On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier by being the first African American to play in MLB in the modern era.

On April 16, 2022, Jackie Robinson, a Rio Rancho business owner, walked away from his furniture company after a falling out with his co-owner. Robinson had $17 in his bank accounts and more than $4,000 in debt piled up because of his former co-owner.

On April 18, 2023, Robinson received the keys to his new business, the aptly named Furniture 42.

Robinson named his store to honor the baseball legend. But they have more than a name in common.

“Forty-two was based off of the number Jackie Robinson wore when he played,” Robinson said. “It also represents the adversity that he had to overcome for what he did in the world of baseball. We had to overcome that same adversity to pretty much get back into business. And so I felt that that would be a very strong representation of where we are headed and what we’re trying to do.”

Robinson was a co-owner of The Good Life at one point. The popular furniture store first launched in November 2017 at 1534 Stephanie Road in Rio Rancho, then moved to southeast Albuquerque near Central Avenue and San Mateo Boulevard in the middle of 2019. But by May 2021, they closed that location because the 1,900-square-foot building was too small to accommodate the store’s growing needs. They opened the location at 1504 Cherry Road on Sept. 1, 2021.

Less than a year later, Robinson said he had a severe falling out with his business partner.

“I actually got screwed over pretty bad. I pretty much lost everything because of a bad business partner. My wife and I started over from pretty much scratch,” Robinson said. “I found out that my business partner turned me into an employee. He used my information and changed everything, even locked a lot of money out of our bank account. I couldn’t even pay our bills.”

Robinson bounced back and was able to celebrate the soft opening of Furniture 42 on June 16. A grand opening ceremony is being planned. But opening the doors to his store on Cherry Road was a major achievement for Robinson.

“It’s very emotional. We’ve taken a lot of trips, dealt with a lot of creditors to get stuff that was placed on my name clear because it was forged information,” Robinson said. “So it’s been a heck of a road for us to clear.”

Furniture 42 offers financing, reports to the credit bureau or can do low credit check financing. It also sells all major appliances. Robinson said Furniture 42 is the only locally owned furniture store in Rio Rancho.

It is located in the same building as The Good Life was before it folded. Was that intentional?

“Oh, hell yeah,” Robinson said. “Everybody kind of looked out for us and we were able to get back on the right path. It cost us a lot of cash to get back in his building, but it’s worth it.”