Inside Republic Furniture

Three generations of Rosens have been in the furniture business.
Republic Furniture was a retail store in Pittsburgh started by Morris Rosen where his son Leonard learned all about fine furniture.
After a football scholarship at USC brought Leonard to LA and he met his darling Eve from Michigan he couldn’t stay in Pittsburgh. They opened a retail store in Long Beach in 1948, then went into wholesale furniture in 1952.

Leonard built one of the first showrooms on Robertson Blvd. He then carried prestigious lines and was a sales representative for the 11 Western states. Eve raised 4 children and also represented several accessory lines!

Leonard had worked as sales manager for other upholstery companies and developed a concept for upholstery for designers to customize catalogue photographs. In 1963 Leonard and Eve decided to manufacture chairs, at first outsourcing them. They had a space at the new Los Angeles Furniture Mart. In 1963 they bought an upholstery manufacturing company called Leons and renamed it Republic Furniture Mfg., Inc. as a living memorial to his father and to expand and control their manufacturing to a complete line of upholstered furniture.

Republic Furniture used the most technologically advanced frame construction and springing methods and created the specification standard still used today-hardwood frames double dowelled with corner blocks, no sag (4 ½”spacing with insulated steel wire) or hand tied springing.

Karen Rosen Hirsch started doing the payroll for Republic while she was an interior design student at Woodbury College. After school Karen worked for a hospital design company then S. Harris fabrics showroom, then a model home design firm. She continued to do payroll and bookkeeping for Republic. In 1970 she joined the company full time and became their sales representative calling on designers for model homes, residence and contract furnishings.

Judy Rosen joined the family business in 1976. It was the beginning of her third career and having been around the business all her life the best as she likes working with the creativity found in the industry. Karen and Judy were two of the first NEWH members and were both active in growing the organization in Los Angeles.

Of course hospitality design was not unknown to Republic. Len tells the story of going to Parvin’s when he first started manufacturing and having a chair thrown against the wall to see if it would hold up in Las Vegas. It did. He also went to Bugsy Siegal frisking room in the Flamingo with one of the Hilton people when they took over the hotel.

Privately held since 1963

It all started with Design. And still is.
  • 1963Republic Furniture is born
    After years as a sales rep. with one of the first wholesale showroom s on Robertson Blvd. Leonard and Eve Rosen started manufacturing chairs in downtown LA. He also had a space at the new California Furniture Mart. When Karen was at Woodbury College, she designed the elevator lobbies for that building.
  • 1966Work for designers starting
    Bought Leon’s Upholstery-moved to Montebello to manufacture sofas, occasional chairs, sleepers, etc. Concept of standardizing rails for the Republic line. Biggest customers were model home designers-CEI, Color Design Art, Laura Merlo to name a few.
  • 1970sHollywood work
    Judy joined the family business. The William Morris Agency office were furnished by Republic and then the studio executive offices for Columbia (Sony), Warner Bros., Disney and Universal. “What’s Up Doc” with Barbra and Ryan featured a sleep sofa Republic made.
  • 1980sHospitality Network
    Judy and Karen were founding members and officers as NEWH (Network of Executive Women in Hospitality) was formed. The upholstery for the White House scenes in the Hunt for the Red October came from Republic.
  • 1990sOfficials & More Hollywood
    Mayor Bradley’s office was redecorated with Republic seating. Eve passed away after a long cancer battle. Mira Costa-Disneyland Hotel, Japan: Republic’s largest overseas project so far.
  • 2000sVegas, baby, Vegas
    Luis Sanchez joins Republic as plant superintendent. The manufacturing moves to Vernon, CA. Chairs for City Center, Aria and Vdara and later for Bellagio.
  • 2011Always remembered
    Leonard Rosen founder of Republic and one of the most respected members of the furniture community passed away.
  • 201350th Anniversary
    Republic Furniture Mfg. Inc. celebrated 50 years of working with the most creative people in the interior design and project purchasing community around the USA.

Testimonials

What others say about us
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  • Having worked with Republic Furniture for over 20 years on various projects, I take comfort in knowing that their attention to details and the quality of the furniture I receive will always be top-notch.  They have never missed a deadline, and my orders arrive in great shape as they properly wrap and protect the items for shipment.  I will continue to hire Republic Furniture for my hospitality, clubhouse, and high-end residential projects!
    Astrid Bernier, Principal
    Bernier Enterprise