Vermont Drying Racks, a division of African & Vermont Wood Products, was born with this in mind in the small town of Bristol in 2009. Simbo and Lynn Camara, who are always interested in saving money and helping out the environment, loved using drying racks, but they constantly fell over and subsequently broke within months of being purchased. What a waste of money!
Simbo was born in Conakry, Guinea, West Africa. He and Lynn now live in Bristol where he teaches African dancing and drumming.
Since draping bed sheets over the dining room table is known to have a negative affect on home decor, they opted to team up with Lynn’s mom, Debbie Ramsdell (pictured above) to design and make their own durable laundry racks. Debbie has sold them at local farmers’ markets and craft fairs ever since. In all, about 365 racks have been sold to date.
Their passion for making and selling the racks has grown over the years as they see how excited people are to find large, wooden, handcrafted drying racks. People often say, “You just can’t find racks like these anymore,” Debbie said.
“Many buyers will stop at our booth and tell us how much they love their racks,” she said. “They also tell me they place the rack next to their wood stove to dry clothes and linens in colder months.”
To keep up with production Jack Brown of East Middlebury was hired to prepare the wood for the racks – cutting the end pieces, drilling holes for the dowels and cutting the different lengths of the dowels.
“These racks are superior to any you can find anywhere,” Debbie said. “Our racks will last forever!”