September 24th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
Last Saturday we ran a promotion at Vermont Woods Studios Furniture to raise money for local Vermonters who lost their homes and businesses in the floods that resulted from Hurricane Irene. We promised to donate 100% of our profits to the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund that the United Way set up for our area.
Happily we had a couple nice sales Saturday and I can report that we raised $306 for the Fund. That amount was matched 50% by local employer Entergy. I guess it's a small amount when you're looking at a disaster of such enormous proportions but the truth is most businesses in Vermont are small, just like us. But we're banding together and it's amazing to see the recovery take shape as a result.
Manjula and Dennis are cooking up additional fundraisers and planning to run them about once per month throughout the next year. Stay tuned for updates. That's Manjula delivering our donation to Carmen Darby, the Windham County United Way Director. Thanks to both of you for all the good work you do for our community.
August 30th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
By Guest Blogger: Erik Braunitzer
Furniture makers like Vermont Woods Studios Furniture are doing their part to improve their carbon footprint. Extensive documentation on their website or even a quick phone conversation with Rebecca or Shannon puts families at ease knowing the company is serious about their environmental, health and safety mission.
But simply seeing furniture in a store with a green stamp of certification label isn't always helpful when you're not familiar with the background of the stamp. So it’s important that we realize just how green furniture is made, along with the environmentally friendly materials that are used.
Furniture companies using wood and recycled materials generally have the smallest carbon footprint. Other materials would include concrete, plastic, aluminum, brick, glass, fiberglass and more. Now it’s been said that there isn’t one individual item or sustainable material, but a handful that share sustainable characteristics, including recyclables.
Furniture can also include the following:
· Paint Strippers
· Particle Board
Many of these substances are classified as volatile chemicals. Furniture made with these volatile chemicals can result in offgassing, which is evaporation at normal atmospheric pressure. Offgassing can be reduced or eliminated altogether by using stains, finishes or paints that are non toxic such as those made by Vermont Natural Coatings and AFM Safecoat.
Transportation is another part of the carbon footprint for furniture, as wood and other materials have to be extracted from the environment, shipped to distributors, transported to furniture makers, then sent off to the retail store and customers. The sustainability of a particular piece of furniture is dependent upon a couple of factors including:
· Durability– The longer the piece of furniture, the more sustainable it becomes.
· How it’s useful– Multifunctional furniture saves money and yields greater sustainability.
Learning where to buy this type of furniture can be quite a daunting task, as it’s not always portrayed clearly exactly what materials are used, and the percentage of each. In order to fully lead a responsible lifestyle, we should understand just how to look for green furniture. Here are a few tips:
Look for Sustainably Harvested Wood – Translates to the sustainability of ecosystems and natural forests.
Avoid Tropical Woods Like Mahogany and Teak - these woods are often illegally clearcut from the world's rapidly disappearing rainforests.
Ensure FSC Certification – for tropical woods, if no substitution can be made
Reclaimed Wood Furniture (RWF) – More or less, RWF is a recycled piece of furniture.
Non-Toxic Finishes – Keep your air clean and help protect your children from health issues.
Buy locally – Locally purchased items are always more sustainable as transportation costs are cut.
Clearly, Furniture making using sustainable materials is very important to the health of the overall environment. Similarly, it reduces waste and influences the vintage market. By following a few simple rules and clearly understanding how green furniture is made, you can make a difference in improving your carbon footprint. Next time you’re in the market for a table or chair, be sure to inquire about sustainable practices before purchasing.
Courtesy of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, New York Luxury Rentals.
July 31st, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
Vermont is struggling to maintain its rural character. You probably see this if you live in Vermont or vacation here. Fifty years ago, 50% our state's land was in farms. Today that number is only 20%– our farmland has dropped by almost 60% since 1960!
While agricultural lands are disappearing we are also seeing a decline in our forest products business. Conversly, the amount of developed land in our state is growing rapidly (it increased 42% between 1982 and 2003).
At Vermont Woods Studios Furniture we're committed to helping steward our state's rural, agricultural and forested character. Like so many other sustainable Vermont businesses, our future depends on it. We applaud the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) and their efforts to maintain Vermont's natural beauty and rural character. We've joined their Vermont Working Landscape Partnership and are asking you to sign up too. It only takes a minute to sign on to the partnership and there's no obligation or fee. Add your voice and help shape the campaign for Vermont's Working Landscape!
June 24th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
Last week Kendall sent a very nice email out to all our Vermont Woods Studios Furniture office staff politely asking them for input to a STAFF BIO page he's putting together. Everyone completely blew him off, including me, I'm sorry to say.
Well everyone but Pepper. As you can see, she is very serious about her job, especially when it involves working with a mouse. Always on top of things (like our documents, keyboards and laps) Pepper is once again setting the standard for cooperative behavior in the Vermont Furniture World.
You can read her corporate profile as she enters her new supervisory assignment right here on our Vermont made furniture website.
