#4for40Giveaway: 1 Best-Selling Item Over 40 years Given Away Each Week for October!

October 1, 2016

4for40Giveaway Series

Each week for the month of October we’re giving away one of our most popular items over the last 40 years we’ve been in business.

What products or styles of furniture would you like to see Manchester Wood make in the next 40 years?

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.

October 1-7

Multipurpose Cart and End TableIn 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.


October 8-14

Mission Underwindow BookshelfFor 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.


October 15-21

Folding Adirondack ChairIn 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].”

October 22-28

Wood TV Tray Table Set of 4For 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.

What products or styles of furniture would you like to see Manchester Wood make in the next 40 years?

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!

Top Posts

#40yearsofmemories: Memories from Longtime Employees

October 1, 2016

Employees who have been with us for 10+ years (that’s half the people here!) share their favorite memories on our 40th anniversary month.

“I started junior or senior year of high school… We had a spray booth quarter of the size of what they are today. I remember bringing Laurie (now a 26 year employee) into interview with Cliff and it was at 2:30 in the afternoon, and he said, ‘Can you start now!?’ [Chuckles] …We worked until 4:30 in those days.”

-Bev Hewes, 40 years

“Stick through good times and bad… we’re a family here. Sure it’s a job, but it’s more than that to us. We’re doing it for Cliff, for the story, the legacy of this place. We believe in the future. Ed and Priscilla stuck with us through some hard times, so we’re doing the same for them.”

-Judy Coley, 26 years

“I actually never had a job interview. I was watching my sister’s baby in the car while she went in to interview, and came back out and said, ‘you start Monday.’ I said, ‘What!?’ …They asked her if she knew of anyone else who would want to work, and she mentioned me… She lasted two months, I’ve been here 15 years.”

-Jennifer Dimick, 15 years

“I’m still here because of that man [Ed]… he’s helped me a bunch, and I remind people how good he’s been to me.”

-Jim Devino, 26 years

“When I got hired I was taking care of my daughter at the time, because I didn’t have anyone to take care of her, so I had to bring her with me to the interview and they said no problem. When we left, she said, ‘Daddy, I think you’re going to get hired… I just have a feeling.’ I said, ‘Yeah, you think so?’ … I’ve enjoyed working here.”

-Jose Figueroa, 11 years

“I remember first day coming into the interview, Ed was just shuffling around papers on a desk trying to find my resume. I kept telling him where it was but he was just going so fast, not paying attention to what I was saying [Chuckles]. He eventually found it, interviewed me, and hired me on the spot. Been here ever since.”

-Richard Moffitt, 28 years

“Dairy farmed my whole life then came here… I’m still outside everyday when I’m done [at the mill].”

-John Brown, 12 years

“Always family oriented… I feel like part of the family. I actually missed my first interview because I was on the rescue squad and actually went to Manchester Wood on an emergency call that day instead of an interview. I came back later and I’ve been here ever since.”

-John Thomson, 25 years

“I tried getting hired here before, and they were all set. I worked for Evergreen Slate before, then for a plumbing and heating company in Castleton [VT]. Finally got in here on the night shift (back when it ran). I love drilling. I’m a gear head so set-ups are fun. My fingernail is .0306… I use all sorts of quarks to measure exact.”

-Scott Reed, 14 years

“Love the people, enjoy the work. First time I sprayed [in finishing] I was nervous, but it worked out. Now I’m running around here like a chicken with my head cut off [in charge of many tasks] but I like it… It keeps me busy.”

-Laurie Burch, 26 years

“I love going to all the departments, learning new systems.”

-Nancy Mashak, 17 years

“I know it’s hard to keep this thing going, and I really appreciate the fact it’s still here. I’ve seen a lot of changes, coming from Manchester to Granville, all good things that needed to happen. The people are great, and always have been.”

-Carl Sheldon, 33 years

“The people are great, it’s also a great place to work.”

-Billi Jo Rathbun, 14 years

“I’ve run just about every machine… You can put me in front of any one of them and I can run it… Love working here.”

-Eric Kirchner, 12 years

“I enjoy it… I’ll work in the rough mill a few hours, down to sanding, drilling, packing… I like the variety, it’s a good job.”

-Patti Devino, 26 years

“Favorite memory is bagging chairs with Patti (26 year employee) about 8 years ago… I was still new so she was showing me the ropes. Getting to know each other was fun, and it doesn’t matter if we haven’t worked together in a while, you put us together in packing and we’ll pack anything together right.”

-Bill Thomson, 11 years

“First three months I built nothing but [Adirondack] chair parts… I had no idea we made anything else until one morning they told me, ‘you’re making Mission furniture today.’ I said, ‘What the heck is Mission furniture?’ [Chuckles]”

-Charlie Curtis, 11 years

“I remember the 6891’s, a Microwave Cart we did for J.C. Penney, and there were oodles of us everywhere working hard to get a shipment out on Black Friday. Everybody working hard to get it done… I’ve always enjoyed assembly and appreciate how they’ve always promoted within the company.”

-Garnet Matteson, 27 years

“I’ve enjoyed being in packing. Every day is a new day down here. I’ve designed packs for products that the box companies have started to use because they liked the design so much.”

-John Cook, 14 years

Thank you to all our dedicated employees, past and present!

Enter our #4for40Giveaway: 1 Best-Selling Item Over 40 years Given Away Each Week for October

#MyNeckoftheWoods Series

Part 7: #MyNeckoftheWoods “Our Home” Series

September 16, 2016
Part7 Blog Header

Manchester Wood employees, September 2016.

Behind the story of Chris, is the story of all of us. Artisans, woodworkers… all here to provide quality furniture from our home to yours.

Written by Luke Eriksen, Vice President

Before AutoCAD and CNC Programming there was graph paper, a ruler, and a sharpened pencil. That is where our company began 40 years ago. Prior to our company’s beginnings our founder, my grandfather, Cliff Pierce started a career in manufacturing as a tool and die maker.

Tool and die makers aren’t found sitting in an office behind a desk. They are in the middle of the dust and grease, a critical cog in the wheel of factory production each day.  They’re a class of machinists all onto themselves. They make jigs, fixtures, dies, molds, machine tools, cutting tools, gauges, and other tools used in manufacturing processes.

That trade and way of thinking never left my grandfather. Our humble beginning in the basement of his house, to his own factory floor and eventually in the office behind a desk making sales with the biggest retailers in the country.

“We’re just a bunch of farmers,” he’d jovially tell people when explaining his business. Not actually tilling the soil of course though he did own a farm, but more as a way of thinking. In many ways he was and in many ways we still are. Simple. Real. Truthful. Honest. Matter of fact. Nothing more, nothing less.

I fondly remember flying with him and my family to Florida years ago sitting next to him on the plane. It left a lasting impression on me as I watched him pull out his graph paper and pencil, and watched him sketch out a rough idea for a new product. I asked him for an extra piece of paper and I tried to replicate what he was doing. He never stopped designing. He never stopped working.

The #MyNeckoftheWoods series has been really fun to watch unfold. In a small way, it provides a behind the scenes peek at who we are as we highlighted some of the cool things Chris Bowlen is up to. Be sure to check out our new Herrick Brook collection. Like everything else from Manchester Wood, it began with a sketch.

Stay tuned for next month’s special 40th anniversary giveaway series as a token of appreciation. Also, we’ll hopefully get some pictures up from our celebration towards the end of October.

What products speak to your home and area? Tell us by commenting on our Facebook wall or tweeting #MyNeckoftheWoods @manchesterwood