Three broke girls wanted to open a business.
It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but it’s actually the beginning of Bee’Tween Friends.
Doneita Pappan, Sissy Kingsbury and Tracy Pingry are co-owners of the downtown business.
The trio bought the building from Danny Thompson in August 2010.
They worked furiously on nights and weekends until they opened the Monday before Arkalalah 2010.
When the doors to the store opened, only the first 25 feet of the store were being used.
Since then, the ladies have managed to utilize almost every square inch of the store, including the basement.
The beauty salon in the very back of the store, used by Pingry and Delayne Dale, was added in 2012.
All “three broke girls” work at the store now, although Kingsbury still has a job with USD 470.
“Our goal is for this to be our retirement,” Pingry said.
Bee’Tween Friends carries a wide range of items, from handmade soaps to imported specialty paint, vintage clothing and accessories to hand-poured candles.
There is an eclectic mix of old, new and re-purposed items.
The store has a plethora of furniture to choose from, as well, but Pingry said she has had problems keeping the store stocked.
“There is a little bit of something for everyone,” she said.
Local photographer Paisley Howerton is in the process of creating a line of postcards for the store.
Pappan, Kingsbury and Pingry have been friends for many years — their ages are stair-stepped by five years, as are their wedding anniversaries.
Collectively, the three women have 15 granddaughters and one grandson.
The support of their husbands, children, mothers, mothers-in-law and families has been instrumental, Pingry said.
“We would like to thank the community for their support for the last … almost six years,” she said.
Bee’Tween Friends is located at 206 S. Summit St. in downtown Arkansas City.
The store can be contacted at (620) 307-6580.
It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and from 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. The store is closed on Mondays.