The founder of the Swedish furniture giant is Ingvar Kamprad. According to IKEA’s website, he got his start selling matches at age 5 in southern Sweden and by age 7 was buying them in bulk in Stockholm to sell at a mark-up back home.
Other fun facts:
– Kamprad started IKEA at the age of 17, with money given to him by his father as a reward for studying. He only began selling furniture in the business three years later. Originally there was no store, it was a mail-order business.
– The name IKEA is made up of the initials of his name “plus the first letters of Elmtaryd (E) and Agunnaryd (A), the farm and village where he grew up”.
– The first IKEA catalogue was published in 1951.
– The first store opened in Sweden in 1958.