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Hershey teen vintage furniture collector turned successful furniture store owner shares his story

  • Aniya Faulcon
David Rosenwasser and Jeremy Bilotti at Rarify’s showroom.

 Bruno Andrews

David Rosenwasser and Jeremy Bilotti at Rarify’s showroom.

Airdate: Thursday, January 5, 2023

As a teenager, David Rosenwasser, Hershey native, had a unique hobby of collecting vintage furniture. He was ostracized for his interest in that hobby as a kid but later became a successful vintage store owner and millennial design authority.

David, who is now the Co-CEO and Founder of Rarify and his colleague that he met in college studying architecture, Jeremy Bilotti, Co-CEO and Founder of Rarify joined us on The Spark Thursday to share their story and the importance of their work in the world of fast furniture.

“I got to see an Eames lounge chair when I was about twelve or thirteen-year-old and that basically sparked this amazing interest in design and architecture, which has kind of shaped where we are today.”

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Rosenwasser gained an obsession for the work of Charles and Ray Eames, 20th century modern furniture innovators. He saved money from his minimum wage job at the Hershey Pharmacy to buy his first Eames chair. After that, Rosenwasser’s obsession grew and he began searching Craigslist to find the cheapest vintage furniture pieces to restore and flip, while being a high school student.

“It was something I actually kept off to the sidelines and was a little embarrassed off because I realized it wasn’t normal or something other peers were doing,” Rosenwasser said. “What I actually found was that others around me only started taking an interest when they realized that I was actually making money from doing this and of course, that wasn’t my goal whatsoever.”

A man in the Philippines took an interest in Rosenwasser’s work and asked to buy a shipping container of his collected furniture to start a furniture store in the Philippines. He bought Rosenwasser’s entire collection, that he accumulated while in high school, for $120,000, which was the seed money for his and Bilotti’s business, Rarify.

Rarify is a company that offers authenticated furniture from modern furniture innovators in the 20th century and present day designers.

Today, Rarify’s business is held in a 40,000 sqft. warehouse and showroom space in Lebanon.

With Rarify, Rosenwasser and Bilotti are seeking to bring about change in the world of fast furniture by educating people about the benefits of buying vintage authentic furniture, how to identify high quality materials and raise awareness that there are high quality products at low price points.

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