Happy Veterans Day to all of America’s veterans and their families. The staff at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture extends our sincere thanks to you for your courage, integrity and sacrifice.
As Veteran’s Day approaches I thought readers might be interested in some of the many interesting volunteer opportunities listed on the Veteran’s Administration website. You can honor veterans by attending Welcome Home events, helping homeless Vets, donating to Wounded Warriors or contributing to any number of activities listed on the VA website.
We are running a special 15% off storewide Veterans Day furniture sale in honor of America’s active military and vets, starting tomorrow November 10 and running through Tuesday, November 13. We will donate $20 from every sale during this period to the Adopt A Soldier Program. Check back on Sunday, Veterans Day to read more about this important non-profit organization. Once again, thanks to all our military personnel for your service!
Thank you so much for attending our Made in America Holiday Shopping Challenge! Today (I think it's because of your support) we got a phone call from ABC World News telling us they are sending a camera crew up to Vernon, Vermont on Tuesday to film some footage for their November 30 nightly news show.
They want to learn more about our pledge to buy American made holiday gifts at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture and also tour around the town of Vernon. They'll visit all the BIG attractions in town: the elementary school, the town hall, the general store, the fire station, a farm or two and Chad Woodruff's custom furniture workshop. What could be more cool for the evening news than that? They'll be interviewing people along the way and asking them about any plans they might have to "buy American" this holiday season.
So we're pretty excited about this and we're grateful to you for all your support, as always. By the way, what are you buying for Christmas this year? If you haven't taken the challenge yet, it's not too late. We figured that if everybody in the country bought everything "American made" over the holidays, it could generate almost 5 million jobs! Who needs politicians, right?
For local Vernon and Brattleboro area residents– if you'd like to be on TV or just see the camera crew in action, you can keep up with their schedule as it evolves by joining this Facebook group or checking our website. Here's a clip of a similar segment in the ABC series. People in the crowd scene at the Vernon Town Hall will all have a chance to be interviewed and present visuals to feature on the national show.
We are delighted to introduce you to Shannon Albritton, our newest Green Team member here at Vermont Woods Studios Furniture. Shannon's official title is: Sales Ace and Customer Champion. She'll be here along with Rebecca to answer your phone calls, place/track orders and arrange shipping.
Shannon's from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Her background includes extensive experience in sales and marketing positions and she loves helping customers figure out how to get exactly what they're looking for. Shannon's husband is a talented woodworker so she brings a detailed knowledge of woodworking, furniture styles, joinery and finish options with her.
She's also a passionate environmentalist who walks the talk in every aspect of her life. She's been inspiring us to keep improving our sustainable practices at work and at home too. Today she got Manjula and me up from our computers in the middle of the afternoon to go outside for a "7th inning stretch". It felt so good that now we're trying to get her to lead an after hours yoga class
We are very lucky to have Shannon on board! When you're talking to her about your furniture order, maybe ask her about her hiking career (she hiked a portion of the Na Pali Coast in Kauai barefoot). I think that's probably only one of many good stories she has to tell.
Manjula and Dennis are in the next room fine-tuning this year's Black Friday Furniture Sale. I can only eavesdrop at the moment– because they know I'm going to blog about the details as soon as I hear them. Stay tuned and I will fill you in as soon as I know what's up.
In the meantime, check out our American Made Holiday Shopping Challenge. Before you scoop up all those Black Friday bargains, check to see where the stuff is made and share any great "American made" finds with us on Facebook.
Here's another idea for your "American Made" Christmas shopping: our furniture gift certificates. You can purchase them in multiples of $100. A pretty cool stocking-stuffer, don't you think?
My friennd Annette sent this nature quote to me a couple years ago but I still think about it often:
Few are altogether deaf to the preaching of pine trees.
Their sermons on the mountains go to our hearts;
and if people in general could be got into the woods, even for once,
to hear the trees speak for themselves,
all difficulties in the way of forest preservation would vanish.
-John Muir, naturalist, explorer, and writer (1838-1914)
John Muir co-founded the Sierra Club and is often referred to as the Father of the USA National Park Service. He is America's most famous and influential naturalist and conservationist. At Vermont Woods Studios, our mission is founded on sustainable forestry, so Muir's life and accomplishments serve as a poignant reminder of the important things that just one person can do. Here's how Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard put it in an interview with Sierra Magazine:
- If you think about all the gains our society has made, from independence to now, it wasn't government. It was activism. People think, 'Oh, Teddy Roosevelt established Yosemite National Park, what a great president.' BS. It was John Muir who invited Roosevelt out and then convinced him to ditch his security and go camping. It was Muir, an activist, a single person.
I really do believe that each of us can make a difference and help to change the world. What do you think?
Heading out for a walk in the woods now
A new solid wood furniture sale starts today and this week our craftspeople are focusing on handmade home office furniture and living room furniture… TV consoles, bookcases, coffee tables, sofa tables, end tables and accent tables. Living room furniture sets are on sale too and this is a great way to save on a set of 2 end tables and a coffee table.
The sales runs for 1 week from today through next Tuesday, November 8. You can take 10% off any single piece or save 15% when you purchase two or more pieces (Plus Free Delivery). Check it out and give us a call if you don't see exactly what you're looking for. We are always happy to customize.
