PHOTOS – Cute Cari Cucksey turns trash into cash on HGTV’s Cash & Cari

HGTV’s new reality series Cash & Cari combines two surefire elements, a pretty lady and picking treasures out of junk. The History Channel has hot, tattooed office manager Danielle Cushman (who is a burlesque dancer at night), but HGTV is putting a chick at the helm of their treasure hunt show, and we can’t wait to see the results!

Cari Cucksey is pretty hardcore when she treasure hunts for items to sell in her antique store RePurpose, and she’s never afraid to apply a little elbow grease to restore an item. From an abandoned Chanel gown, to a rare pink vinyl Thriller record, and a 70’s Honda motorbike, Cari can spot an overlooked gem that will really rake in the cash.

Get it, girl!

Cash & Cari premieres tonight @ 10 p.m ET/PT on HGTV

Official Press Release below:

NEW YORK, N.Y. [For Immediate Release – December 17, 2010] Cari Cucksey, treasure hunter and broker extraordinaire, is on the lookout for hidden treasures – and each week she finds, restores and sells them for homeowner or personal profit — in HGTV’s Cash & Cari. During the series, premiering on Monday, January 3, at 10 P.M. ET/PT, Cari and her team search estate sales, flea markets, dusty attics and cluttered garages to find hidden or overlooked antique furniture, decorative accessories, collectibles and memorabilia. Whether it’s a vintage Chanel gown left behind at the dry cleaners, a limited-edition pink vinyl copy of Michael Jackson’s Thriller or a Capodimonte porcelain statuette, Cari’s expert eye will spot the undiscovered gems that could lead to big bucks.

Viewers follow Cari as she helps families dig through piles of personal possessions and then prepares the bounty for sale. For Cari, it’s about the thrill of the hunt so, in some instances, she buys the contents of an entire home, packing up the goods and refurbishing the items for sale at RePurpose, her antique retail shop in Detroit, Michigan.

Even if viewers can’t visit Cari’s establishment in person, they can upload photos of their treasured items on and may be one of the lucky online users who get the benefit of an appraisal by Cari each week. They also can interact with other antique enthusiasts on the site.

“Cari’s extensive knowledge of antiques and valuables is remarkable,” said Kathleen Finch, general manager, HGTV. “Her adventures will inspire HGTV viewers to search for the treasures in their own attics and garages, not only for fun, but also for profit.”

In an early episode, Cari must liquidate the antique finds in a local farmhouse. The homeowner’s late father had a diverse collection of items, including musical instruments, a 1975 Honda motorbike and a 1925 Studebaker that’s worth double Cari’s estimated price if it actually starts. In another home, Cari discovers a rare vintage stove and an antique Jenny Lind bed frame.

Future episodes of Cash & Cari include an estate sale showdown and a church flea market, as well as the sales of a classic carousel and a 1946 Harley Davidson motorcycle.