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Interview with Cari Cucksey of "Cash & Cari"
on HGTV Mondays at 10/9 Central .
HGTV’s Q&A Session with Cari Cucksey
Moderator How did you get started in
this business of finding treasures in estate sales and items at these
C. Cucksey I have been buying and selling since I was about 12-years-old
and probably about 15 years ago started really, really digging in and
going to estate sales. And, just realized, wow, I have a lot of
information or little of information about a lot of things and why not
start my own estate sale business because I felt like, they weren't
having enough fun with it. And, wanted to breathe some new energy in to
the business and decided to start an estate sale company.
Moderator Wow, that's a long time. In all that time what's the most
unusual thing you've ever found?
C. Cucksey I get asked that question a lot of ti—I get asked that
question probably every day. I'm always intrigued by what I find.
There's a reason why I wear gloves … a lot of stuff from animal nests in
items to really wild and wacky, weird medical devices and I've found a
little bit of everything. It never ceases to amaze me what I can find
and it never ceases to amaze me what people will collect.
Moderator When do you recommend fixing up an old treasure instead of
letting it go?
C. Cucksey Anything that's solid wood, in terms of—are you talking about
a piece of furniture or just a collectible or, or just in general?
Moderator Yeah, just in general.
C. Cucksey I mean I've broken, ah not very often, it's my worse thing as
I cringe when I break anything. I've broken various like teapots, or a
teacup that I love that I've glued back together and just said, you know
what I'll deal with it, I love it so much. But in terms of a piece of
furniture, I tell people to just really overlook the dirt and the grime,
because that's something that can be easily fixed. But, if something is
solid wood and you can get out the wood filler and get out the glue and
get out your clamps and save it and you love it, then it's absolutely
okay to re-furb and re-purpose.
We just did a piece on the episode last Monday where there's actually a
few mouse nests inside. We cleaned out the poo and made it work. So,
it's all—beauty’s in the eye of the beholder. If you love the piece and
you can see that you can turn it into a gem, then I say go for it.
Moderator I wanted to say I love your show. And, I'm interested - do you
collect anything yourself? I'm sure you have a lot of different things
you like, but is there a particular collection?
C. Cucksey Oh my gosh, yes. I love art pottery. I'm a fan of … pottery.
I'm always finding new things to collect and finding, you know, oh my
gosh, I love this, I'm gonna start collecting this. But, I've always
collected art pottery, Navajo jewelry. I love arts and crafts furniture.
I'm very eclectic. I like a lot of different things and with this
business you really have to stay balanced and obviously it bor—you know,
stay on the line of not becoming a hoarder of certain things. And
letting it circulate and let somebody else love it. But, I collect a lot
of different things, but those are the things that are true to my heart.
Moderator What would you say was probably your most prized possession?
Like if you had one thing that you could take with you, and only one
thing, what would that be?
C. Cucksey It's actually the chair that I'm sitting in right now. I have
an Eames Herman Miller turquoise chair that I'm sitting in. It's my desk
chair that sits with a really old library table, so. It's my favorite
thing. I couldn't live without it.
Moderator Is it better to look for anything of value or should you stick
to certain items, like dishes or books? What do you recommend for a
C. Cucksey For a reseller. I tend to tell people if you're gonna get
started in reselling go with the things that you know obviously. If you
love china and you love dishes, start there because chances are you'll
have a great eye, if you love of picking things out. And, you don't have
to necessarily go for the higher valued items because, as I said
earlier, there's a buyer for everything and there's a collector for
everything. So, starting with the things that you know and if you're
gonna branch out and research or—branch out rather and buy things that
you don't know about, go for it.
If it calls to you and speaks to you, buy it, take a chance, especially
if it's not very expensive. You can research it online. Chances are
somebody online will tell you what it is and you can find out what it's
worth and you can turn a little bit of money and you're learn something
along the way.
Moderator I was curious, I know that this may be out of your realm, but
I was curious in regards to like sports memorabilia.
