“Buy Me Once”

I was just going to share this article I saw on Facebook but as I was writing I realized I had so much to say that I decided a blog post would be more appropriate.

This one goes out to my mom and all the other sellers and collectors of Henn products and everyone who likes “old” stuff that was built to last.

Someone I went to college with liked this article on Facebook so through the magic of social media it came up on my news feed:

The Rise of “Buy Me Once” Shopping. 

It’s an interesting article about “Buy me once” shopping and how one woman is creating a website for home goods, clothing, etc…that are built to last a life time. It’s a great idea and I’m not criticizing it at all but my thought was:

Remember when all shopping was “buy me once” shopping?

The first thing that came to mind while reading this was Henn. My mom sold Henn for like over 20 years. They were a handmade basket and pottery company in Ohio. Their products were not only pretty but useful and built to last. They, and other companies like them, closed during the recession in part because of the idea the article talks about of “designed obsolescence”.  I don’t know when it started but people really bought  into the “new is better” and “you need the latest and greatest” mentality. At some point people stopped buying products that would last and instead opted for things that were cheaper and less durable so that they could replace them when they *gasp* went out of style!

No one used to care about this. People bought things and used them until they broke then if they could repair them they would and keep on using them!

A couple years ago my grandparents’ house was hit by lightning. It caused the clock/doorbell combo in the kitchen to stop working. It was installed when the house was built in the 1950s. They went to a couple different places and no one could repair it but how great is it that it hung in the kitchen and WORKED since the 1950s? I doubt my grandma looked up sometime in 1970 and was like “Is this clock/doorbell combo still hip?” I bet she was more like “Oh look it’s 4:00.” It told time, it chimed when the doorbell rang, it looked nice. Who cares?

I grew up with Henn products. They survived a lot of abuse from my sister and me. They were what my mom cooked with and what we used everyday and what we still use every day. When I get married my mom gave me my own set she was collecting for me.  We have Henn or a vintage/thrift finds in our kitchen because these are the things that last. We also got a lot of new stuff when we got married and I am curious to see if the crockpot I got in 2010 will be around in 30 years like the one my parents got when they got married.

I have a table in the family room that belonged to my great grandmother. It still had an O’Neil’s tag on the bottom. It looks pretty cool and vintage. I have another table that belongs to my husband’s great uncle, it looks even better. In the same room I have an Ikea table we bought 3-4 years ago. It looks terrible.

I’m really not sure what my point is. I’m glad that people are adopting this “buy me once” mentality but I guess I am a little sad that we ever got away from it in the first place. Why did we? I think it was for status. Somewhere, we got this idea that we needed everything to be new and updated so that we stayed fashionable but who cares? I think we were trying to impress others, to show off that we could afford to redecorate whenever we wanted because that’s what advertising told us to do. I guess making responsible choices is becoming cool again?


If the Koppelbergers wrote a Christmas Letter: 2015

Well 2015 was certainly a year of highs and lows for us.

In January of 2015 Field Local Schools chose to end their sponsorship agreement with the Falcon Academy of Creative Arts which caused the school to  close at the end of the school year which meant Katelyn lost her dream job. It was a rough battle and things got really ugly but in the end the school went out on a high note. All five…yes FIVE Destination Imagination teams Katelyn coached did really well at the regional tournament in March with 4 out of the 5 placing in the top 3 in their categories and one of her 8th graders taking home the prestigious DaVinci Award. In May Katelyn and her friend Laura teamed up again to direct the final FACA musical, Willy Wonka, Junior. The show was absolutely perfect with an amazing cast and crew of young people and an absurd amount of sets, props, and effects for a production done in a cafegymatorium….just the way Kate and Laura like it!

Katelyn was able to take a voluntary transfer within the Field Local School District so that she was able to stay employed but losing her dream job was a really rough blow and she has been struggling a lot ever since but some good things are on the horizon so we are hoping 2016 will see her career back where she wants it.

Both of us earned diplomas from the University of Akron in May of 2015. Katelyn finished her masters in Instructional Technology and Jordan earned his bachelors in computer engineering. Jordan graduated summa cum laude and earned the Outstanding Undergraduate Engineer Award, The Milton L. Kult Award, and the Trajectory Award. In June he started at Keithley Instruments full time as a software design engineer working with existing products…which he absolutely loves!

We said goodbye to the beloved Mini Cooper this year but Jordan bought a new Subaru Outback and now that we have the bigger car we aren’t sure how we ever lived without it. Katelyn insists on driving the VW until it dies…despite the face that it has a busted headlight cage, the radio doesn’t work and the windshield wipers are “spotty”.

2015 saw not one but TWO trips to Hocking Hills. The second trip was a Koppelberger/Macaulay/Bement/Biemborn Family Adventure…trails were hiked, caves were explored, and MANY pancakes were eaten! We made friends with a stray cat and weird looking duck. We are hoping to make some sort of small trip an annual event.

We welcomed two new family members this year….just not in the way we were expecting…in June an injured kitten showed up on our doorstep (literally on the step and he bled all over it). We took him to the vet the next morning and was told the prognosis was grim because he was underweight, in shock and fighting off infection. After 72 hours with us he had gained three pounds and his temperature was back to normal. A former student of Katelyn’s suggested we name him Spock because she has pointy ears and with our help he will “live long and prosper.” We walks with a limp and has a messed up eye but otherwise he is happy and healthy. About a month later Jordan’s side of the family found another stray kitten..Katelyn said no but one day she came home and there was the kitten…we named her Madame Purrie. She is on the small side from being a stray but she is the most beautiful color. The vet office is having a debate over what to call her color…we visit the vet a lot.

Schrodinger is still studying physics and has gotten some help for his anxiety and has been much easier to live with. Siggy’s #1 hobby is still eating. Lovie who we often refer to as our “Boston Terrible” has completed obedience school and level one agility. She is starting level 2 this week.

We house news we got the exterior painted and bought a new storm door so we are no longer the ugly house. We also got a lot of dead trees taken down but it still looks like Jurassic Park around here.

Katelyn got a legitimate medical diagnosis of “bad luck” and wishes she would have gotten that in writing…because those were the doctor’s exact works.  She volunteered at Camp Quality again this year and had a blast as usual.

We have had to cut back on trivia and karaoke this year but try to go when we can.

2016 will hopefully bring some good changes and we have a lot to look forward to.