Part of our feasibility study to see if the Skyline property on Vermont's Hogback Mountain would work for Vermont Woods Studios is anaylzing the possibility of co-locating a cafe or wine bar with the furniture showroom. It's not a real natural combination, is it (furniture and food)?
But two factors keep pointing to the pairing of these functions at Skyline:
- The Skyline location, on top of Hogback Mountain, with it's 100 mile view of the Green Mountain Forest offers what I've been looking for to raise awareness about where your wood furniture comes from. After all, you can buy imported wood furniture anywhere but it's probably going to be made from illegally harvested trees, clear-cut from the world's rapidly disappearing tropical rainforests. Our customers are interested in acquiring heirloom quality, Vermont-made furniture that's crafted from natural, solid, wood that's been sustainably harvested from beautiful, well-managed American forests (more about green, environmental concerns here).
- The other factor is that: How could you operate ANYTHING at Skyline without inviting people to come up and enjoy the view? It would be kinda like that commercial for Ally bank where the guy asks 2 little girls if they'd like a pony. He shows a real pony to one of the girls but only gives her a little figurine instead. The announcer says something like: "even kids know it's wrong to hold out on somebody." That's how I'd feel having a business at Skyline that didn't offer people a place to relax and enjoy the view with a cup of tea or a glass of wine.
So now we're trying to figure out how to strategically pair a Vermont-made furniture showroom with a cafe or wine bar. Allocating space is the conundrum of the day. 60% furniture — 40% cafe? Additional seasonal seating outside? I guess the answers will reveal themselves as we do our research.
Got ideas? Suggestions? Interested in running an upscale cafe at Skyline? Contact us on Facebook and jump into the conversation. We'll be looking for local help as we navigate through the feasibility study and (hopefully) beyond.
Ken and I are under contract at Vermont Woods Studios to purchase the old Skyline Restaurant on Hogback Mountain in Marlboro, Vermont for use as a small furniture showroom, administrative office and cafe. Right now our emphasis is on conducting a feasibility study to see if the property can be renovated to meet our needs.
If you're local to Southeastern Vermont, you no-doubt remember eating a delicious, hearty breakfast at Skyline while enjoying the incredible 100 Mile view. It was the kind of place you thought would always be there for you, the next time you were in the neighborhood. I'm not sure why the restaurant shut down (about 4 years ago?) but it's in pretty bad shape at the moment.
We've been working with Jeremy Coleman of J Coleman & Company Architects on evalutaing the condition of Skyline's heating, air conditioning, plumbing and structure these past couple weeks to see which systems will have to be totally gutted and replaced and which, if any may be partially salvaged. It looks to me like there will be a lot of replacement.
If you're in the area or you're interested in green building or the story of Skyline, keep an eye on our project through this blog and Facebook. We'll be posting progress as we go. If Skyline is a feasible location for a Vermont made furniture showroom and we do end up purchasing the property, we'll be looking for local help to transform it. Contact us if you interested in getting involved.
As you know, when Hurricane Irene blew through Vermont, hundreds of our roads, bridges, homes and businesses were severely damaged or destroyed. Being on the banks (being THE banks, actually) of the Ottauquechee River, the Simon Pearce flagship store in Quechee Vermont suffered major flooding and sustained serious damage to its glassblowing, pottery and hydroelectric facilities.
Luckily their restaurant and retail store suffered much less damage and they recently re-opened.
We, at Vermont Woods Studios love to visit the Simon Pearce Mill and Restaurant, especially during these colorful weeks of Fall (that's Arn and Cathy in the restaurant– the picture was taken just before the hurricane). The Pearce family and their staff are an inspiration to us and a role model for sustainable operations and good corporate citizenship. Their business is a benchmark for the kind of destination we want to offer at our next location.
Check out the Simon Pearce website and Facebook to see the kind of principled company they have created. And definitely stop by for lunch or dinner at the Simon Pearce restuarant– one of the finest in the Northeast.
There are a few weeks of leaf peeping left in Vermont, so we hope you'll wander through our state this weekend or next. You'll find that almost all of our businesses have managed to dry out, dig out and clean-up in time for your visit. Your efforts will be greatly appreciated by all the Vermont business owners who are working around the clock to recover from the worst catastrophe the state has ever seen.
Enjoy your travels!
Manjula rolled out our Fall Bedroom Furniture Sale Friday, just in time for Autumn leaf peepers to enjoy. While you're travelling through the highways and by-ways of Vermont this Fall, save a little time to stop by our small showroom in Vernon, VT. Rebecca and Shannon would love to meet you and show you the best of our bedroom collections of beds, dressers, chests, armoires, mirrors, and night stands.
If you purchase 2 or more bedroom furniture items, you'll save 15%, plus get free shipping and white glove delivery to anywhere in the continental USA. Prefer to shop at home? Our online store is secure and easy to use. You'll probably have lots of questions before purchasing your high end, Vermont made furniture online, so don't hesitate to contact us by phone between 9am-5pm, Monday – Saturday or by email anytime. We'll look forward to helping you select the luxury bedroom furniture set you've always wanted.