Recovery Hardware

Discover how a female-owned hardware business changed the path for people in recovery and helped transform a community.

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.

Presale Available Soon!


Join Gina and learn more about Recovery Hardware.

Pre-launch Book Reading

August 20 · 12-2pm

Join Gina in her hometown library
700 Lincoln Ave., Louisville, OH 44641

The Book Launch!

September 13 · 5:30-7:30 PM

Gina will be selling and signing books and will donate the proceeds to WWAS.

Hosted by Michael Moore, Daren Thomas, & Schroeder Stribling—Alumni of Whitman-Walker Addiction Services (WWAS)  

Whitman-Walker at LIZ
The Corner · 1701 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009


Crazy Aunt Helens Book Signing and Brunch

September 17 · 1-3pm

Join Gina at Crazy Aunt Helens
Brunch 1pm · Book Signing 2pm 

713 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003 


National Cooperative Bank

October 10

Private signing and reading. Not open to the public.

Red Emma’s Book Signing

October (TBD)

Join Gina at Red Emma’s
3128 Greenmount Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21218

About the Author

Gina Schaefer

CEO and Co-Founder, A Few Cool Hardware Stores

Gina Schaefer is the founder and CEO of over a dozen hardware stores in Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, and the surrounding areas. As a member of the Ace Hardware Cooperative, Gina leads a multimillion-dollar business that employs more than 250 people and has begun a transfer of ownership through an ESOP to her teammates. Her big passion lies in developing urban markets, supporting small businesses, and helping women to succeed in all aspects of the hardware industry.

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