Bertina Green, Walsh Shea community/vendor relations coordinator and a client of LAOF’s Frank Denkins (shown on left)
Seventy-nine year old Frank Denkins, owner of L.A. Office Furniture on Crenshaw Blvd., has been a fixture in Los Angeles’ business community for 60 years. His first bout with entrepreneurialism began at the age of nine, selling Los Angeles Sentinel newspapers. By the time he was 22 in 1956, he opened his first official business, a service station in Leimert Park.
“To get started in business, it requires an understanding of trial and error,” Denkins told the Sentinel in a recent interview.
“I’m a third generation entrepreneur. My grandfather had the first barbershop in the city of Tucson in 1902. My father was in the auto detailing business. My grandmother owned land in Perris, California. She had 300 acres at one time and she sold it acre by acre.
“I saw all that growing up and I felt that I needed to be an entrepreneur because that’s the way they were.”
With ownership in his blood, Denkins never considered not being his own boss. Not even when he had to file bankruptcy.
“I got involved in the ’84 Olympics and it kind of took a toll, financially on me,” Denkins explained.
“When I filed bankruptcy, everything started turning backwards on me. So, I said, ‘what am I going to do now?’ ‘Do I get a job…’”
But so entrenched was Denkins with being his own person, that getting a job was out of the question.
“I started thinking about importing furniture,” said Denkins.
He started out selling used furniture. In 1991, he opened L.A. office furniture on La Cienega. He moved to 7625 Crenshaw Blvd. in 2008, where he sells both new and recycled office furniture.
“We have established ourselves well with organizations and businesses like the Urban League, Crenshaw Christian Center, First AME and Walsh Shea, which is the contractor for the rail line,” Denkins said.
For anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit, Denkins has the following advice:
“You’re on your own,” he said.
“And, you have to be willing to be on your own. You cannot wait for anyone to motivate you, that has to come from within…”
L.A. Office Furniture is located at 7625 Crenshaw Blvd. in Los Angeles, CA. For more information, please visit www.laofficefurniture.com