Rose Marie's was established in August of 1958 by Rose Marie and Leo Hillenbrand, who were looking for a way to help support their missionary sons in Guatemala and South Dakota.
Rose Marie (Kollker) Hillenbrand began a religious articles shop with the experience she had as manager of the Gift Shop in Stephens Department Store, downtown Evansville in the late 1920's. Leo refinished an old wardrobe they purchased for $5 for their shop and it continues to serve as a display cabinet and as a memory in the main entrance of the shop.
Their first buying trip was to the Louisville Gift Show, where they started with only $200. Every sale went back into the kitty to purchase more merchandise. Soon the entire front room of their home was filled with religious statues and related items.
Many customers still talk of the times Rose Marie would invite them to the kitchen for some of Leo's homemade vegetable soup. With Leo's support, and Rose Marie's business expertise, the little gift shop grew, and grew, and grew.
On January 1, 1971, Rose Marie and Leo retired and their son Bill purchased the business. Rose Marie's has continued to expand over the years, serving first the religious market, then the gift industry, home décor, art and collectibles.
In the spring of 1991, Rose Marie's moved to the beautiful Monticello building. Monticello was built in 1912 by the Boehne family and is in the National Register of Historic Places.