In recruiting for six Vermont furniture sales and marketing positions this year, we reviewed over 400 resumes and interviewed dozens of excellent candidates. It’s been a challenging task to find the combination of skills and talent needed to run our online fine furniture gallery. So we feel extremely fortunate to have been able to hire the following superstars for our team: Heather Gantt, Loryn Dion, Heather Barrett, Liz Francese and Sean Henry.
Made in America Holiday Shopping in Brattleboro, Vermont
This photo was taken last week when we tasked the freshmen with providing photographic inspiration at the request of Diane Sawyer and the ABC World News crew. If you followed our activities at this time last year, you’ll remember that national news team spent a day filming our Made in America Holiday Shopping Challenge at our office and all around Vernon, Vermont. This year they were curious about our progress and wanted to learn about any new people we had hired to help grow this American made furniture business.
The Fab Five were most gracious in accommodating ABC’s request for photos and videos so I thought I’d share a few of them here on the blog.
Visit our Facebook to see more photos and our picks for 2012’s best Made in America Christmas gifts.
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.
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
~John Fitzgerald Kennedy
This year has flown by so fast at Vermont Woods Studios, it’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is here already. It’s a good time to slow down and reflect on all the blessings we’ve received this year. Our small furniture business and our green mission have been able to move forward by leaps and bounds, in spite of a few setbacks. We are grateful to all our customers, our furniture makers, shippers, vendors, family, friends and neighbors. We’re grateful to Elaine and Bill Ellis who sold us the Stonehurst property, our future fine furniture showroom. But most of all, we are grateful to our wonderful staff who have poured their hearts and minds in to this ambitious venture, amidst the extraordinary challenges a small business faces during these economic times. They make it all happen, they give it their very best and they’re pretty fun to work with too!
Although I’m not going to encourage shopping on Thanksgiving Day, I do feel like I should tell you that our Black Friday sale has started. No rush though. It runs through today, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Shop till you Drop Sunday and Cyber Monday.
I spent most of today working with a “high functioning team”of professionals at Vermont Woods Studios. We were focused on getting Copeland’s new Moduluxe Bedroom Furniture ready for launch but it turns out we also had a lot of fun. Dennis, Heather B, Loryn, Trenton, Tristan and I crammed ourselves into a small office and hunkered down to crank out the work. I am amazed at how much we got done. We still have a few odds and ends to tie up, but we should be able to publish the new Moduluxe pieces by Friday at the latest.
Contemporary Modular, Sectional Bedroom Furniture
Copeland unveiled Moduluxe at the annual Fall Furniture Market in High Point, North Carolina last month and it immediately hit the best seller list. I daresay it has already spawned several knock-offs, one of which is coming out under a Brad Pitt label, believe it or not. The Moduluxe idea is to provide sectional, modular wood furniture for a built in look. There are 33 mix and match pieces to choose from. Integrated nightstands are adjoined to the bed headboards and various size chests and dressers latch onto the other side of the nightstands. Pieces can be configured in many customizable designs to best fit your space. Corner pieces even allow your design to wrap around the room! Modern style is the ticket with clean, contemporary lines and tons of storage space. There’s even an optional platform storage bed. A place for everything. About the only thing there’s no room for is an excuse not to have a tidy bedroom.
Check back later this week for more details on this Vermont made, solid wood bedroom set.
And thanks to everyone on our team for doing such a great job getting Moduluxe off the ground today!
High quality, real solid hardwood furniture is expensive, no doubt about it. It’s not for everyone. College students are more likely to find suitable furniture at IKEA- that’s for sure. But if you landed on this blog post, you’re probably a homeowner looking to feather your nest for the long term, right? Well we talk to people like you everyday and so we’ve learned a few things about why our customers are looking to buy hardwood furniture.
First – It’s Beautiful
Check out our cherry and walnut hardwood bedroom furniture set. You just don’t get this kind of smooth, refined patina on pine, spruce or other soft wood furniture. When hardwoods are sanded properly and finished with a clear, non-toxic lacquer or hand-rubbed natural oil, you can run your hands over the wood and it almost feels like skin. No softwood, metal or plastic furniture can give the same tactile sensation that high quality, handmade hardwood furniture does.
Second – It’s Durable and Lasts a Lifetime
Hardwoods like cherry, walnut, maple and oak wood are from deciduous trees that grow slower than coniferous softwood trees like pine, spruce, larch and fir. Thus hardwoods are typically more dense, heavy, durable and, well… hard. They also are fairly non – resinous and close grained so they don’t leak sap and split like pine does. If you take care of your hardwood furniture it will hold up beautifully for many years, even many generations. We are confident enough in our hardwood furniture to back it with a lifetime guarantee.
Third – It’s a Natural, Organic Part of a Healthy Home
Many people, especially those with young children are looking for natural, organic furniture to be a part of their healthy homes. They often talk to us about where their furniture comes from too. Hardwood furniture that’s made in America is typically built with wood that’s sustainably harvested from well-managed American forests. Families enjoy breaking bread over a dinner table that’s made in harmony with nature.
Bonus Reason! It’s Economical in the Long Run
OK, I said Top 3 Reasons, but here’s a fourth that I just can’t walk away from. In the long run, high quality hardwood furniture is cheaper to buy than other types of furniture– even IKEA’s. Consider how many times you’ll have to buy a bedroom set or dining furniture over your lifetime if you’re always buying something cheap. We’ve had lots of customers who tell us they’ve been sleeping on a mattress on the floor for a few years while they save up to buy a high quality hardwood bed. I can relate to that.
What are your reasons for searching for hardwood furniture? Let us know in the comments section below or on our Facebook!