Sands named new Columbiana Main Street director

By JENNIFER MAIER / Community Columnist

“My vision for Columbiana is that for anyone passing through to fall in love just as I did the first time I passed through,” said Brenda Sands, new executive director for Columbiana Main Street. “I envision Columbiana tugging at all your senses. In Columbiana you will hear the sound of Music on Main, Shelby County Arts Council events or Open Mic Night. You will be able to touch history, arts and crafts, quilting and unique shops.

“You will smell the flavors in the air like freshly mowed lawns or the smell of fine dining restaurants. You will see the beauty in the architecture, the history, the décor and the landscape.”

Sands is no stranger to promoting businesses. In her early 20s she had a clear vision of how to run her own business.

“I was a salon owner and an international product educator,” Sands said. “I served on boards and committees and volunteered with many organizations. My business grew through networking and marketing and staying up-to-date on continuing education.”

For Sands, Columbiana is indescribable.

“You have to feel it, experience it and see it. Come to one event on Main Street and you will know exactly what I mean.”

Sands said she looks forward to all the opportunities her new job will provide.

“I look forward to learning more about the history of Columbiana and meeting more of the people who are a product of the history of Columbiana,” Sands said. “Most importantly I look forward to making a difference that will leave a positive mark on the history of Columbiana.”

Sands is aware that there will be challenges that she will have to overcome.

“A common misconception about Columbiana is that there aren’t enough business opportunities,” Sands said. “There are many opportunities waiting for career driven entrepreneurs. The market is open and waiting. If you’ve ever dreamed of opening your own business, the time is now.”

Sands grew up in Gardendale, but she now lives on Lay Lake. Her husband, Terry Sands, is in law enforcement. She has three children: Courtney, Brayden and Vera-Alexander.

“This job will definitely require networking, relationships, commitment and spontaneity,” Sands said. “I’m up for the challenge.”

Columbiana was chosen as a designated Main Street community in 2016. The Main Street Program has a four-point approach to improving historic downtown retail districts through organization, promotion, design and economic vitality.