National reach grows for Black Dog Salvage ahead of 'Salvage Dawgs' Season 6

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ROANOKE (WSLS10)-- It's been four years since a local business launched into the national spotlight-- taking Black Dog Salvage from a local company to one that's known across the country. Season six of Salvage Dawgs premieres in less than two weeks and continues to follow the shop's owners as they restore some major projects.

Robert Kulp and Mike Whiteside started Black Dog Salvage nearly two decades ago with just a few restoration projects and since then, their company has taken off. The shop is now full of restored and refurnished old doors, stained glass and furniture-- including some of the pieces that have been featured on Salvage Dawgs over the past few years.

When Salvage Dawgs launched a few years ago, the guys say they never imagined it would end up as popular as it is today.

"I never thought this would go past the first five episodes that they bought," says Mike. "Here we are, 85 episodes into it, and it feels like it's going to go on forever. I have to figure out how to not work as hard and I could keep working a little longer. It's been a big surprise that this has taken off as well as it has."

When the pair was approached about creating the show they saw it as a business opportunity that would help them grow. The show follows them as they travel around the nation, collecting old items from buildings that are slated to be torn down and refurbishing them.

Through all of their projects, Black Dog Salvage has gained a national audience of fans that not only watch on TV but stop by to see the work in person.

"When people come and see us here, they say it's just like the show," says Robert. "They're surprised that we're actually here working. We go out into the parking lot and you see license plates from 5 or 6 different states, some that are very far away."

Black Dog Salvage has had so many visitors from all over the nation, there's a map at the front of the shop where people can put a pin to mark where they're from.

Robert says many people use the store as a pit stop on their way to or from vacation-- but for some people, visiting the shop is their vacation. Lorena and Joe Brock traveled all the way from Seattle, Washington, just to see Black Dog Salvage in person.

"It's all because of this, this is why we came," says Lorena. "We came to see them and see the dog and see the building. It's been wonderful."

"I could spend the whole week here in the building," says her husband, Joe. "Me and this stuff just get along really well."

The couple says they've watched every episode of Salvage Dawgs, looking for a little inspiration in their own DIY projects. They say seeing the store and meeting Robert and Mike in person was even better than they had imagined.

Season six of Salvage Dawgs premieres on the DIY Network Sunday, July 31 at 9 p.m.