May 23, 2014 6:45 pm

Winnipeg neon brothers take restoration skills to TV competition

WINNIPEG – Mike and Joe Wolchock, brothers and owners of the Neon Factory on Main Street, are featured in HGTV’s new pilot series, Buy It, Fix It, Sell It, premiering Friday night.

The pair opened their business in 1986. Originally the company was set up to create neon signs, but the pair loved antique bargain hunting, and eventually ended up restoring items that were in disrepair.

The brothers made their way into television after watching an episode of Canadian Pickers.

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They thought the show needed some improvement, so Joe sent a letter to the producers, explaining that they had something more to offer.  The producers called them up, and featured the brothers in a later episode.

That led to a call this past September from the show’s producer asking to feature Mike and Joe in a new project, Buy It, Fix It, Sell It.

“It’s awesome. Our lives always evolve right. It’s important to just keep doing different things.”

The brothers travelled to Toronto just days later, and the show was shot from September until December both in Toronto and in Winnipeg.

“We buy stuff, take it, do stuff to it, and sell it. Some of our products are neon related, and some are totally off the wall … random,” Mike Wolchock explained, just hours before the first show. “We want to inspire people to make stuff.”

Their love of antiques, creating new products and repurposing items that would otherwise end up in the trash have the “Neon Brothers” hoping they’ll become an HGTV brand.

The brothers are featured in four of the six episodes. The first airs at 9 p.m. Friday.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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