Urban Barn Clothing Co. returns to U.S. 280

By Emily Sparacino

Photos by Dawn Harrison

Colleen Burback is not afraid of trying new things at her shop, Urban Barn Clothing Co.

“I’m always changing things up,” she said while unpacking a new shipment of women’s clothing on a cold Friday morning in December. “I always have to stay one step ahead, and stay up.”

"I'm always changing things up. I always have to stay one step ahead, and stay up." -Colleen Burback

“I’m always changing things up. I always have to stay one step ahead, and stay up.”
-Colleen Burback

In the last four years, embracing change has benefited Burback, 50, who moved her shop from Chace Lake in Hoover to its fourth location – a storefront in Greystone’s Bazaar 280 shopping center with Big Bad Breakfast – in early November.

“It’s a good space,” Burback said of the nearly 1,600-square-foot shop, which she revamped with new flooring, paint and outdoor awnings before reopening in late November. “I like it because it’s clean and new. This is good.”

The move also prompted Burback to re-examine and refresh her shop – its inventory, its logo and even its overall style.

“When I first started out, it was more barn, more rustic,” she said of the shop, a destination for women’s clothing, handmade jewelry and gifts, particularly candles and bath products. “Now, I’m going more urban, brighter, sleeker.”

Burback shops for her inventory at markets in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, and tries to stock her shop with more classics than fashion fads that fizzle out shortly after they attain widespread popularity.

“I try to buy things that appeal to everybody,” she said. “I don’t do a lot of wild things. (I find) things you can wear more than a year.”

She is also mindful of her customers’ budgets when pricing her inventory.

“I don’t do boutique pricing,” she said. “Most of the clothing in here is under $40.”

Burback said she doesn’t order the same thing more than once, allowing customers to feel they are purchasing unique items each time they come to Urban Barn.

All jewelry sold at Urban Barn is handmade locally. A sister team that makes jewelry for the shop brings stones from Honduras to make their original pieces, Burback said.

“I get new inventory all the time,” she said.

Bath and body products and candles made locally by Heavenly Scents are popular items at Urban Barn.

“Our Bath Bombs are a hit,” Burback said, adding the products are made with soy and essential oils, meaning people with allergies can use them, too.

Bath Bombs are $6 each or four for $20.

Urban Barn also carries select shoes, including various styles of boots.

Burback first opened Urban Barn in October 2012 in the Inverness Corners shopping center of U.S. 280.

Prior to that, she operated a store in Brook Highland called Serendipity, where local artists and vendors rented space to sell their pieces.

Burback’s husband, Jeff, worked for the railroad.

“He got a promotion to go to Florida, so I sold that store,” she said of Serendipity.

The couple’s plans changed when Jeff found out he had Parkinson’s Disease. They decided to stay in Alabama, and Colleen started thinking about opening another shop.

“I had to do something,” she said. “I thought, ‘I’m going to try it out.’”

She ran Urban Barn in the Inverness Corners location for a year, and then moved to a space next to Taziki’s Mediterranean Café in The Village at Lee Branch shopping center off U.S. 280, where she stayed for the next three years.

Knowing she had many customers commuting to Urban Barn from Hoover, Colleen decided to try a space in Chace Lake.

Parking became an issue for her shop, and some customers asked her to come back to the 280 area. Eight months after her move to Hoover, she did just that.

“I’m happy to be back on 280,” she said. “This is it.”

Urban Barn Clothing Co. is located at 5361 U.S. 280 S., Suite 108.

Store hours are Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The shop is closed Monday.

For more information, call (205) 451-8888, email theurbanbarnbham@gmail.com or visit Urbanbarnclothingco.com.