You’ve seen people sporting the trademark logo all over Birmingham. Now you can visit Original B’ham Apparel Co.’s flagship store, open just in time for Christmas shopping. Find it at The Battery in the historic BEBCO building on the corner of 2nd Ave. S. and 22nd St. (Bonus: you can grab a pint from Birmingham District Brewing Co. while you’re there.)
Original B’ham Apparel Co. began with a bumper sticker in 2013—a fun side art project for Jason and Andee Johnson. The design? A play on Birmingham’s nickname, the letter B next to an illustration of a literal ham. B’ham. They gave the decals to friends. People started asking for them, so they started selling them.
“Then they started asking for t-shirts, mugs and hats, and it grew from there.”Jason Johnson
That’s how Jason, who’s spent most of his career in the insurance industry, Andee and their four children began the family business.
Original B’ham Apparel Co. sells products online and in various local retail outlets, but the store at The Battery is the Johnsons’ first brick and mortar store. It sells t-shirts, hoodies, hats, decals, koozies, doormats, Christmas ornaments and more—all bearing its trademark logo and other Birmingham-inspired designs.
“What started out as a fun little project turned into something we never imagined. Five years later, we’re still going.”Jason Johnson
Historic Location, Good Neighbors
The Battery is in the heart of Birmingham proper, down the street from Pepper Place and a hop over the bridge from Northside. The development is a revival of a two-story structure built in 1910 that historically served as a battery warehouse and engine service shop.
Original B’ham Apparel Co. joins the family-owned Birmingham District Brewing Co. and the local boutique fitness studio True40 at The Battery. More offices, retail stores and restaurants, including Wasabi Juan’s, are on the way.
The Johnsons handle every aspect of Original B’ham Apparel Co., from new product designs to operations. That holds true for the interior design of the store.
“It’s all homegrown, and that’s something we take a lot of pleasure in.”Jason Johnson
Working with Ward Neely of SRS Real Estate Partners (the developer behind The Battery), the Johnsons chose exposed ceilings to show off the building’s 108 years of Birmingham history.
The family was resourceful, too. The homey wooden table that displays products in the center of the store came from the Johnsons’ attic.
Best Sellers and Gift Ideas
Original B’ham Apparel Co.’s best seller remains the classic, short-sleeve tee with the trademark logo, the letter B beside a ham. The trucker hat with the trademark is a close second.
You’ll also find the beloved design on just about every accessory you can think of, including pennants.
Birmingham locals love the new “James Spann Is My Homeboy” t-shirts and mugs. (Makes sense. When the weather gets scary, you know who you turn to.)
Original B’ham Apparel Co. carries other designs, too, like a version of the logo that spells out B’ham in all letters. When it comes down to it, it’s about what speaks to you as a local.
If you want to celebrate Little River Canyon, Moss Rock or Oak Mountain, Original B’ham Apparel Co. has you covered. If you simply want to declare, “There ain’t no ham like Birmingham,” you can do it with a t-shirt or a doormat.
How fun would it be to tuck assorted Birmingham decals into greeting cards or care packages for those who may be missing “Ham Sweet Home”?
Original B’ham Apparel Co. is open now for holiday shopping, Tuesday and Wednesday noon to 5pm, and Thursday through Saturday 11am to 7pm.
About The Battery
To learn about renting space at The Battery, visit thebatterybhm.com.