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#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

#MyNeckoftheWoods Series

Part 6: #MyNeckoftheWoods “Our Home” Series

September 6, 2016
Chris clocks in at the mill [Manchester Wood] in Granville, New York.

Chris clocks in at the mill [Manchester Wood] in Granville, New York.

Back at it. After the dust settles from a long weekend celebrating the American worker, Chris and company are clocked in.

Written by Eric Henzie, Marketing Executive

Last week was Chris’ opportunity to leave a mark. No breaks, skipping lunch & hustling all week to create several new samples for a large retail client. This week had a nice reward, Labor Day.

Returning to the office on Tuesday morning after realizing there are no more beaches, fewer barbeques, and less sunshine can be difficult. But take heart the last day of summer is technically more than three weeks away. Chris came back to work recharged and eager to put his final touches on samples he and the team completed for an upcoming Orvis catalog shoot. His work was the focus of meetings held later in the day to tighten up schematics and instructions for our upcoming product launch – Herrick Brook Collection (product launch coming in Part 7).

Labor Day is an annual workers’ holiday in observance of the many achievements of American workers. The American Pride we possess, the grit and determination to get things done right was first celebrated by the Central Labor Union of New York in 1882. The idea eventually caught on, and on June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday.

I like holidays like Labor Day, where expectations are relatively low (no gifts or cards!), where the only requirement is to relax and have a good time. Most of us have the day off for picnics, parades and the last long weekend of the summer. Labor Day always feels bittersweet to me. Although fall is my favorite season, I still can’t bear to see the long, laid back days of summer, lightening bugs and swimming holes come to an end. It won’t be long now until shorts will give way to sweaters and Friday night football games will take the place of evenings fly fishing on the river.

How important is buying American workers’ products to you? Do you own something that’s special that represents American made quality? Tell us by commenting on our Facebook wall or tweeting #MyNeckoftheWoods @manchesterwood

Labor Day Wall Post Banner

Stay tuned for Part 7…

#MyNeckoftheWoods Series

Part 5: #MyNeckoftheWoods “Our Home” Series

September 1, 2016
Chris sets up a record at home in Pawlet, VT.

Chris sets up a record at home in Pawlet, VT.

Everything that’s time-tested is of interest to Chris. A growing vinyl collection has him in awe of classic, long-lasting quality in sound and design.

“I wonder about the people who’ve owned these records before me. The quality of the sound is still here, and knowing they heard it too is special to me. I hope the same thing for our furniture, that is just keeps living on to the next person.” -Chris Bowlen, sample maker and designer

Written by Eric Henzie, Marketing Executive

Vintage vinyl appeals to my sense of nostalgia, of thrift and eternalness assuming you adhere to their proper care. Diving through bins of unknown records, the thrill of the hunt for what some seem to want to discard as obsolete others like Chris are happy to relocate to his own shelf full next to his turntable. He doesn’t hoard. He is happy to collect, share, seek them out at the various tag sales held in the area throughout the summer, or even fund one of the pricier new releases if it fits his taste.

If you thumb through the pages of hardcover coffee-table books of New England you will find an endless supply of rural imagery. Nostalgic visuals of rural America; such as these are firmly entrenched in the popular imagination. You can probably imagine yourself standing in the midst of these centuries old visions of past, one where the landscape and identity were defined by tradition, simplicity, and charm.

Since my family and I started living in New England one of the things that has made the biggest impression on me personally is the transition from summer to autumn. This transformation is unarguably the most beautiful. The leaves on the trees change from green to a vast range of beautiful colors; brilliant yellows, golden oranges and fiery reds. The activities that follow make me feel nostalgic. It’s raking leaves, the last mowing of the season, covering the garden vegetables before an impending frost, or moving the split wood from the covered log-pile down the road to the one closer to the house. It’s those time honored traditions honed over time that make us feel purposeful and a part of a community. Those things that friends or neighbors mention to each other while making small talk.

How important is long-lasting quality to you? Do you own something that’s special to you that’s been around for a longtime? Tell us by commenting on our Facebook wall or tweeting #MyNeckoftheWoods @manchesterwood

Stay tuned for Part 6…