Now as for Rebecca, Manjula, Dennis, Douglas, Ken, Riley and Kendall– well I don't want to put any pressure on you but you should know that at this moment Pepper is setting up an account at her favorite store and lobbying hard for YOUR bonuses in order to fund her next binge. I'd say you might want to get crackin on those bios!
June 18th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
What are you getting Dad for Father's Day? Kendall and Riley have been raking their brains trying to think of something other than the usual wallet or tie we get Ken every year.
Used to be we could get him some fishing gear too, but that's out now– with the limited mobility issue.
I've been thinking about a gift certificate to the Vermont Woodworking School in Cambridge VT. This is a very cool school and they offer all different types of courses and workshops– from beginner to advanced.
They even offer an immersion program where you can live at the Farm House or in a silo housing unit (see photo) while you learn the finer points of woodworking. Students take field trips to meet some of the world's best artisan furniture makers and see their studios.
What a gift for Dad, right? Getting him out of the house to do guy things on his own? And I think they may even take a field trip to near-by micro-breweries. What could be more better than wood and hops? And honestly, Dad's not likely to get into much trouble in rural Vermont.
June 8th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
He's a big high school graduate now and will be heading off to Atlanta in August to start his college career at Emory University.
But in the meantime he'll be helping us in the office and we've been looking forward to it! He's been working with Vermont Woods Studios Furniture for 5 years now so he's able to handle almost anything we throw his way. And we'll be throwing alot.
Welcom back, Kendall! Get ready for a busy summer.
Oh… and the beautiful girl is Emily, Kendall's cousin. Many thanks to Em and her family for joining us to celebrate Kendall's big day.
May 18th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
If you have a small business and you're looking to expand, check out the American Express-Facebook Big Break Contest for a chance to win $20,000 to use in growing your business.
It's a long shot, I know. There are already some 200,000 Facebook fans (many of which will compete I suppose) but it only takes a few minutes to fill out the entry form and who knows? Maybe you'll win.
They are picking 5 winners who will all receive the $20K prize as well as a trip to Facebook headquarters for a business make-over.
Here are the 3 questions you need to answer to compete (responses are limited to 150 words each):
For us, I figured these are all questions we need to understand at Vermont Woods Studios anyway, so why not think them through and throw our hat in the ring? Join us!
May 5th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
First click to get to our Vermont Woods Studios Facebook page
Then click the LIKE button.
Now you're entered to win one of Ken's handmade cutting boards. They're getting pretty popular actually and we're hoping to give away or sell enough to keep Ken out of trouble… haha! The boards are made of natural native and exotic hardwood scraps from Ken's shop.
Depending on what he has on hand, you can expect to see a colorful assortment of natural Maple, Cherry, Oak, Walnut, Purple Heart, Padauk, Fir and Mahogany.
A customer remarked the other day that she could not possibly use one for a cutting board because she didn't want to mark it up. She decided to use it as a cheese board instead. Ken was so happy.
April 11th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
Every year the Vermont Fine Furniture Festival in Woodstock, VT gets better and better. It's not too early to mark your calendar for this year's Fall show on Saturday and Sunday, September 24-25. Vermont Woods Studios Furniture customers have journeyed from all over New England and as far away as California to attend the show, get to know Vermont's fine furniture makers and place orders for custom crafted furniture made especially for their spaces.
This year Celebrity Home & Style Designer Stephen Saint-Onge will join us at the Festival and will be a Guest Speaker for the Vermont Woodworking Design Competition. Stephen has been seen by millions of homeowners with his column House Calls in Better Homes and Gardens magazine and has made numerous television appearances on programs and networks including The Today Show, Oprah, The View, CNN, CBS's The Early Show, Fox News, ESPN and TLC. His work has also been featured in publications such as House Beautiful, In Style, Child, Renovation Style, Real Simple, Elle Decor, Cottage Living, Metropolitan Home, Home, Shape, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal.
House Beautiful magazine named Stephen "one of the top fifteen designers in America." We are excited to see Stephen at the Fine Furniture Festival this year and hope to see you there too!
April 6th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
We have three new American made furniture collections at Vermont Woods Studios and we're celebrating finally getting these up and running on our website with a big 15% off sale. These collections:
are all handmade in Burlington, Vermont at a small workshop that's been focusing on simplicity and quality since 1970.
Arthur's classic, high quality, solid hardwood furniture is visually striking while clearly showing the quality of his craftsmanship. His dining room, bedroom and office furniture is available in solid cherry, walnut, and maple as well as blended combinations of these three wood species. Arthur takes great pride in his color and grain matching when he selects individual pieces of wood for your furniture and the hand rubbed linseed oil finish he uses really shows off the natural characteristics of the wood.
These Modern American Furniture collections are some of our most high end furniture and that is reflected in the price. With this 10-15% off sale though you have a chance to acquire them at a price that's lower than many of those in our other collections. Have a look and keep in mind that the sale ends April 19. We'll look forward to hearing from you if you have any questions.