Salem painting contractor gets her moment in spotlight

There’s more than one home renovation show hitting the area this season, and a local businesswoman hopes it will give her small firm a boost in visibility.

A&E’s “Flipping Boston’’ follows hosts and professional house-flippers Peter Souhleris and Dave Seymour of Peabody-based CityLight Homes as they renovate properties in an upscale style in hopes of a fast turnaround for sale.

In recent weeks, the show shot episodes centered around a condo in Lynn and a pizzeria in Danvers. Both were painted for the show by Salem-based BLC Painting LLC, the four-person company run by Brooke Cambridge, 32.

In Lynn, “they pretty much did a [demolition] in there and fancied it up quite a bit,’’ she said. “We did some pretty dramatic colors in there and spiced it up.’’


The pizza parlor job was also a major makeover and had to be done within a week, she said. That meant she was painting at the same time other contractors were still working and filming was going on, “So everyone was kind of stepping on each other,’’ she said.

No photos of the interiors were allowed until the shows air, probably in February, Saturdays at noon on A&E.

“We were just naturally attracted to Brooke. She was a colorful character who could add to the liveliness of ‘Flipping Boston,’ ’’ said executive producer Max Weissman. “Dave and Peter are big personalities and we’re looking for people who can fit in to that and have fun with it. . . . She stands out. She’s got great energy. And it’s unusual, being a painter is a very male world, and she stands out for being able to hold her own and doing a great job.’’

“Dave and Peter, I love ’em, they’re great guys,’’ Cambridge said. “Peter is very savvy with colors and design, and Dave is more of the one who tries to keep it moving, who tries to keep the show peppy.’’

The Maine native knows it is unusual for a woman to run an interior and exterior painting business, but said she didn’t end up there by design.


“I got out of high school and I was looking for work, and I tagged along with some friends who were painting,’’ she said. “It wasn’t the dream career I imagined, but it stuck with me.’’

She liked the hands-on work, which has its artistic side, and kept on painting with a couple of different companies after moving to the North Shore. Now a Salem resident, she started her own business seven years ago.

“I decided, why am I doing this for someone else?’’ she said. “I have a good rapport with the clients; all of my work is referral-based now.’’

Colorful characters are key to the “Flipping Bostons’’ appeal, producer Weissman said. “There’s a whole group of people who are drawn to the before-and-after. You sort of can’t help but wait to see what it’s going to look like in the end. And there are people who look to be entertained along the way, so we look for fun characters who are passionate, who are going to take you on a good ride.’’

No one seemed exactly sure how the show’s staff first spotted BLC Painting, but Cambridge thinks it was a combination of things that made her appealing.


“They came across our website, and they were impressed with our logo, which gets us quite a bit of work, and maybe a little bit intrigued that it was woman-owned,’’ she said.

Wait a minute, your logo? Yes, she said, it’s very popular and it shows her yellow Labrador retriever, Toby Sage, with a brush in her mouth.

“She’s my companion, and she comes with me pretty much everywhere,’’ including job sites, said Cambridge. “She’s a kind of low-key dog and never gets in the way.’’

That includes a little bit of time in front of the cameras of “Flipping Boston.’’ But with all the editing that goes on, there’s no guarantee Toby will make it into the episodes.

“She’s so relaxed, she really couldn’t care less,’’ Cambridge said with a laugh. “She just does her thing, no big deal.’’


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