Friday, February 27, 2009

Farewell, Home Companion

Okay, I get that the economy is bad. Detroit is losing money; the GDP has plunged; Wall Street is manned by a bunch of wimps. But I was totally bummed that Mary Englebreit's Home Companion Magazine is no long being published.

I remember when it first came out--I gave my sister a subscription for her birthday. Eventually I gave myself a subscription since I like to support school fund-raisers (who am I fooling--I subscribed to brighten my life). I've renewed it for years and years. My magazine piles grew and grew. I finally began tearing out my favorite decorating articles, the monthly paper doll and Mary's artwork to whittle the pile down to manageable levels.

Re-reading the magazine was almost as fun as sitting down with it fresh from my mailbox. There are creative, individual homes that sometime strike a chord. Their owners created something unforgettable. Colors popped off the page. Holidays came alive with ingenuity. Inspiration struck in every issue.

I suspect I'm not alone in enjoying most the peeks into Mary's home(s) and art studio(s). The woman is a serial homemaker! Each home was wonderful and very Mary, and I thought each time they'd moved into their forever home. I loved dots painted on lampshades and rooms created for her grand-daughter. I loved black and white checks and cherry reds. I got acquainted with inglenooks perfect for curling up with Jane Austen. Watching Mary put her stamp on succeeding homes was like an intensive course in home decoration. I loved it.

Alas, plentiful subscribers couldn't make up for falling ad revenues. If you just took a six percent cut in pay or your company's downsizing and you don't know how secure your job is. Or if your house just lost thirty-one percent of its value compared to two years ago or your retirement fund shrunk. Well, then you don't exactly rush out to buy new furniture or renovate your kitchen or even pick up some new lamps on sale. The consumer doesn't buy, the advertisers' funds dry up, and the publisher decides to close up shop.

The good news? Well, ME and her company still own the magazine name and most probably it will be resurrected (like Victoria) sometime in the future.

Even worse than Home Companion closing shop? All those subscribers who still have time on their subscription are now finding Martha Stewart Living in their mailboxes. That's classic adding insult to injury. Those two magazines have nothing in common, nothing!

1 comment:

  1. I can not believe what is falling prey to the bad economy. It seems every other day something is closing or ending. I just heard Sears may be closing up shop, they are at least closing a bunch of stores across the country. That company has been around since I think 1865!