recovery hardware

Gina's Book





Book  Gina

Once a lively hub of industry and entertainment, Washington, DC’s, Logan Circle crumbled in the aftermath of the 1968 riots. Decades of neglect led to boarded-up buildings, overgrown and littered sidewalks, and widespread drug use and addiction.

Laid off again and tired of the tech industry, Gina Schaefer needed a fresh start. Determined to bring her neighborhood back to life, Gina opened her first hardware store near Whitman-Walker’s Addiction Services program. What began as an effort to help her community recover evolved into a safe space for countless people in recovery to rebuild their lives.

Recovery Hardware shares the powerful true story of A Few Cool Hardware Stores’ CEO Gina Schaefer’s path to building an innovative business that revitalized her urban community and provided opportunities for everyone to thrive, no matter their past.

You’ll discover:

Unexpected, heartwarming, and sometimes heart-wrenching lessons from resilient employees who struggled with substance abuse.

Surprising business ethics and customer-service skills from unconventional backgrounds that you won’t find on a résumé.

How to put bravery, empathy, and trust into the backbone of your workplace culture.

Humorous insights into retail store ownership, like how to choose the right store dog or not screw up inventory.

Workforce solutions to remove obstacles for people in recovery—because you can’t judge anyone by the best or worst thing they’ve ever done.

Second chances transform communities and change lives—and they often start with one business at a time. Get Recovery Hardware and start building a better business where growth gives back.

Get Your Copy

Robert Hohman, Chairman and Co-founder, Glassdoor

"Recovery Hardware is all about taking that leap of faith in others. Gina Schaefer has kicked down doors in a field long dominated by men, so she can share a new way of doing business. She turns the spotlight on trusting those in recovery, to take a company beyond just numbers."

Stacy Mitchell, Author of The Big Box Swindle and Co-Executive Director, ILSR

"If you’ve never thought to look in the plumbing aisle or gardening department for stories of redemption and the healing power of connection, this book will forever change your sense of what locally owned, brick-and-mortar businesses do for their communities."

Andy Shallal, Founder and CEO, Busboys and Poets

"Gina Schaefer is the quintessential social entrepreneur. Through her unrelenting drive and passion for social justice and equitable business practices she has founded an enviable business model: one that does well while doing good."

5 stars


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