In a quaint brick structure in the heart of Atlanta’s Virginia-Highland neighborhood is the most darling storefront you ever did see. With black awnings, loads of natural light, and an abundance of front porch plants, Urban Cottage, a creative lifestyle boutique, lives up to its name. The shop, co-owned and operated by mother-daughter duo Gail and Jessica, truly is an urban oasis in the bustling city.
While the boutique hasn’t always been in the location that it’s in now, it has always been a charming shopping haven. Daughter of the duo, Jessica Berinato spoke with us and describes the shop’s organic origins. “My mother Gail started Urban Cottage, Inc. almost 20 years ago. She came up with it after finding the old cottage house in Buckhead where we used to be. She thought an ‘Urban Cottage’ was a perfect dwelling. Later, I noticed that the old bookstore was leaving the [Virginia-Highland] area and the “for lease” sign was up one day on a walk. I thought maybe I would open a second Urban Cottage, but instead asked my mom to join together. I had always helped her with the shop merchandising because it was my favorite thing to do. We are now a perfect mix and in the business together!”
Even as a child, Jessica was drawn to design and says she was born an entrepreneur, “I have always loved helping with designing; seriously, since I was really young! I would tell my mom she needed to do this or that in the house all the time. But, I did study interior design and have been doing retail and wholesale for my whole adult life. I just love it.” And since Urban Cottage carries their own line of custom furniture that is both great quality and value, Jessica’s entrepreneurial spirit is able to flourish.
With Jessica’s love for merchandising and her mother’s experience, Urban Cottage is a thriving boutique with a range of products. In fact, Urban Cottage is a store that specializes in being a one-stop-shop location for everything from home decor to hostess gifts to children’s clothes. While Jessica says it’s a struggle to choose a favorite item in the shop, she can definitely point you in the right direction. “I do think we have amazing children’s goods right now! And, I am pretty obsessed with our lamps.”
Of course, there is always something new at Urban Cottage, which is part of what makes it such a fun place to shop; there is something to see in every nook of the store. Candles are perched on a shelf while Jessica’s own line of paper goods, Breathless Paper, sits among other cards and notepads on a farmhouse table. The children’s room boasts clothes and books while the Little Black Dress room contains fabulous seasonal pieces. Even the basement and the restroom have goods waiting to be purchased! Plus, the mother-daughter team tries to stock unique items that shoppers won’t find elsewhere in Atlanta. “We try to carry as many Made in the USA products as possible, and we also try really hard to not carry what our neighbors do, so we are part of a team and not competing with the same goods.”
Jessica explains that at Urban Cottage, they specialize in helping people make their house a home because after all, “home is the nicest word there is!” And really, all Jessica and Gail want is to keep serving the community in the same heartfelt way that they always have, “We just want to keep offering great goods at great prices and give the best customer service we can.” That customer service along with beautiful, hand-selected products will keep us returning to Urban Cottage again and again.
Urban Cottage is located at 998 North Highland Ave. in Atlanta. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m, and Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn more at urbancottageatlanta.com.