Category Archives: Clothing

Celebrate Better in Bourbon’s Anniversary This Evening: Drinks and Sweet Treats


Photo from online
Better in Bourbon, a boutique clothing store at 13 N. Main in Historic Downtown Fort Scott, is celebrating its second anniversary this evening.
Rachel Pruitt opened the business in December 2021.

“Better in Bourbon started as a pop-up concept, but thanks to the incredible support received, a permanent location was established in late 2021,” she said.

“We sell women’s and ‘tween girl clothing and accessories. We also offer permanent jewelry,” Pruitt said.

Some of the merchandise is in Better in Bourbon. Submitted photo.

“In the Fall of 2023, I experienced the loss of my father following a determined battle with cancer,” Pruitt said. “Tragically, my mother also fell unexpectedly ill and passed away. Facing the loss of both parents within such a short period, I found myself in desperate need of support.”

She turned to her friend Denise Beaman who helped her in the shop when Pruitt couldn’t be there.
“Without Denise’s timely assistance, Better in Bourbon wouldn’t have reached its current standing,” Pruitt said. “Denise is in charge of merchandising and is my only employee.”
Rachel said she and Denise are grateful for the opportunity to serve the community and are excited about their expansion plans on the horizon.
Rachel Pruitt, left, and Denise Beaman. Submitted photo.
Rachel and Denise bring their wealth of experience from both the retail and wholesale industries to offer expert styling services, according to a press release from Pruitt. Their boutique is renowned for its size-inclusive range, offering everything from wardrobe essentials to one-of-a-kind pieces.
Tonight, February 9, the two will be having a special ladies’ night from 6 to 8 p.m. at the store.
“Enjoy permanent jewelry specials as our way of saying thank you for your support over the years,” Pruitt said. “Sip on delicious drinks and enjoy Crooners Cakery treats while you shop our latest collections.”
Merchandise in the Better in Bourbon Boutique at 13 N. Main. Submitted photo.

Key Clothing Sale Starts November 18

Some of the merchandise that is for sale at the upcoming warehouse sale.

Key Apparel has been a local business for over a hundred years.

“Key has been in business in Fort Scott since 1908 and was founded on bib overalls,” said Brenda Brown with sales support and merchandising for the business.

Key Industries, Inc. in Fort Scott is having its 15th Annual Warehouse Sale from Saturday, November 18 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., then from Monday through Wednesday, November 20-22 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The sale continues on Friday, November 24 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., then Saturday, November 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“We have first quality products,” Angie Carr, Key’s Operation Project Coordinator, said. “We also use the sale to sell discontinued styles or colors, and irregulars-say for instance where a stitch is not completed and didn’t pass inspection but we can go ahead and closeout. That will be noted  to the customer, we will specify why it is irregular.”

The sale this year is at a new location at 2400 S. Main St. Suite 200,  between Hibbets and T-Mobile in the strip mall.

The annual Key Warehouse Sale has moved to the space between Hibbets and T-Mobile in the strip mall on Fort Scott’s south side.

“Previously, we were at the former Gordman’s Store space under a short-term lease,” said  Carr.”We have the same amount of merchandise (in the new space) as in previous years.”

Key Apparel is an official clothing sponsor of the Kansas State Fair and to commemorate that designation, Ike, the Bison, a collectible toy, will be sold.

“They make ideal stocking stuffers,” Carr said.

Ike the Bison will be sold at the annual Key Warehouse Sale.

Payment of cash, Visa, Mastercard, or Discover will be accepted during the sale.


To shop year

Key Industries Annual Warehouse Sale Is Nov. 18 through 25

Sending on behalf of Chamber Member

Key Industries, INC…..

2023 Annual Warehouse Sale!

Key Industries, Inc. in Fort Scott is having their Annual Warehouse Sale!

Closeouts on Mens, Ladies, & Kids Apparel.

One Week Only:

Saturday 11/18: 8am-7pm

Monday 11/20 – Wednesday 11/22: 9am-7pm

Friday 11/24: 9am-6pm

Saturday 11/25: 9am-4pm

Their New Location:

2400 S. Main St. Suite 200 next to T-Mobile

Cash, Visa, Mastercard, or Discover Accepted

Shop year round at

Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce | 231 E. Wall Street, Fort Scott, KS 66701

Holiday Open House Shopping Event Downtown & Around Thursday, November 9th, 5-8pm

Santa sits on a bench in front of The Ironstar and gets a second look from Ernestine Eden in this 2017 photo of the annual Holiday Open House.


