Kirsten Pellicer began working in her parents’ hardware store when she was a 14-year-old middle school student.

When it opened in 1990, Ace Hardware Longmont (Colo.) measured 8,000 sq. ft. It has since more than tripled in size to 26,000 sq. ft., while developing a significant lawn and garden business. It has also built a reputation as grilling headquarters, and embraced a housewares department that has effectively expanded its customer base to include more women.

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