Keynote Speaker: 2012 Women on the Move
Cari Cucksey, host of HGTV's "Cash & Cari"
A perfect example of family influences ordaining the future career of an offspring is evident when you read the background of host Cari Cucksey, star of the series “Cash & Cari” currently in its’ second season on the popular HGTV network. Her grandfather (a World War II veteran and child of the Depression) was constantly bringing home “finds” from the side of the road that he enthusiastically refurbished into treasures to use or sell. Cari considers she “inherited her mothers’ passion for antiques and collectables”, so is it any wonder that at 12 years old, she started buying, selling and trading herself! The apple certainly did not fall far from that family tree!
After graduating from college in 1998, a desire to take a vacation in Europe prompted Cari to buy items she could sell on eBay and these profits enabled her to make the trip. Later, her new business, “RePurpose Estate Services” was formed to conduct 2-3 day house sales in the eastern Michigan area she calls home. In the Detroit Free Press she told reporter Jeff Seidel that “with the way the world is, you have to recreate and repurpose yourself, just to keep up with technology.” On the expansion of her business (she now has about 25 employees) she commented, “it’s really grown because there are so many aging baby boomers dealing with liquidating their parents estates.” Eventually she opened the “RePurpose” shop in Northville, Michigan. In 1700 square feet Cari carries antique, vintage and restored furniture, household items, vintage clothing and salvaged items. A 10,000 square foot warehouse is packed with more items ready to sell and where she maintains a workshop and frequently has sales.
Two years ago, television producers were scouting for a female “liquidator” to build a series around estate sales and they happened onto her website. Seeing how “photogenic” she was they sent a crew to film her in action. On January 3, 2011 “Cash & Cari” debuted and the rest is history. With the 2ndseason completed, a 3rdcurrently being filmed, with several more years anticipated. When the producers suggested Cari do sales outside Michigan, she held firm in her desire to promote the Michigan she loves and so it will not travel-at least for now. With so many inquiries over the past year from viewers interested in starting their own estate sale business, Cari is expanding by offering “Affiliates”, a franchising opportunity running $20,000.00 for a five year commitment. She will personally share her business plan and offer on-site training and consulting to those who want to learn her successful methods.
At 36, Cari has appeared on “The Nate Berkus Show” giving advice on holding a tag sale, been interviewed several times by the Detroit Fox network, had her show touted in USA Today, and has been featured in an article in Family Circle Magazine, Country Living Magazine and HGTV Magazine. When asked what she collects she revealed she loves Fiesta Ware and Red Wing art pottery, which she uses in her household. The best “find” she has made personally is a “Dower Chest” she purchased for $700.00 and her research revealed it was worth more than double what she paid! That remains in her home, at least for now!
Filming the last show of the 1st season was the hardest for Cari because it involved selling the contents of the home of her 88 year old grandparents, who had moved into an assisted living facility. She herself had to deal with the emotional turmoil that surrounds taking apart the material life of beloved family members, instead of counseling a client on the process.