Tune in to WOL 1450 AM, 95.9 FM and WOL Live Stream on August 31 at 10:30 am EDT for Everything Co-op, hosted by Vernon Oakes. This week, Vernon interviews Gina Schaefer, Founder and Co-Owner of A Few Cool Hardware Stores. Gina and Vernon will discuss her book, Recovery Hardware: A Nuts and Bolts Story About Building a Business, Restoring Community, and Rebuilding Lives.
Gina Schaefer is the founder and co-owner of 13 Ace Hardware stores in Washington, DC and Maryland. She is a professional speaker and storyteller, engaging audiences on topics that include competing in a male-dominated field, building a solid corporate culture, business succession planning, and all things small business.
Recovery Hardware chronicles Schaefer’s experiences building a business while learning from non-traditional teachers like folks from the recovery community and returning citizens. She serves as an advocate and spokesperson for causes directly related to raising wages, anti-monopoly legislation, and small business development.
When she moved into a forlorn neighborhood that needed a hardware store, she built one. When she thought the recovery community needed businesses to believe in them, she became one. When she suggested that inequality could be helped with business ownership, she began selling hers to her team.
Gina serves as board chair for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and is a CCA Global Partners’ Board of Directors member. She spent nine years on the corporate board of Ace Hardware and 12 with the House of Ruth. She draws her inspiration from fellow entrepreneurs who strive to be creative, think differently, and help make a difference.