C. Cucksey Yes.
Moderator What sells, like what's hot and what's not? Or, say if you're
gonna hold on to it, or your children, or your grandparents send it down
C. Cucksey I'd say that baseball cards have always been hot and will
continue to be hot. There's a lot of items that are out there, for
instance, I think we sold not too long ago a Detroit Lion's Jersey that
was signed, that was maybe something that came up at an auction that
somebody purchased and wanted to get rid of or sell and raise some
capital. The types of things that are autographed and it seems like
there's probably a lot of them out there, those items I'd say are not as
hot as, you know, the vintage baseball cards and you definitely want to
pass those on. Those will continue to increase in value.
Moderator And then one real quick question. I was … if you have products
like … coins that you can't find online. You've researched you tried to
find certain things, where do you go to get those appraisals?
C. Cucksey Start by going to your local antique shops. Because, chances
are if the owner of the shop can't tell you what it is, they'll have an
arsenal in their rolodex of somebody who's an expert in that particular
item who can least point you in the right direction. Put you in the
right path of what it is. I also recommend posting it, taking pictures
and posting it online. Because, there's a lot of antique lovers out
there who will be more than willing to help you identify the piece. I've
done that myself.
I'm not an expert in World War II, and there's so much stuff out there.
I've taken pictures of various items and said, hey, do you know what
this is can you help me out? Knowing that there's a lot of collectors of
that stuff out there. People love to help.
Moderator Okay so is there a specific Website or—you know that you would
post those picture to?
C. Cucksey I don't, I would do a general search because there's a lot of
different clubs out there. There's a club for any kind of collector and
chances are they have a blog or, you could even post it on Craigslist
under the antique section for sale. There are people out there who love
to identify things and help other people. So, my first step would be to
search out to see if there's a club of those collectors.
Moderator My readers wanted to know what's your best resource for
researching your finds.
C. Cucksey Researching my finds. I use a variety of sites; it's all
dependent upon what the item is. I have a wonderful site that I
subscribe to. It's a little bit costly, but it's called Dictionary of
Marks. If you're dealing with china or silver or just in general items
in terms of pottery and things with a mark, that's a great site, great
resource. I think they have a trial basis that you can do for free for a
few days, before actually paying for the service. But that's a great one
in terms of looking for- if you don't have a book, I always say you can
go to the library too, there's all kinds of reference books there that
are free to use. But, that's a great site if you're looking to identify
some china or pottery or silver.
Moderator Cari do you think that the market that you're in as far as
estate sales and antiques, do you feel like it's a more man-based
business or do you feel woman aren't looked as being as knowledgeable as
men are in this kind of category?
C. Cucksey Absolutely not.
C. Cucksey Men and woman who shop at my store, come to the sales, and
buy online. I think it's equaled numbered. And, I'm hoping that the show
and all of these thrifty trash-to-treasure shows are gonna inspire
younger groups of people to get involved and to be more conscious about
what they're buying and what they're in to and maybe become collectors.
So, it's definitely equal down the line in terms of men and women.
Moderator With the specific names of the products out there that are
antiques and stuff like that, I know some of them, but are there any
that are particular besides just, if you like it, get it that are better
C. Cucksey In terms of are you thinking of like name … products like
McCoy pottery or Roseville pottery, is that what you mean?
Moderator Yes, exactly.
C. Cucksey Well, anything that's a … item obviously can be searched and
sought out online. There's obviously, you know that there's a group of
people who collect it. But, again I go back to there's a buyer for
everything. I don't know if you mean selling online, but sometimes if
it's something that you think may not sell very quickly, it sells
quickly. So, there really is no rhyme or reason. I always go back to one
person's junk really is another person's treasure. And, there is a
collector for everything. And, luckily, we have the internet where we
have this international worldwide market, where people can seek out and
find your item.
Moderator Did you approach HGTV for a show or answer a casting call or
did they reach out to you?
C. Cucksey They actually reached out to me. I got an e-mail from
somebody who was scouting out. I think that they were looking for a
woman antiques dealer and liquidator so- they reached out to me which
was really cool.
Moderator That’s all the time we have for today. Tune in to new episodes
of Cash & Cari on Mondays at 10/9 Central on HGTV. Thanks again and
enjoy the rest of your day.
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