vermont woods studios
Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture is proud to be featured in the very well respected woodworking industry journal, Cabinet Maker. We want to thank Will Sampson for his insightful article about our furniture business and how it fits into the dynamic and challenging world of fine furniture retailing in the USA.
Besides being a writer and editor at Cabinet Maker, Will is also the author of SawdustSoup, a blog for professional woodworkers seeking to continuously improve their craft. We salute Will for his fine work at Cabinet Maker.
Many thanks to Chris Garafolo of the Brattleboro Reformer for his fabulous article about Vermont Woods Studios Furniture. We met with Chris last week in the Farm Office and showed him another aspect of this historic location that I think he was quite surprised to see. He writes:
"Operating out of a spare room of a Vernon farmhouse, one Vermont business has quickly gained a national reputation for supplying quality furniture from sustainable sources around the Green Mountain State…
Chris also visited with local Brattleboro furniture artisan Greg Goodman who recently made a reproduction of a Chippendale cabinet for Annette, who's original cabinet was destroyed in the farmhouse fire. We thank both Chris and Greg for their support of our ongoing efforts at Vermont Woods
Did you know there is a link between the wood furniture you buy and global warming? Some folks at TWC do and they've invited us to be their guest on The Weather Channel's new live show, The Lightning Rod with meteorologist Mark Elliot.
So what's the link between furniture and the weather? OK, it's a little tricky but stay with me. Up to 90% of the furniture we buy in the USA is imported (mainly from Asia) and made from wood that has been illegally clear-cut from the world's rapidly disappearing rainforests.
Rainforests play a role in regulating global weather by producing oxygen, giving off carbon dioxide, and regulating temperature and moisture. The oceans (algae) are the other major contributor to oxygen production but as they become increasingly polluted, our dependence upon the rainforests for weather modulation increases.
As rainforests are destroyed for timber that feeds the global market for cheap furniture, they are less able to regulate the weather. Purchasing furniture made from rainforest woods like teak, brazilian cherry and mahogany supports this illegal rainforest timber trade. The Washington Post talks about this in more detail in an article, "Corruption Stains the Timber Trade".
Choosing American made furniture and flooring built with sustainably harvested American wood decreases the demand for rainforest woods and helps decrease the rate of rainforest destruction, thereby enabling the rainforest to do its job of regulating global weather. So that's the link. We're excited to talk about it more with Mark and the crew of The Lightning Rod. Watch us live at 10pm EST on Monday July 19th to see how it goes!
Many thanks to Trish Ragsdale, The Lightning Rod producer for all her help in planning and arranging for our appearance on the show.
I found this quote on Ann Stone's blog today but she had credited Donald Cooper. Whoever said it, I love it! We've been working from our home office and Annette's farm for 5 years now and I feel certain we could not have come this far if we had had the added expense of an additional office all these years.
It seems to have worked pretty well for the Queen, the Pope and the President, so who's to argue? Well, maybe Bongo– it does cut into his lounging space from time to time.
Typical Vermont Woods Studios office worker.
Many thanks to Harris Faulkner and Chris Snyder at Fox News for making us feel so welcome and comfortable on the set of The Strategy Room. A segment of the interview is posted on the Fox News website.
Have I been in the country too long?
This Friday, May 14 Vermont Woods Studios will be featured live during the 9-10am segment of the nationally broadcast FOX News Show, The Strategy Room. We're heading down to the FOX studios in Rockefeller Center to meet and talk with show host, Harris Faulkner about Vermont's fine handmade furniture, the artisans who make it and the importance of choosing American-made furniture that's built from sustainably-harvested wood.
Tune in and see us! The show is available online as well as on some FOX stations around the country. If you can't make it for the live show, you can watch us online anytime within a week after the show. Wish us luck!
Earth Day is just around the corner, on April 22. This year is a Big Milestone: the 40th anniversary of Earth Day so I thought you might want to do something special to honor Mother Nature. How about planting a tree?
As makers of wood furniture, we at Vermont Woods Studios are all about tree planting and hugging and such. I love this website, called Trees Are Good. It's run by the International Society of Arboriculture in Champaign, IL. In addition to extolling the many environmental benefits of trees (like moderating climate, improving air quality, conserving water, and harboring wildlife) they also point out virtues like beauty, serenity and tranquility:
"We feel serene, peaceful and restful in a grove of trees. Hospital patients have been shown to recover from surgery more quickly when their room offers a view of trees."
Amazing isn't it?
Trees Are Good has lots of advice on how to plant a tree, what kind of trees to select, care for trees, pruning, feeding, mulching, pest control and much more. Check it out!
Next Thursday, a week from today I hope you'll consider planting a tree in your yard or perhaps in someone else's yard as a gift. Maybe you have someone you'd like to honor or remember with your new tree. Trees make a beautiful and enduring memorial.
Happy Earth Day.
You remember that our office resides on Annette's organic horse farm in Southern Vermont, right? Or it used to anyway. We were evicted by a Christmas Eve fire over a year ago. But this Spring is bringing us many joys to celebrate. One is that we'll be able to move back into our offices soon.
Another is that we have a new baby in the barn next to us! He was born 3 days ago and his name is Copper's Angel. Copper is proudly looking after him here, as is her obstetrician, Annette.
Look how big he is! Annette estimates he was around 140 pounds at birth. The photo was taken about 2 hours after birth.
Today he was outside in the pasture with his mother, galavanting around, jumping up on all fours and bucking like a bronco. It's hilarious to watch him– a glorious sign of Spring after a long, cold winter.
Did you know that 80% of the planet's native forests are already gone? In Costa Rica the last 50 years has brought about a transformation of the Pacific coast from a lush wild jungle to an alien landscape of non native crops like bananas, rice and African oil palms. Cattle pastures and modern resorts occupy much of the remaining landscape. In the midst of all this deforestation, the tiny Mono Titi monkey who previously ranged freely from Panama through Costa Rica has now become trapped on two small habitat areas of inhospitable landscape with no biological corridor to connect them to their native habitat, and no hope for survival without substantial intervention.
The Eco Preservation Society, led by environmentalist Kevin Peterson has launched an intense effort to save the Mono Titi and other indigenous Costa Rican animals through restoration of their native habitat along the corridor between the Naranjo and Savegre Rivers.
We'll be supporting this project at Vermont Woods Studios and we're encouraging our friends and customers to do the same. You can learn more about the project to Save
the Mono Titi at the Eco Preservation Society website.
Natalia-Briceño is a teacher at the Portalon School in Costa Rica. In the mornings, she and her fellow educators teach students in Grades 1-4 and in the afternoons, they teach students in the upper grades. It makes for a very challenging day, especially since up until last week, they had no textbooks for their students to use. And Natalia had no desk or locker or "space" of her own where she could store learning and teaching materials.
Lucky for Natalia and friends that down the road from their school is the community-minded eco resort of Portasol, operated by Costa Rican natives, Carlos and Guillermo Piedra. Under the Piedra brothers leadership, the property owners at Portasol have partnered with the village of Portalon in a mission of social and environmental improvement.
The Portasol community has provided uniforms, text books, computers and more for the children at school. Portasol families also "adopt" local families at Christmastime providing necessary food, clothing, shoes, toys and school supplies when needed. How many resort communities have you heard about that partner with local communities like this? None?
It's a first for me too and that's why we volunteered to join the partnership and build furniture for the school.
Now Natalia has a bookcase she can call her own and a place to put all the teaching tools she needs for her heavy workload– teaching 2 different grades each day. We enjoyed building it for you, Natalia and wish you every success in your teaching efforts in Portalon. We look forward to returning to Costa Rica one day. The principal needs a desk.