Gina Schaefer

Founder and CEO
A Few Cool Hardware Stores

Gina Schaefer is founder and CEO of A Few Cool Hardware Stores. Gina’s big passion is for developing urban markets, supporting small businesses and helping women to succeed in all aspects of the hardware industry. A self-proclaimed “localist,” Gina has tirelessly focused on the “Return to Main Street” movement in Washington, DC to promote Shop Local campaigns and community revitalization in urban areas. She and her husband are members of the Ace Hardware Cooperative and own and operate 13 hardware stores in the District, Baltimore, Alexandria, Virginia and Maryland’s Montgomery County.

Gina has received numerous accolades for her many accomplishments, including: recipient of the Women Who Mean Business award from the Washington Business Journal of 2009, recognized as an industry Top Gun in 2011 by the National Retail Hardware Association, honored by Profiles in Diversity Journal as one of its Women Worth Watching in 2013 and recognized by Hardware and Building Supply Dealer as one of 14 of the 2016 “People of the Year.” She also serves on the Corporate Board of CCA Global Partners and the nonprofit board of The Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

When her busy schedule allows, Gina likes to relax by making greeting cards (she’s a big believer in the power of the written note), kayaking, taking spin classes, traveling, reading and, of course, mentoring other small business owners.