By Veronica Mackey
Local businessman Frank Denkins has been in the office furniture business for more than 2 decades, supplying much needed furniture as well as jobs within L.A.’s black community. I worked for him in 1994, when I was pregnant with my second child, now 22.
He was around 60 then, and one of the hardest working men I’ve ever met. He was proud of his business and the people he was blessed to help, and it showed. It was there that I learned the difference between mahogany, walnut and cherry wood.
That was at his old location on La Cienega, where he spent 14 years, running his shop with wife Rosemary.
Recently Denkins announced he would be retiring and closing the doors at L.A. Office Furniture on Crenshaw, just north of Inglewood, by mid July. He told the Sentinel he is saying good bye after enduring a bad economy, leasing issues and multiple location changes.
If Denkins is anything, he’s a survivor. As the only known black owner of an office furniture store in L.A. he’s also a history maker.
Denkins was a real life “George Jefferson” in the 1970s and 1980s—having owned 12 dry cleaners, including one in Inglewood at Manchesteer and 5th Avenue.
At 82 years young, the serial entrepreneur says he plans to devote leisure with his wife and teach others how to succeed in business. Having a strong work ethic and realizing there are no shortcuts is the message he wants to share—especially to black entrepreneurs.
Passing on his years of wisdom seems the most natural step to take after a near lifetime of entrepreneurship. Best wishes on your retirement, Frank. And thanks for never giving up!