Rose Blumkin: The Inspirational Story of Nebraska Furniture Mart Founde

Estimated read time 4 min read
Omaha World-Herald
BirthplaceMinsk, Belarus
BusinessNebraska Furniture Mart
Year Founded1937
AcquisitionBerkshire Hathaway (1983)
Philanthropic InterestsEducation, healthcare
LegacySuccessful entrepreneur, beloved community figure

Rose Blumkin, also known as “Mrs. B,” was a successful entrepreneur who founded Nebraska Furniture Mart, a retail furniture store that would become one of the largest in the United States. She was born on December 3, 1893, in Minsk, Belarus, and immigrated to the United States with her husband, Isadore Blumkin, in 1917.

After arriving in the US, Rose and her husband started a small secondhand furniture store in Omaha, Nebraska. Over time, the business grew and eventually became Nebraska Furniture Mart, which opened its doors in 1937. The store was an immediate success, and its reputation for offering quality products at affordable prices quickly spread throughout the region.

Despite facing various challenges, including competition from larger retailers and the Great Depression, Mrs. B persevered and continued to expand the business. She eventually handed over control of the company to her children, but remained involved in its operations until her death in 1998.

Mrs. B was known for her strong work ethic, savvy business sense, and warm personality. She was beloved by her employees and customers alike, and was often referred to as the “Queen of Furniture.” Her success in business made her one of the wealthiest women in Nebraska, with a net worth estimated to be in the millions at the time of her death.

In addition to her business accomplishments, Mrs. B was also a generous philanthropist who supported various causes, including education and healthcare. Her legacy lives on today, as Nebraska Furniture Mart continues to thrive and serve customers across the Midwest.

Overall, Rose Blumkin was a remarkable entrepreneur who built a successful business from humble beginnings. Her wealth and success were a testament to her hard work, determination, and unwavering commitment to providing quality products and exceptional customer service.

Here is a timeline of Rose Blumkin’s life:

  • 1893: Rose Blumkin is born in Minsk, Belarus.
  • 1917: Rose and her husband, Isadore Blumkin, immigrate to the United States and start a small secondhand furniture store in Omaha, Nebraska.
  • 1937: Nebraska Furniture Mart opens its doors and becomes an immediate success, known for its quality products and affordable prices.
  • 1941-1945: Nebraska Furniture Mart faces challenges during World War II, including shortages of materials and competition from larger retailers.
  • 1950s-1960s: The business continues to grow, with new locations opening in Iowa and Kansas.
  • 1983: Nebraska Furniture Mart is acquired by Berkshire Hathaway, the investment firm led by Warren Buffett.
  • 1998: Rose Blumkin passes away at the age of 104, leaving behind a legacy as an inspirational entrepreneur and philanthropist.
  • 2003: A new flagship location of Nebraska Furniture Mart opens in Omaha, spanning 450,000 square feet and offering a wide range of home furnishings and appliances.
  • 2015: Nebraska Furniture Mart opens its third location in The Colony, Texas, featuring over 1.5 million square feet of retail space.
  • Present: Nebraska Furniture Mart continues to thrive as one of the largest furniture retailers in the United States, with a strong reputation for quality products, exceptional customer service, and competitive pricing.

Here are 5 interesting facts about Rose Blumkin:

  1. Rose Blumkin was illiterate and never learned to read or write, yet she built a successful business empire through her hard work and determination.
  2. Despite facing competition from larger retailers, Rose Blumkin never compromised on the quality of her products or customer service, which helped her to build a loyal customer base.
  3. Rose Blumkin was known for her sense of humor and outgoing personality, which made her a beloved figure among her employees and customers.
  4. Rose Blumkin was a generous philanthropist who supported various causes, including education and healthcare.
  5. Rose Blumkin’s legacy continues to live on today, as Nebraska Furniture Mart remains a thriving business and a testament to her entrepreneurial spirit.

Here are 5 quotes from Rose Blumkin:

  1. “I am not rich, I am not poor, but I have a lot of common sense.”
  2. “The best way to succeed in business is to work hard and treat your customers right.”
  3. “I never gave up, even when times were tough. You have to keep going if you want to succeed.”
  4. “Money isn’t everything. You have to give back and help those who are less fortunate.”
  5. “I never forgot where I came from. I started with nothing, but through hard work and determination, I was able to build a successful business.”

You May Also Like

More From Author