Local family-run hardware store thrives after decades of female leadership

Updated: May. 9, 2019 at 5:17 PM EDT
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INDIAN TRAIL, NC (WBTV) - In Indian Trail, the local hardware store is a bit more than meets the eye, with three local women leading the way in what is normally a male-dominated corner of retail.

“I’m thankful that we can work together, and we do get along,” 25-year-old Hanna Wingo says.

She’s the youngest of three generations of women keeping doors open and shelves stocked, since 1984.

“It’s a lot of family time, but I think we all enjoy it,” she says.

The store is a community staple for all things paint to pliers.

“People in the community know all of us,“ Wingo says. “So, it’s kind of like, ‘All right Hanna, you’re next.’”

Her mom and grandma brought her, the youngest, on within the past few years.

“It’s been good once we added some new blood,” mom Karen Wingo says.

The women say that generational input gives them the edge against big box stores and online shopping.

“Being able to meet the challenges of the business together, having that in common,” grandma Mae Workman says.

“We work hard, long hours,” Karen Wingo says. “That’s what it takes.”

And working hard includes, they say, letting their majority male customers know, they’ve got it covered.

“They’re kind of looking at me,” Hanna Wingo says. “And ‘Yes, I do know what I’m talking about.’”

The women are coming up with new ideas like pop-up markets outside the store, and different events to keep things going, encouraging people to continuing to shop local here in the area. The next one is June 8.

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