Vroom, vroom: Sibley teen’s passion for vacuums leads to segment on TLC’s ‘My Kid’s Obsession’
SIBLEY, Iowa -- A Sibley teenager with an unusual hobby will make his national television debut later this month when he's featured on "My Kid's Obsession," set to air on The Learning Channel (TLC).
SIBLEY, Iowa - A Sibley teenager with an unusual hobby will make his national television debut later this month when he’s featured on “My Kid’s Obsession,” set to air on The Learning Channel (TLC).
Logan Huls, 14, has been fascinated with vacuum cleaners since he received his first toy vacuum at age 3, and his first real vacuum at age 7. Today, his collection numbers 161 - up two from just a week ago.
Huls is so intrigued by the cleaning machines that he spends his free time scouting out vacuums for his collection on internet websites, and is a frequent visitor to vacuumland.org, a website and social network for experts, collectors and fans of vacuum cleaners.
In fact, it was a blogger on vacuum expertise who discovered Huls by posing a question on vacuumland.org. She was seeking information on kids who collected vacuum cleaners, and several members of the site suggested Huls.
The blogger contacted Huls in hopes of featuring the teen’s collection in the episode for TLC, and a film crew set up in Sibley for two days in late March.
“It was very interesting,” Huls said of the filming process. “I had a lot of fun doing it and everyone was very nice.”
While he was sharing his knowledge and fascination on vacuums with the film crew, his mother, LeAnn Renner, was dodging questions from the curious in the small town. The family was sworn to secrecy about the filming project and could only be interviewed for this story with the publicity coordinator of TLC, Valeria Almada, listening in on a conference call.
“I told Logan (it’s his) 15 minutes of fame,” Renner said. “More people are going to know about what he can do and I think it’s great.”
Her son isn’t just a vacuum cleaner collector, he cleans and repairs them and has started his own business, Logan’s Miracle Works Vacuum Repairs.
“I took inspiration from another vacuum cleaner repairman in our town,” Huls said. “He did a really good job so I decided to take on my own business.”
Customers have, on occasion, dropped off a vacuum cleaner to add to his collection, only to get a call a few days later that the vacuum has been repaired and they can stop by and pick it up.
Huls built up his collection of vacuums by receiving them as gifts from family, friends, teachers at school and others around town and in the area who have heard about his collection.
His favorite brand is the Kirby, and he’s currently in search of a Kirby G-6, which will complete his Kirby collection.
Huls’ first Kirby vacuum was a no-sale at a household auction, and he later acquired another Kirby from inside the back of a car parked in a junk yard. That Kirby was the first one Huls fixed on his own, and he’s been fixing up others ever since.
Aside from Kirby cleaners, his collection includes Hoover, Bissell, Electrolux, Eureka, Dirt Devil, Kenmore and Dyson. They come in all ages, sizes and styles.
Renner said her son would “love to be” the biggest collector of vacuum cleaners, but that honor goes to an individual with more than 350. That’s too many, as far as she’s concerned.
“I’ve bargained with him that if he ends up with two or more of a specific style, he should sell the best one of the two,” she said.
“Now I have four of the same vacuum,” he quipped.
Huls’ collection quickly outgrew his family’s small house, and when they purchased the former Park Store, attached to the house they currently reside in, the vacuum cleaners had room to grow in number. Today, his vacuum cleaners are displayed “in every nook and cranny” in the house, and nearly fill the old Park Store.
The collection may get in the way sometimes, but Renner said she doesn’t mind.
“I’m good with it,” she said. “It’s given him something to do and keeps him from doing other things he shouldn’t be doing, like sitting around and watching TV all day long.
“Should he sell some? Yes, he should. He makes a little extra cash that way.”
Huls has two older brothers, Christopher and Anthony, and one younger sister. Morgan, who has to live with all of the vacuum cleaners in the house, said of her brother’s hobby, “It sucks.”
At least she has a little vacuum cleaner humor.
To view the segment on Huls, tune into TLC at 9 p.m. Dec. 28. He will be one of four children across the United States to be featured for their obsessions. The other three kids include a collector of fans, a collector of cockroaches and a collector of fishing lures.
Renner plans to host a viewing party at the family’s home on the evening of Dec. 28, and Huls said when he returns to school after Christmas break, one of his teachers plans to take a class period for students to watch the show.