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.

Order Now


Join Gina and learn more about Recovery Hardware.

DC: 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


DC: Crazy Aunt Helens Book Signing and Brunch

September 17 · 2-4pm

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

713 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003 

RSVP or call 202-750-8140

Baltimore: Canton Ace Hardware

September 20

Join Gina at Canton Ace Hardware
1022 Binney St
Baltimore, MD 21224

Arlington: National Cooperative Bank

October 11

Private signing and reading. Not open to the public.

Baltimore: Red Emma’s Book Chat & Signing

October 12

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


DC: Upstairs On 7th Book Chat & Signing

October 13 

Join Gina at Upstairs On 7th
1299 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
(E Street between 12th and, 13th St NW)
Washington, DC 20004

Dinner will start at 5:30


Alexandria: Old Town Ace Hardware

October 16  

Join Gina and Turning the Page for a book event at:

Old Town Ace Hardware
809 S Washington St
Alexandria, VA 22314

MD: Takoma Park Ace Hardware

October 22

Join Gina and Turning the Page for a book event at:

Takoma Park Ace Hardware
7001 Carroll Ave
Takoma Park, MD 20912

DC: Interview and Book Chat

October 26

Private signing and reading. Not open to the public.

Share Your Story

Inspired by Gina's book? We all have stories to tell. Is there a time that you felt like "somebody?" Or a time time that someone taught you something unexpected? We want to hear about it!

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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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