The Truly Amazing Women Radio Show

December19episode

Is Hardware Just for Boys? No way, says Gina Schaefer — ACE's Shining Star


Owning a string of hardware stores in downtown Washington, D.C., isn’t what you’d expect Gina Schaefer to say she does for a living when you meet the perky, petite 40something.

But she and husband Marc Friedman proudly stand at the helm of a $19 million company they founded in 2002, which owns and manages 9 ACE Hardware locations in DC and Baltimore.

Why did a woman who graduated with a degree in political science, and worked for a few years at the Children’s Defense Fund, get into the hardware business? “We were young and dumb,” told me when we first met. But the real answer is more likely equal parts necessity, opportunity, humility — and true grit.

We’ll asked 10 questions to this Truly Amazing Woman about her career, her lessons learned, and advice she has for other women who are making strides and changing lives, including:

  • How does she work so well with her husband Marc
  • How she handles being a powerful woman in a traditionally-male dominated, masculine industry like hardware
  • What part of her business is she most passionate about
  • What aspect of her career tested her the most
  • And what was a major crossroads—and how did she handle it?

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