Make us your home page
Instagram

Salvage from around the world lands in Palm Harbor

PALM HARBOR — Josh and Jessica White have picked their way through the Deep South, as well as places like India, Mexico, Central America, Sri Lanka, Eastern Europe and Bali.

They've scavenged old homes, farms, schoolhouses, factories, churches, hospitals and hotels to find objects with just the right vintage aesthetic.

The result of their continuing treasure hunts is Tampa Bay Salvage, a business that would likely appeal to HGTV fans.

"We try and find stuff no one else has," said Josh White, 41.

White, a skilled carpenter, welder, glass artist and renovation specialist, founded the business in 2010 after he and Jessica, 37, moved from New Jersey to Florida. They have two children.

Previously, he was a self-described "B" actor appearing in DYI Network's Operation Salvage, a series with his brother and father, who also have careers in the architectural salvage business. He has starred in an episode of Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe on the Discovery Channel and was featured in This Old House magazine.

The front of the shop at 4825 Alt. U.S. 19 in Palm Harbor is tricked out with some of their favorite picks, timeworn objects full of uncompromised character.

Take the flooring for instance. It's made of gymnasium bleacher seats still coated with the original finish, proudly flaunting splats of old chewing gum, carved names and hearts.

"You can't replicate that," White said. "These are arguably better than new. Not just because of the charm, but because wood milled long ago came from harder, larger trees."

Reclaimed wood in a variety of shades and patinas covers the back wall; an old weathered ship's helm and other objects of interest are on display.

Aged tin can pendant lights hang from the ceiling. They were made in the onsite wood and welding shop, where craftsmen create custom furniture, decor and flooring from lumber, metal and found items.

Beyond the front shop, a 10,000- square- foot warehouse showcases a current inventory best described as a fusion of Indonesian, industrial, Americana, nautical and rustic chic.

Foo dogs will beg for your attention. Buddahs will pray for you. Old house parts — doors, windows, fireplace mantles, hardware and sinks — are looking for a new home.

Vintage seltzer bottles are a hot seller at $22 apiece. Driftwood horse heads from Bali sell for $275 each; old railroad lanterns from India are posted at $56.

Varicolored yellow, blue and green metal industrial chairs plucked from Bali ($48 each) have proven to be a very popular item.

Many of the objects have been repurposed. A long-tail boat now has shelves and serves as a bookcase. A railroad cart, its top restored with red barn wood, will look nice as someone's coffee table.

"The more unique and funky things are, the more people want them," White said.

There is currently a good supply of suar wood, a strong and sturdy variety from Bali that may be used indoors or out because it fares so well in Florida's humid climate. The species' bands of color and asymmetrical shapes create interesting vibes and sculptural lines for custom made furniture.

For White, it's all about being creative and doing what he loves.

"This is our business and our passion; our yin and yang," said White. "We just have a lot of fun."

Salvage from around the world lands in Palm Harbor 09/08/16 [Last modified: Thursday, September 8, 2016 11:25am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming

    Roads

    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  2. A sports rout on Wall Street

    Retail

    NEW YORK — Sporting goods retailers can't shake their losing streak.

  3. Grocery chain Aldi hosting hiring event in Brandon Aug. 24

    Retail

    BRANDON — German grocery chain Aldi is holding a hiring event for its Brandon store Aug. 24. It is looking to fill store associate, shift manager and manager trainee positions.

  4. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  5. Trigaux: Look to new Inc. 5000 rankings for Tampa Bay's future heavyweights

    Business

    There's a whole lotta fast-growing private companies here in Tampa Bay. Odds are good you have not heard of most of them.

    Yet.

    Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, fills a glass for his employees this past Wednesday as the young St. Petersburg personal advice business celebrates its landing at No. 25 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the country. Taylor, still in his 20s, wins kudos from executive editor Alexis Grant for keeping the firm's culture innovative. The business ranked No. 32 last year. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]