In typical anniversary fashion we started off the morning with Mrs. Murphy’s donuts and coffee (our old morning spot when still in Manchester, VT), lunch prepared, “Vermontsters” for dessert, and a special presentation for employee milestones.
Our President, Ed Eriksen, wanted to share with you the list of vendors we’ve made furniture or other wood products for through the years. We started with table saws and hand sanders, and these businesses believed in us. Growing us into the business we are today.
By answering this question, in either the comments section here below, on our Facebook wall, or mentioning it to us on Twitter @manchesterwood, you’ll be entered to win the random raffle drawing conducted each Saturday morning during the month of October.
In the first week, we’ll be giving away our Multipurpose Cart & End Table. This item started off as a pine vegetable bin in our Plain Country collection in 1983. The design was inspired by an antique Ferrier’s toolbox found in the barn of our founder Cliff Pierce. Collaborating with a Crate & Barrel buyer at the time; they liked the concept, but wanted it to have open shelving from both sides and added casters for mobility. The new design became our Multipurpose Cart. We made it as an exclusive item for Crate & Barrel’s housewares department for the next year finding much success.
L.L. Bean then picked it up, modified the design some more, and ran it as “Bean’s Table Cart,” which went on to sell over 20,000 units the following year.
Today, as Vermont Country Store now states in their catalog version we offer them, it’s an “everywhere table,” and it truly is. We’ve boasted it as having 101 uses for the last 33 years, and the timeless appeal in design and function continues today.
For the second week, we’ll be giving away our Mission Underwindow Bookshelf. A newer item in our classic best sellers. The Mission Underwindow Bookshelf came out in the early ’90’s. We were developing our first Mission style furniture collection at the time, and felt a basic stand that would fit under-the-window would solve a difficult place to find furniture in. It’s been used for plants as well as a bookshelf and storage. With an adjustable shelf, it added a “multi-function” to the piece.
A Solutions buyer stated that after carrying it for over 20 years in their catalog, that it was her “favorite furniture piece of all time,” and they still offer a version of it today. It went on to L.L. Bean in their own variation, which also continues to sell well today.
The Mission Underwindow Bookshelf has lived through some of the more trying times in American furniture making, yet still holds up as a classic best-seller for filling a need in an unsuspecting place around the home.
In the third week, we’ll be giving away our famous Folding Adirondack Chair.
An excerpt from the story you can read here:
“Cliff’s version of the Adirondack Chair produced in his Manchester Wood facility, was introduced at the Chicago Housewares Trade Show in 1984. Company Reps from L.L.Bean became interested in the new Adirondack Chair. They asked for the design to be made a bit more traditional, with wider arms and seat legs, and a tapered back. “But,” they told Cliff, “Keep the folding idea!”
From this collaboration, L.L.Bean’s Folding Wooden Adirondack Chair was born, debuting in their catalog during the spring of 1985.
Over the years Manchester Wood has become famous for its quality solid wood construction, durability and ease of storage. It remains the perfect finishing touch for beach and lake houses, porches, decks, patios and many other outdoor spaces. Cliff’s company has continued to design and manufacture the wood version of the chairs in the USA exclusively [for many top American retailers around the country].”
For the final week in our #4for40Giveaway series, we’re offering the best-selling item over the first 40 years we’ve been in business: A set of 4 Tray Tables.
We started with a pine set in 1976, called the “Deluxe TV Tray Table Pine Set of 4.” It was far more folksy Americana in its design compared to today; and at the time it was the largest product we produced – size wise.
By the mid-80’s we had introduced a hardwood set as part of our “Snack Table Collection,” which offered up Tray Table sets we made in both pine and oak, for companies like J.C. Penney, Service Merchandise, and Crate & Barrel.
Today, our best-selling version is the Contemporary Folding TV Tray Table Set of 4 (pictured as our giveaway item). It’s made in solid Ash hardwood (and Cherry hardwood!), with a smooth double glide design that facilitates easier folding and storage.
The days of TV trays primarily used as “snack tables” have changed into days of portable work desks, a play table for the kids on the couch, and a life on-the-go.
By answering this question, whether commenting on this blog, writing it on our Facebook wall, or mentioning it to us on Twitter @manchesterwood, you’ll be entered to win the drawing each week! Good luck! Thank you for your continued business!
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