A meeting of the original California Retail Hardware Association in Santa Cruz dated February 4, 1936.

How CRHWA Is Unique

CRHWA is a community of independent hardware stores, home centers, and lumberyards dedicated to helping each other succeed. 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
  • California specific news and information
  • Exposure to California specific products
  • Discounts within our Professional Partner Network

Today’s California Retail Hardware Association

Today’s California Retail Hardware Association was inspired by conversations with independent owners across the state. Two critical themes surfaced in nearly every dialog. The struggles hardware retailers face are rarely unique and the community is fragmented. We’re here to fill this void with resources and advocacy.

Gone are the days when your biggest competitor was down the street or at the edge of town. Now the competition is literally in everyone’s pocket. Exhaustive selection, same day delivery, and one click ordering are serious threats from Amazon. Strategies from the past are not going to work 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 trying to solve the same problems. California is different and we understand that.

The store down the street will become your partner as will a network of suppliers and partners 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 Small Business Protection Act

The Small Business Protection Act is a list of laws that are currently causing the most harm to small businesses and our suggested remedy. These simple changes would protect the small business community without altering the integrity of the law. 

About Our Founders

The CRHWA was founded by two industry veterans that have witnessed and experienced the struggles of running a successful hardware store first hand.

Aaron Hichman


Aaron grew up working in his family’s hardware store in Santa Ana before moving to the wholesale side of the industry. For the last decade he has been involved in the insurance business.


Matthew Rogers purchased the store he worked at while attending college, expanded to multiple locations, and downsized back to one store. He is part owner of Papenhausen Hardware in San Francisco.

Become a Member

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

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