May 2018
Homeplace & Community

Farm to Fabulous

Find a little bit of everything at The Farm Company in Columbiana.

 

Robin Robinson and Shannon Hobbs are the owners of The Farm Company.

"Hey, y’all, come on in!" is the greeting you get when you walk through the doors at The Farm Company in Columbiana. A unique and eclectic store with a little bit of everything, it has an atmosphere that is relaxed and homey with a touch of something you can’t quite put your finger on. What would you expect from a store with the motto, "We take it from farm to fabulous!"?

Shannon Hobbs and Robin Robinson had no intentions of opening a store, much less building the inventory that is in it.

"We were having lunch with our teaching director from Community Bible Study, Marsha Parsons, and Children’s Director Cindy Milner to discuss the youth and taking over that core group (that we did not do by the way!)," Robinson explained. "I started looking around the building and noticing the store fronts built inside – kinda like a quaint little street store front.

"I asked Mrs. Marsha what it was. She told me they were little stores and then proceeds to tell me I should open one. I told her I didn’t want to open a store, my baby was about to graduate high school, and I would have freedom!

"Shannon piped up and said that it would be fun.

"Let me explain why that is funny. Shannon has around 150 chickens she adores and she is a homebody!

"I told her that she didn’t like to leave home. She replied she would for this.

"So, two days later we signed a lease on a 14-by-2 space. On May 6, 2016, we opened The Farm Company, LLC."

By July, they knew they needed a larger space, It just so happened that a spot across the street opened up.

August 2016, the girls closed to move and, Nov. 10, 2016, reopened with 1,400 square feet.

The spring gardening table at The Farm Company.

 

"We had $32 in the bank and remodeled the whole store because God provided it all!" Hobbs said. "You should have seen it! It looked like ‘Shawshank Redemption’ in here with us hauling buckets of plaster out to the dumpster.

"Robin kept saying, ‘I wonder what is behind this paneling?’ I would say, ‘You know what it is. It is brick!’ She loves to tear things apart to see what it is hiding!"

The Farm Company is in the old Columbiana Feed and Seed and was also once Stricklin’s Department Store. The most recognizable thing about The Farm Company is the hen logo and hen price tags … hen, not rooster! These girls are chicken crazy! Remember, Hobbs has around 150 … and Robinson has 15. They love farm life, but they get plum giddy around spring when it is baby chick time.

"We call and harass Todd [George] and Jamie [Griffin, manager] at [Mid-State Farmers] Co-op in Columbiana about what they are getting and when it will be there," Robinson laughed. "They feed our addiction!"

"Chickens are like potato chips. You can’t have just one – or one breed!" Hobbs added.

They even sell their fresh eggs at the store.

This year, Robinson added sheep on her mini farm. She has already bent Griffin’s ear about all the things she is going to need to keep them healthy and happy.

"Of course, Jamie and Todd will be there ready to assist as always," Robinson stated, laughing at herself. "They are so patient with us."

Hobbs was a trim carpenter by trade and Robinson has done a little bit of everything from landscaping to working in paper mills.

 

Shannon and Robin with their Prayer Tree. To them, The Farm Company is more than a business; they consider it their ministry.

   

The most noticeable thing about these two ladies is their love for Jesus. That is the main focus of their business – they prefer to call it their ministry. Hobbs is quick to let you know that God provides everything they need for the store and then some.

"We were told about a prayer tree in a store in Tennessee," Robinson recalled. "It stuck in our minds. So we made our own out of a dead corkscrew willow Shannon had by her barn. It has been such a blessing to pray for our customers and their needs.

"We know this is why we are here on Main Street in Columbiana."

Some of the items at The Farm Company have to be seen to be believed, but you will be taken back to grandma’s house and papa’s barn with your first stroll around the store. These ladies take things you would never expect and make them into items you can’t leave without buying.

"We take other people’s junk and make what we like out of it," Robinson stated. "You would be surprised at the goodies we come across looking through someone’s trip to the county landfill. They come by to see us before they go. This is recycling at its finest!"

Pickin’ in Fyffe for items to make into treasures. Of course, their motto is: “We take it from farm to fabulous!”

 
   

Not only does The Farm Company carry items made by its owners but also other local artisans, plus things customers specifically requested. From gourmet items to handcrafted soaps and lotions, you are sure to find what you are looking for at The Farm Company.

1818 Farms soaps, lotions and bath products; Merry Cheese Crisps; Jenifer’s Kitchen Pepper Jelly; Melony Allen art; Raspberry Potpourri handmade jewelry; and Soap Commander Shaving products are just a few of the items they carry made by Alabama artisans.

Robinson is very excited about working with Black Belt Treasures in Camden to get some of the artisans from that area, including Gee’s Bend Quilters, to have their products available at The Farm Company.

"I love to see what people can pull out of their hearts and make with their hands," Robinson stated. "It just fascinates me. In our area, I want to shed a light on their gifts."

Not to be diminished in any way, Shannon Hobbs and Robin Robinson are artisans in their own rights. They see possibility in everything and it shows in their attitude. From drops of wood cut during a construction project to old chenille bedspreads that are falling apart, you never know what these two are up to or what they will come up with next!

 

Angela Treadaway is a freelance writer from Columbiana.