For nine decades, Our State has made its way into homes across North Carolina, the United States, and the world. To celebrate, every month this year, we’re paying tribute to the readers who inspire us, offering a taste of our earliest recipes, and revisiting old stories with new insights. Follow along to find out how our past has shaped our present.
Corey Myers has always been a magazine guy. As an adolescent, he had that most coveted of magazine subscriptions: MAD. “I moved on to Rolling Stone, National Geographic,” says Corey, now 47. He first came across Our State when he was living in Tampa, Florida, but was visiting his father’s home in Banner Elk. Early on, Corey and his wife, Kristi, promised, “We gotta get back to North Carolina.” In 2017, they did, settling in Asheboro.
Corey’s dad, a national sales director, moved around often — the latest reckoning puts the number of moves his father made in his 33-year career at more than 29. All of these moves — in combination with Corey’s business as an estate liquidator, dealing with possessions that others have accrued over a lifetime — affected how Corey lives today. He and Kristi consider themselves minimalists: “Our house is very streamlined,” he says.
Corey’s commission-only New World Estate Sales company specializes in “packed estates,” meaning large homes, barns, farms, and out-buildings already “packed” (or jammed, or strewn) in boxes reaching to the ceiling, and he does come across the occasional “borderline hoarder situation.”
He sorts, identifies, organizes, and labels items with handwritten price tags — no whiffs of a mere yard sale here. Then, he stages rooms and posts hundreds of pictures on his website, a practice that has earned him a nickname: The Picture Guy. One estate’s contents might boast objects, furniture, and collectibles worthy of 1,600 photographs. “I’m working on a monster in Burlington,” he says. “It’s epic.”
Prepping for buyers can take up to a month, and don’t think for a minute that it’s a glamorous biz. “Sometimes the best things are in basements or attics,” where silverfish, rats, mice, and snakes tend to hang out, he says. A vintage toy, after spending years in storage and enduring extreme temperatures, will often crumble in his hands.
Collectibles are highly prized — baseball cards and Hummel and Lladró figurines became hot again during the pandemic. Tradesmen and landscapers are always looking for extra rakes, mowers, varnishes, cleaners. Vintage costume jewelry, linens, and clothing are a big market, and Corey maintains a wish list for folks hoping to score that one particular Barbie doll. What happens to what’s left after a sale is up to the family; often, unclaimed items go to charity.
New World Estate Sales is based in the Triad, but he and Kristi have remained in Asheboro. After all, she is a zookeeper.
“My favorite articles in Our State are about small-business owners and how they grew their company from just a seed,” Corey says. And he walks the walk as well as talks the talk. Last spring, the couple and their Australian shepherd visited Atlantis Lodge in Atlantic Beach after reading about the retro, pet-friendly hotel in the magazine. When the weekend ended, they promptly booked another.
Corey Myers is an organizer, a treasure hunter, and a minimalist. And he’s an Our State reader.