from each piece of furniture to conserve forests, plant trees and save endangered species from going extinct due to habitat destruction. But that story's for another day. Thanks for reading!
Photo by Carolyn Bates, courtesy of Copeland Furniture
February 2nd, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
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.
January 30th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Today a new ten year strategic plan for Vermont's wood furniture (and other wood products) industry was unveiled by the Vermont Wood Products Marketing Council. The 2020 Vision For The Vermont Wood Products Industry provides a roadmap for our $1.8 Billion wood products industry in VT to capitalize on the state's reputation as the Fine Furniture Capital of America.
At Vermont Woods Studios Furniture we hope to be a major player in the industry's growth. We believe that American home owners are increasingly looking for sustainabilty, quality and authenticity in their home furnishings. That puts Vermont in an excellent marketing position as our furniture makers have consistently focused on those attributes for 200 years, producing a superior, high quality product at affordable prices.
Conversely, the vast majority of American furniture has been outsourced to Asia for the past 30-40 years in favor of cheap production. However as customers grow ever more weary of low-quality, imported furniture that's a health risk to their families, Vermont's tradition of quality workmanship and natural, sustainable materials will be important in rejuvenating the American furniture industry. And our woodworking community's ethic of collaboration rather than competition will be instrumental in leading the path forward.
We extend our thanks to the Vermont Wood Manufacturer's Association for making this report possible and look forward to working with our friends throughout the industry to get it implemented.
January 26th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
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.
January 18th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
How are you doing on your New Year's resolutions? I finally started mine today. First: get my workspace organized.
This is what I want it to look like.
Instead, I'm sad to say, it looks like this. Can you believe that? Especially considering my work with fine, American made, solid wood furniture at Vermont Woods Studios.
I don't have a bookcase or a file cabinet. I do have a couple beautiful solid wood desks that Ken made for me when we moved into this space last year. I try to file everything electronically but that's not always possible so I end up with stacks of papers on my desks, notes on the wall and other stuff on the floor.
So today I decided to start getting organized. I asked Douglas to order me a new solid wood file cabinet from our Modern Shaker Office Furniture Collection. If that's not enough to do the job, I may have to splurge on the huge Solid Wood Bookcase in the picture above. We'll see. We seem to be moving and growing a lot so it all depends on how long we're here in this lovely office with the wood paneling and aqua carpets. I wouldn't want to get too far out of step with the modern decor.
January 16th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
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.
January 11th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
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:
Next Post: True Custom Wood Furniture and Custom Artisan Wood Furniture
January 3rd, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
A couple weeks ago I attempted to work through a definition of "fine wood furniture" at the request of one of our customers. I couldn't find any type of universally (or even generally) agreed-upon definition, so I thought I'd try to make one up. But as I waded into it, I realized how difficult even that is.
There's just so much ground to cover in "fine wood furniture" such as style, type of wood used, craftsmanship, type of joinery used, finishing products and techniques, the use of hand tools versus precision machinery, the use of veneers versus solid wood, and of course durability and longevity.
So I've been opining my way through each area– well just to generate some discussion really, because I think that would be more valuable than an attempted definition of "fine wood furniture".
Today I wanted to talk about where "fine wood furniture" comes from and how it makes it's way to your bedroom or kitchen. Would you believe that most of the so called "fine wood furniture" that's sold in America today is made in China or VietNam from wood that was logged unsustainably (and often illegally) from the rainforests of South America, Africa, Siberia and Asia? I know it sounds like extremist rhetoric, but it's really not. Kendall just published a page on sustainable furniture today, reminding us about the environmental damage that comes from rainforest destruction.
So my point is, if you're going to define fine wood furniture, you probably do need to address where it comes from. Furniture from small companies like Vermont Woods Studios that use American-grown, sustainably-harvested wood and local craftspeople is different than furniture that's made overseas with illegal wood by people paid 25 cents/hour. It feels different. It has better "karma". It makes you feel proud to own it. You find yourself telling people all about where you got it and how long it took to make and how the joinery is designed, right?
Another note– most American fine wood furniture comes with a lifetime guarantee– an important indication of sustainability.
Next post, I'd like to share some sustainable practices I've been impressed with at Copeland Furniture and Clearlake Furniture, both Vermont companies. After looking at the green practices Vermont furniture makers have been famous for over many generations, you may find youself agreeing with me that Vermont is the Fine Furniture Capital of America.
Thanks to Clearlake Furniture for the photo of their Rocking Chair