The most iconic companies in America achieved their status by changing with the times and keeping their focus on quality. Modernica, headquartered on a five-acre site in Los Angeles for the past 30 years, is among those triumphant businesses.
In 1979, Modernica established itself as a high-quality wooden furniture manufacturer. Each piece was handmade, one-by-one — a tradition that the company still practices today. Founders Jay and Frank Novak were proud to establish a family business committed to craftsmanship, and that commitment only helped them grow over the next few decades.
After ten years of thriving in furniture design and production, Modernica decided to branch out and expand their repertoire to include upholstered pieces. As usual, high quality was their top priority, which is probably why keeping the expansion under family management and at the same location was never in question.
This decision led them to develop a unique design that’s still used today. Even better, customers can choose from a whopping 30 fabrics to adorn those pieces when they go to put in their orders.
Bold Steps for the 21st Century
Never a company to rest on their laurels, Modernica made another bold move in 2000. Realizing the enduring popularity of high-pressure molded fiberglass chairs that were a huge success in the 50s, the company decided to breathe new life into the original design.
Still using the same Los Angeles location for production, they acquired all of the specialized equipment and original shell presses from Century Plastics, the company who first manufactured the fiberglass chairs. To make sure every detail was faithful to the original, they brought in Sol Fingerhut and Irv Green — the same two guys who invented the unique technology 60 years earlier — to oversee the first production run.
Each molded chair has exactly the feel, texture, design, and quality of the original fiberglass shell chairs of the 1950s. The styles have since been produced in every imaginable color and continue to be enjoyed by kids and adults in home, classroom, and business settings.
Outside the Furniture Box
Having had so many victories in the furniture realm, the company later decided to launch a line of ceramics called Case Study Ceramics. Motivated by the creative era in architecture and home furnishing design that exploded post-WW2, Case Study Ceramics are made by hand, high fired, shaped with a jiggering tool, and perfectly finished on an authentic potter’s wheel. Not one piece of the collection is slip cast molded. The line includes simple bowls and planters, often supported by a metal or wood frame, and is among the most respected and cherished pottery in the world.
The Latest From Modernica
Scheduled to launch on their webstore on October 18th, 2019, Modernica’s latest is a fun SpongeBob SquarePants 20th anniversary furniture collection. They collaborated with Chicago-based visual artist Louis De Guzman and international music artist J Balvin on each of its pieces, including an original print daybed as well as upholstered and, of course, fiberglass chairs.