Dutch furniture manufacturer Kembo was established in the 1950s by the well-known designer W.H. Gispen (1890-1981). The name is a shortened version of the Dutch slogan, 'Kom Eerst Maar Bij Ons' meaning ‘Come see us first’. Upon resigning from his immensely successful eponymous furniture manufactory, Gispen , he co-founded the design manufacturing company Kembo in the early-1950s with Ru Meijer.
In the beginning, Kembo's products were designed by Gispen himself, but were produced by companies elsewhere. Commercial success, however, soon led to expansion and the construction of a factory in Veenendaal for the production of their office furniture. Characterized by a balance between shape and function, Gispen’s designs for Kembo included ergonomic steel framed pieces. One of the first pieces Gispen designed for Kembo was the Model 302 Armchair (1954), which won an award at Milan’s Triennale that same year. Other designers for Kembo included J.B. Meyer and Gerrit Veenendaal.
Sometime around 1960, Gispen left Kembo in order to pursue his interests in architecture, and at the age of seventy-nine he began drawing lessons at the Royal Academy in The Hague. Not long after Gispen's departure, Meijer left the firm as well, leaving Kembo to his three sons Sjoerd, Gelder, and Just Meijer who continued to run the company, introducing office furniture in the 1990s. Kembo was one of the first producers to offer laminated seating and injection molded plastic furniture in an office setting. Designs from this time included the Thema Conference Chair (1995), and the office program Plato (1998) both designed by NPK Industrial Design; the office program Lost Boys, (2003, Dutch Design Prize) by Khodi Feiz, which was accepted into the permanent collection of the Het Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 2004. Other contemporary designers include Wolfgang Deisig, Daniël Figuroa, Gerard Geytenbeek, and Erik Munnikhof.
In 2014, Amsterdam-based furniture label Lensvelt (est. 1962) acquired Kembo and included seven Gispen classics, including chairs 101, 103, 201, 202, 205, and the 301 Easy Chair (all 1950s), in the collection entitled WH Gispen from Kembo by Lensvelt ... with love.