One on One with HGTV's Cari Cucksey

Laurel Hansen recently interviewed me for Arc's Value Village Blog - 

“Be Grateful for Everything”.

That is what Cari Cucksey, repurposing guru and star of HGTV’s “Cash & Cari”, says drives her passion for reuse.  Cari is a true entrepreneur wearing many hats:  TV personality, business owner, repurposing artist, and soon to be author. We caught up with Cari recently to talk repurposing.

VV: Cari, how did repurposing come into your life?

CC:  It’s been my thing since I was a little girl. I was exposed to repurposing at a young age, spending time with my Grandpa, who went shopping “along the side of the road”!  It’s in my blood. I was 12 years old, collecting & selling coins. I couldn’t believe the value!

VV: What’s it like being a “Treasure Hunter” and professional repurposer?

CC: I’m juggling many things & making it work. Taking lots of vitamins! I’ve been doing estate sales for 12 years, and we have one location for our Repurpose Shop in Westland Michigan. We’re constantly “repurposing ourselves”!

VV: How did you become an HGTV Personality?

CC: We’ve done 3 seasons of HGTV’s Cash & Cari. It fell into my lap. I was working with movie industry people in Detroit, helping prop-masters with big budgets find movie props. Thru these connections, the production company for American Pickers reached out to me while developing a show with a female lead. I filmed for 12 hours, which was edited down to 4 minutes, and HGTV loved it. It was a perfect fit.

VV: What do you see as the top repurposing trends, and how do you repurpose?

CC: Industrial vintage is hot, mid-century is hot, flea market style, even shabby chic is still there. We’ve recently repurposed afghan-covered chairs. I have a vision, I work with a team that includes a carpenter, and even my hubby provides some muscle! Reusable items can be found everywhere. Go drive around on trash day- there’s so much out there!

                    Eastlake Bench Before       

                            Bench Before                  


Bench After

VV: It sounds like environmentalism is important to you.

CC: We’re a throw-away society, and we need to be conscious about use and utilizing what we have. I love that thrifting is uber-cool! 3 years ago we lost our house to a fire, and we are now doing a “green rebuild”, using architectural salvage, barn wood, solar, a green-roof chicken coop, and as much second-hand as possible.

VV: What’s next for you?

CC: I’m working on a book about repurposing, a manual for treasure hunters. I’m also getting ready to launch an online product to help treasure hunters find exactly what they are looking for. Second hand is a good business to be in.

Originally Posted Here -

Comments on this post

Carolyn says...

absolutely the best paint!. love it and I am hooked. I think I should give up my day job and paint

Posted on October 15, 2017

Elaine Smith says...

I would love to see some new episodes of Cash & Cari. Do you have plans to do that? I always tape them on my DVR so I can watch them at my leisure and rewind them to check out all the beautiful items you display.
Thank you!!!!

Posted on March 05, 2015

Lesley Lorant says...

Hi Cari,

Bought primer and paint from you at the Vintage Bazaar and I have to say the primer works great on all surfaces so far. Going to use the gray paint next week on oak tables.

Posted on July 30, 2014

Tony says...

I noticed in the Winter Flea Market magazine that you purchased a wrought iron swivel chair, and that you already owned one. I am the proud owner of 2 of these chairs also. I have carted them to new living locations for 30 years. They are the most comfortable chairs I own with the right cushions of course. Enjoy them.

Posted on March 24, 2014

Carol says...

First off, just love you show. I have a few things that was My Mothers and hopefully this summer will get a chance to redo them.
All way looking for pieces being discard. Most of the time they just need “a little love” (love your phrase) Your creations are wonderful.

Posted on June 14, 2013

Mary Shields says...

Really enjoy your show – I’m in Alaska, so can’t make your estate sales, but I would have bought the Ivy Set from your Grandparents’ estate in a heartbeat. Keep the lovely items coming, please.

Posted on June 06, 2013

Amy Gallagher says...

I watch HGTV and occasionally I am able to watch your show. I wish it was more often. I live in Wisconsin and can’t find anyone to drive with me to come to one of your estate sales. lol. Someday, maybe.

Posted on May 28, 2013


I love the show! I wished it was on all day. It is infomative, educational and fun all at the same time. The whole team seems to blend together so well. There is so much stuff in the sales and warehouse I would just loves to be there to help do any project there would be for me. I can’t say enough good about the show. Always be where your millions of fans know where you are. Good Job!!!

Posted on April 23, 2013

Krys Pesta says...

Cari-I wholeheartedly agree with you about being a “throw-away” society. I love to repurpose everything! I have a background in construction/carpentry/design/plumbing, and for many years I have been turning dressers and ladies vanities into bathroom vanities with vessels sinks (just one of my favorite projects). I would love to see your work and even offer my services if you can use them.
Keep up the great work,
Krys Pesta

Posted on April 16, 2013

Cari says...

Hi Mona…My next Blog post will be about how to use It is a wonderful site that has a database of sold listings so you can determine your piece’s value. I will forward a copy of the last email that went out. There is a link included and a coupon code for Worthpoint’s services. Happy Treasure Hunting!



Posted on March 23, 2013

Mona says...

Love to watch your show an looking forward to your book. I wanted to know when you have an old, odd piece, how do you go about looking it up to see it’s age an what it would be worth.?

Posted on March 22, 2013

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