Our History

Where did Genius come from?

Genius was born in 1898 as Aaron Aloysius Geniesse.

Mr Geniesse (pronounced Genius...really) grew up in tiny Marinette, Wisconsin on the western shores of Green Bay.  As a youngster he helped run the small family general store.  After heading to Milwaukee and attending Wisconsin State Teachers College (now UWM), he returned to teach in his hometown.  Often he joked that he used to be the Superintendent of Public Schools of Marinette, making sure everyone understood that he was the lone teacher at the town’s one room school.

WWI intervened.   Upon returning he started a family and found himself traveling the state as a salesman in the office supply industry.  Mr Geniesse opened a school supply division, which was phased out.  Being familiar with the school supply business, he seized the opportunity and in 1945 Genius Supply Company was born in downtown Milwaukee.

"Red" Shamburek entered into the picture.   Mr Geniesse's daughter Carol and Red met while at UW Madison, after he had returned from serving in WWII.  After graduating, the two were married and Red began at Genius Supply.  He was instrumental in developing the first Genius Catalog and was the creator of the Genius School House Logo.

After many successful years Red’s son Bill (third generation) also a UW Madison graduate, joined the business and added to the Genius Catalog presence.  In 1999 Genius went online with GeniusSupply.com and entered into the world of  E-Commerce.

Many thanks to all of our loyal customers, who have made Genius what it is today!