Q&A with Alex Chisholm
When did you start at Vermont Woods Studios and what brought you here?
I started here at Vermont Woods Studios on February 1st of 2021 - I’m a newbie! Unfortunately, my position at my previous employer was eliminated due to the pandemic but it turned out to be such a huge blessing in disguise! I am a Vernon, Vermont native and actually used to sled down the back hill at what is now Stonehurst when I was a little girl. One of the most influential people in my life was my old elementary school principal, Mr. Ellis, and this used to be his home! I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to create many more happy memories here at this special place.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
A typical work day has been similar to that of drinking water from a fire hose! We are so busy, the learning lessons are endless, and I couldn’t be more excited! The best thing about my job is that “a typical work day” doesn’t exist. No two days are the same. One day could be filled with training about the different collections each workshop offers, while the next day I could be redesigning our showroom, the next could be more sales team oriented working on sample orders, working with customers throughout their purchasing and delivery experiences, the next I may find myself up at our Windsor Warehouse working on inventory. Before you know it it’s Friday! I love it!
What’s your favorite part about working at Vermont Woods Studios?
That’s a toss up. It’s still new and due to the pandemic I have not been able to meet all of my coworkers face to face, but from what I’ve learned about everyone, I would have to say my favorite part about the job is the people I get to work with. Everyone has been so incredibly helpful and accommodating throughout my whole onboarding process and if I ever have a question, I always get a prompt answer from at least one of my teammates.
I would say my other favorite part about my job is how proud I feel working for this company. We are involved in Forests for the Monarchs, we’ve planted our own orchard and pollinator gardens here at Stonehurst, we’re part of 1% for the Planet, and we plant 10 trees for every order placed. I’m passionate about environmental awareness, so the fact we do all of this in part speaks more volumes to me than the furniture does. We are definitely more than just a Vermont made furniture company.
Pizza or Ice Cream?
Tahitian Vanilla from the Walpole Creamery is the cure to any and all of my life crisis’.
What’s your favorite Vermont brand (other than Vermont Woods Studios)?
I like to enjoy a nice glass Tom Cat Barr Hill Gin with a large rock while wearing my Vermont Flannel Company Flannel pajama bottoms and a pair of Darn Tough socks.
Describe your typical commute to work.
I live just on the other side of the hill in Bernardston, Massachusetts! It’s a 12 minute drive into work, but Dennis can attest to me habitually arriving 5-10 minutes late - I’m convinced I have the best commute to work out of anyone! I always end up pulling over to snap a picture of one of the gorgeous landscape views of the mountains just rolling over each other in the distance and sometimes on a dark morning when the sun is still trying to peek out, the sky lights up in these amazing pink and purple beams and it’s just breathtaking. If that’s not enough, one of the horse farms I pass by just bought 6 buffalo!! So I like to drive slowly past there because the horses are just gorgeous but who else in this area gets to see magnificent buffalo on their work commute? I’m the luckiest!
You’re furnishing your dream house. What’s in it?
My aesthetic is light, airy, and minimalistic meets country cottage. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been gifted a few family heirloom pieces, so it would be important for me to incorporate those pieces throughout my dream home.
As far as pieces that we offer, I already have an active list of what pieces I want for my home someday! This is what’s on it so far:
- Vergennes Platform Bed
- Contemporary Craftsman Lingerie Chest
- Contemporary Craftsman 10-Drawer Wide Dresser
You’re dumping your old dining set. What’s next? Why?
I love the Classic Shaker Butterfly Extension table for so many reasons! The extension mechanism is so easy! It’s big enough to have a seat for everyone at the table! In my family, food is very important, but more importantly are the memories made with the ones you love while making the food. This table is perfect for hosting the cooking parties my family regularly has where we all gather around the table to roll grape leaves, knead dough for homemade pasta, shell chickpeas for homemade hummus, and chop walnuts for a German chocolate cake, among many other dishes we prepare. Ever since I laid eyes on the Round Back Chair I was intrigued, and once I sat in one I fell in love, so those would be my dining chairs. I would also have the Classic Shaker Bench ready and available to pull up to the table for more flexible additional seating when it’s time for after dinner drinks and a heated card game.
Pick one bed to sleep on for the rest of your life.
I daydream about the Vergennes Platform Bed by Vermont Furniture Designs daily.
What else should we know about you?
I played college lacrosse at Worcester State University where I majored in Psychology. My hobbies include refinishing furniture, anything that gets me outdoors, and photography, which has been a lifelong passion of mine, and I recently started my own business. I’m a HUGE dog lover, I will choose cheese over chocolate any day of the week, and I love to craft cocktails.
What are you jamming out to?
When I’m refinishing furniture, nothing but Billie Holiday.
When I’m on the slopes, it’s a nostalgic mix of middle school rock anthems by Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Good Charlotte, Kinds of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, and Fall Out Boy among others.
Tash Sultana is my go to girl when I’m getting ready in the morning, when I need to relax, and when I’m editing my photography.
Road trip jams are typically a mixture of classic 70’s rock, 80’s hits, and 2000’s R&B.
My current new artist obsession is Brandi Carlile. Check out her album Live at Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Hallelujah leaves me speechless and covered in goosebumps every time.
Favorite Song of all time: Benny and the Jets - Elton John
Ultimate Go-To Mood Booster Songs: Break My Stride - Matthew Wilder / You Get What You Give - New Radicals / Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand
What’s one book you’d recommend everyone should read?
The Old Man and the Sea - By: Ernest Hemingway
What are you watching on Disney+?
All of the Disney Short Films! I think they are so creative and I appreciate all of the time and effort that is poured into these less than 10 minute clips. I also love how diverse the short films are in regards to addressing the importance in educating and making people aware of certain things that were maybe once seen as different in our society that are now finally normalized. For example; Bao - an education on Chinese culture, Kitbull - pet adoption awareness, Loop - Autism awareness, and Out - homosexual awareness about the coming out process.
What’s your all-time favorite quote to live by?
“Leave the world a world a little better than you found it.” - Unknown
“I’ve never known a stranger, just a friend I haven’t met yet” - Ted George
Who’s your favorite superhero?
Iron Man - he’s got looks, quick wit, and brains!
If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?
A maple tree of course! I’m a Vermont native and I think they are the most beautiful kind of tree during foliage season!
What’s your spirit animal?
A Honey Badger for all the obvious reasons!
If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be?
Just to be able to meet and shake Jane Goodall’s hand would be an honor, so the opportunity to have a full conversation with her over lunch would be a dream!
It’s a hot summer Saturday in Vermont. Where are you, and what are you doing?
You can find me out sailing on Lake Champlain!
What’s your favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry’s?
I would consider a dish of Phish Food to be a culinary masterpiece.