It all began in 1924. Anna and Joseph Brenner borrowed $2500 from their sisters and brothers, and rented a storefront on Plane Street in Newark, NJ… Brenner Desk was born.
They bought used roll top desks, refinished them, and the company grew. By 1940, they had bought the original storefront and every other one on the block. In 1959, my father signed an exclusive deal with Herman Miller – one of the finest manufacturers and leaders in research and design – to launch a decorative design approach to interiors.
At 18-years-old, I was married and we had a daughter. After a year of the successful selling of baby pictures door-to-door for Americana Photos, I entered the family business with my father and brother, Edward, who was now working there as well.
I was given the opportunity to learn all aspects of the business, but it quickly became apparent that sales, marketing, and deal-making suited me best.
In 1975, commercial real estate brokers needed fast-track programming, space planning, and construction estimating prior to their clients signing leases… I seized the opportunity with my brother and created Brenner Business Interiors, which was to become the largest and most successful furniture dealership with an in-house architectural design firm, doing 40 million dollars in furniture sales and over 3 million in design.
Edward and I sold Brenner Business Interiors in 1983 to Ira Rennert/Renco Holdings. I ran the company for Rennert for 10 years, and then resigned so that I could be with my boys and their mother in Santa Fe, NM. It was then that I formed Robert S Brenner Co., marking my transition as an independent furniture consultant to the industry.