by Noor Hindi
For about 45 years, Carol Pier has been discovering and collecting treasure. From rare pieces of art to gently used furniture, she’s spent her life finding beauty and sharing it with others.
Carol’s business, Pier & Co, specializes in creating estate sales and helping homeowners sell their furniture and used goods. Throughout her life in Akron, she’s set up estate sales for the Seiberling family, the Firestone family and hundreds of others.
“In Akron, I could see they really had a need for a service like this with all the rubber company executives and their huge homes,” she says. “It was my passion. I didn’t even know I was working because I loved it so much.”
At the time, Carol was a single mom with four kids. Her love of art history and culture led her to estate sales. Her interest grew so much she eventually caught the attention of Antiques Roadshow stars Leigh Keno and Leslie Keno. She helped the two brothers decide which pieces appeared on their show and how valuable those pieces were.
Initially, she the business of estate sales was challenging because people didn’t always take her business seriously.
“When you went to do an estate sale at a home, if there was a woman still living, she’d kind of talk to you and maybe treated you like this was just a hobby, like you were just entertaining yourself,” she says. “It was hard to get across that, at that time, I was a single mother with four children and get across that I am serious about trying to make it a living.”
Eventually, Carol moved to Naples, Florida, leaving the business in Akron dormant. That’s when her daughter, Juli Pier-Uecker, took over the business, surprising Carol because Juli was always “so busy playing basketball.”
A graduate of the University of Miami and St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, Juli says she was “the least likely candidate” in her family to take over the business. Despite this, the transition felt easy to Juli because she always had her mom as a resource.
“She’s really an amazing person. She still drums up business left and right. She knows so much and she appreciates everybody’s history and culture,” says Juli.
Right now, Pier & Co does estate sales almost every week. Their showroom, which is open on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, is full of items available for purchase at a reduced cost. It includes items from Akron, rare goods that Carol finds in Florida and work from local and national artists.
Most of the objects in the showroom are furniture, such as coffee tables and dressers, and small decorations. There are some gently used clothes, too.
Juli says the hardest part of being an entrepreneur is getting your team motivated.
“It’s hard because there’s a lot of different personalities and you have to kind of be sensitive to everybody and where they’re at, but also have objective goals that you have to accomplish,” she says.
Both Juli and Carol enjoy the work they’re doing and like watching people fall in love with unique items for their homes.
“I think young people nowadays, they go to Pottery Barn, but I think eventually, to make it a home, you should get something that’s unique or something with a little history in it,” says Carol.
Check out upcoming estate sales and more information about Pier & Co at pierandco.net. Visit their showroom at 1915 W. Market St. in Northwest Akron.
Noor Hindi is The Devil Strip’s Senior Reporter. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by Noor Hindi.