About - CRHWA
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Today’s California Retail Hardware Association

CRHWA is a community of independent hardware stores, home centers, and lumberyards dedicated to helping each other succeed.


The inspiration to start the Association came after conversations with independent owners who were facing new challenges across the state of California.


Gone are the days when your competitor is a store down the street. Now competition comes from the big box store at the edge of town or the online retailer that is literally in everyone’s pocket. Strategies that worked in the past are not going to be useful anymore.


The California Retail Hardware Association is a path to finding resources to ensure your continued success. Challenges will be easier to handle working with others that are trying to solve the same problems.

The store down the street will become your partner as will a network of suppliers that share the goal of making your business more competitive and successful. We believe that by working together, we can gain access to powerful resources and information not otherwise available to the individual.


The CRHWA was founded by two industry veterans that have experienced the struggles of running a successful small business first hand.


Aaron Hichman grew up working in his family’s hardware store before moving into the sales side of the industry.  Matt Rogers purchased the store he worked at while attending college, expanded to multiple locations, and downsized back to one store. He is the owner of Papenhausen Hardware in San Francisco.


The photo above is from a meeting of the original California Retail Hardware Association in Santa Cruz dated February 4, 1936.

How CRHWA Is Different

We focus exclusively on California’s hardware industry and the issues that arise with doing business in the state. We provide information from California business owners, not from sources that don’t understand the state’s unique demands, regulations, and consumers.

We Provide:

  • A network of California Business Owners
  • Professional Development Opportunities
  • Exposure to California specific products
  • Discounts with our Professional Partner Network

  • California specific news and information
  • Discussion Forum (coming soon)
  • Membership Directory (coming soon)
  • Discount to upcoming CRHWA events

Become a Member

Sign up to get more information about CRHWA and how we can help your business grow.