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#MyNeckoftheWoods Series

Part 4: #MyNeckoftheWoods “Our Home” Series

August 26, 2016

Chris at home in his garden. Pawlet, Vermont

Chris has made his home in Pawlet [Vermont] a getaway, a little place to call his own and let his creativity run wild…

“I’ll get some local sausage, beef in town… butter, some other essentials, but about 50% of my diet comes out of this garden.”

Written by Eric Henzie, Marketing Executive

Home is the region, state, city or town where we live, where we are free to lie down in the park to rest on the freshly mowed grass, sit curbside at the annual Memorial Day parade, go-out to a familiar place to eat, or relax in our Adirondack to watch the sun dip below the horizon.

Like the pioneers who came before us, we have resiliently staked a claim to a down to earth, mountain lifestyle built upon the foundation of personal connections, time spent outdoors, stewardship, and culture. For Chris home is ten minutes down the road on a peaceful property that overlooks the Mettawee River in Vermont. His is located a few minutes from New York State in the Taconic Mountains. After clocking out Chris heads home. He often finds himself immersed in activities that range from fly fishing his stretch of the river, home remodeling, to a construction of the walls for a recording studio. I would call him a “maker” of sorts. He possesses the creativity and skill to make something with his hands.

Many of our co-workers possess a make-the-most-of what’s available level of creativity that allows them to build our products within a standardized process. We have a great team of people that pride themselves in the products they make here.

There is a growing group of conscious consumers, who care about who, where, and how the products they buy are built. These customers seek out and connect with the companies they purchase goods from, and share their enthusiasm with others like themselves. It’s about connection and accountability knowing and dealing directly with the company employees, only a phone call away and trusting the brand. We don’t just design what we sell, we make what we sell.

Do you like to create things? Or have a story about someone you care about who does? Is there a specific design or type of furniture you think we should offer? Tell us by commenting to this post, on our Facebook wall or tweeting #MyNeckoftheWoods @manchesterwood

Stay tuned for Part 5…

#MyNeckoftheWoods Series

Part 3: #MyNeckoftheWoods “Our Home” Series

August 19, 2016

Chris and Ed Eriksen [President] discussing design in the office. Granville, New York

Merging traditional furniture-making with modern concepts in design
and process has been a Manchester Wood staple for 40 years.

“For me building and designing is more about striking a balance, remembering what your goals are, not letting too many details over shadow the beauty of your materials or the functionality of the piece.” -Chris Bowlen, designer and sample maker

Written by Eric Henzie, Marketing Executive

In a post-British rule America, life was difficult. People had few resources, and the country was still being explored and developed. People were led to make do with what they had and they often had to find innovative ways to fix things. Americans began to refer to it as using yankee ingenuity. To this day, using ingenuity to solve a problem, or coming up with new and innovative ideas can be referred to as using old fashion yankee ingenuity. That hands on spirit and way of thinking lives on here at Manchester Wood.

I am sure you’ve had an “a-ha moment” where you suddenly realize there is a clear path forward. It is the point where the nature of the problem gives way to a clear and visible solution. Recently, we embarked on a new design concept. This concept began with a simple angle similar to the angle you would find on a sawhorse. These angles were the basis of a structure. As we constructed the elements around that angle we realized that we had found a unique craftsman aesthetic. That was the beginning of our Herrick Brook Collection (to be shown to you at the end of this series in the coming month).

To the furniture design layperson (namely me) watching Chris and crew working through a new product sample is actually a lot more complicated than it may seem. What I would view as a finished product normally has a two page bullet list of proposed issue resolutions. Our team strives to create products that the end consumer can assemble with ease. This approach is what is defined as design for assembly. This is a process by which products are designed with ease of assembly in mind. If a product contains fewer parts it will take less time to assemble, thereby eliminating any frustration our customers may encounter.

Do you like to create things? Or have a story about someone you care about who does? Is there a specific design or type of furniture you think we should offer? Tell us by commenting to this post, on our Facebook wall or tweeting #MyNeckoftheWoods @manchesterwood

Stay tuned for Part 4…

#MyNeckoftheWoods Series

Part 2: #MyNeckoftheWoods “Our Home” Series

August 14, 2016
Part 2 #MyNeckoftheWoods

Chris working a drill press in the sample area at “the Mill” [Manchester Wood] in Granville, New York

From film-making, to being a ski photographer, gardening, logging, and furniture-making the last 10+ years… Chris gets innovation and creative thinking.

“When I came back home to Vermont from Colorado and Oregon it was about being around my parents and my grandma, as they’re all getting older… I started back working in logging on my friend’s parents land… well, I wouldn’t say it was totally logging. They also asked us to get ‘artsy with it [their land]’ and we used different techniques to grow trees in cool ways…”

Written by Eric Henzie, Marketing Executive

I have come to understand through experience that creativity or any type of innovation really is an ‘inside’ job. It’s a process I call finding your ‘voice.’ What is also fascinating to me and empowering lately is the revelation that it’s really a process. At its source, the creative process is a function of inspiration and personal empowerment. Step by step, every person holds the keys to their own creative empowerment; each of us holds a capacity to define and direct the future and to write our own story.

Chris as a creator and innovator appreciates that the ‘known’ great artists throughout history understand that they are the authors of their own works. By analogy, we are each the authors of the story of our own lives. Chris made a conscious decision to return to his home roots a few years back. He was on a search to find his voice. That search led him from his home state of Vermont to the mountains of Colorado, from Colorado to Oregon, then from Oregon back home.

Home is a word which embraces a very vast meaning. For most home is a place that brings back fond memories, home is the symbol of comfort and wellness. Home serves as a kind of fortress to us, our sanctuary. Home should be the place where you feel secure, free. Home is culture, religion, its friends, relatives, neighbors, and your environment. It is your “neck of the woods”; it is the way of life there, the architecture of neighborhoods houses, the job where you make a living and many other things.

The successful revival of the American built movement is alive and well here at Manchester Wood. The hard working American workers here many who have been around for over 25 years are the descendants of a long line of builders, craftspeople and innovators. This is an extraordinarily uncommon commodity in today’s marketplace. When you purchase 100% American made you have the satisfaction of knowing you support our proud line of master craftspeople that proudly stand behind their workmanship. You support their growth and their lifestyle – it’s #MyNeckoftheWoods

Share your home with us, as we share ours, by using #MyNeckoftheWoods with your comments. Mention us on Twitter (@ManchesterWood), or post it on our Facebook page.

Stay tuned for Part 3…