The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce announces the Annual Holiday Open House Shopping event, Downtown & Around in Fort Scott.  The main event will take place Thursday, November 9th from 5-8pm with festive refreshments, drawings & deals for you to enjoy and get you in the Holiday spirit! Then, Open House will continue Friday & Saturday, November 10th &11th. On Thursday the trolley will be going store to store from 5-8pm so you can shop & ride!

There will be spirited holiday shopping at nearly 20 participating retailers including 110 South Main, Angie Dawn’s Boutique, Barbed Wire & Roses, Bartelsmyers Jewelry, Better in Bourbon, Be The Light Boutique, Bids & Dibs, Flint + Fray, Hedgehog.INK! Bookstore, Iron Star, Laree + Co, Long Creek Outfitters, Papa Dons, Ruddicks Furniture, Sekan, Shirt Shack, Sunshine Boutique, The Artificers, and The Beauty Lounge.  Don’t forget to enter your name at each store for a chance to win $50 in Chamber Bucks!

Visit or the Chamber Facebook page for more details.  Get out for the Annual Holiday Open House Shopping Event Thursday, November 9th through Saturday the 11th in Fort Scott.


Donations Needed For the Homeless

Frankie’s Mission is having a drive and will be set up at Ft. Scott Walmart, on Saturday, October 21st from 10 am to 6 pm .

“We are trying to get items for the homeless,” said Vickie Crowe. “Everything helps. We help the homeless and less fortunate with items they need like hygiene items, blankets , coats , gloves , hats , snacks ,water etc.”

“I started the mission in honor of my son who passed away last year,: she said.

Fort Scott Washateria: Business Plan Includes Community Service of Wash Wednesday

Carol Oakleaf, left, and Lori Lovelace show the donation can for clothing to the Fort Scott Community Closet which is located in the Fort Scott Washateria in this 2019 photo.

Fort Scott Washateria is a family business that was opened in September 2019 by Carol Oakleaf, her daughter Lori Lovelace, son-in-law Leroy Walker, and her son, Doug Oakleaf.

“As a part of our community outreach we have partnered with Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, Healthy Bourbon County Team, and COPE to have Wash Wednesdays starting November 1st,” Lovelace said.
Communities Organizing to Promote Equity (COPE) is a project of the Department of Family Medicine & Community Health, Kansas University School of Medicine. To learn more: [email protected].
Each Wednesday, starting Nov. 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. a limited number of washers and dryers will be available for free.

Lovelace is the managing member overseeing business operations.

“As part of our business goals in Fort Scott we provide services for the community including the Fort Scott Community Closet which collects clothing and bedding donations from the community and we store and distribute them to people who need them,” Lovelace said.
The Washateria is located at 501 S. National Ave.
A small building at the Washateria houses the Community Clothes Closet.
Inside the Community Clothes Closet at the Washateria.
On November 1, the Washateria will have a new community service, Wash Wednesday, offering one free cycle of washing and one free cycle of drying to a family, two times a month, Lovelace said.
The Washateria will provide the laundry detergent and dryer sheets for this program, she said.
In addition, on Wednesdays, Lovelace will make sure the Community Clothes Closet is open for those who may need clothing or bedding.
The normal hours for the closet is Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. “People must come in and sign in to have access to the closet while their stuff is washing,” she said.
The washing machines that will be available for the Wash Wednesday program.
The dryers that will be available for the Wash Wednesday program.
The guidelines for Wash Wednesday:
The 22lb washers hold the equivalent of 2 loads of a home top-loader, 1 load per family.
However, people will not wash comforters, blankets, large mattress pads, etc, because those bulky items do not spin out well in the small machines and won’t dry in one dryer cycle.

“We request that this free service be utilized only two times per month for each customer so that the maximum number of folks can use the free machines,” Lovelace said.  “We will have a sign-in sheet to keep track. The same family can only come two times a month.”

 “Laundry customers must stay with their laundry and transfer their clothes to the dryer, our transfer service is not available as we have to move quickly to keep the machines going,” she said.
About Washateria
 “We are a public laundromat and we do wash/dry/fold services for the public as well as commercial laundry,” she said. ” We also provide custom services such as starch/press and steaming.”
The Washateria is staffed, and open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12 p.m.-8 p.m. on Sunday.
Hours of the Washateria.
“Customer service is of utmost importance to us and we happily help folks who come in with any questions and help with the machines,” she said.  “We have state-of-the-art Speed Queen commercial washers and dryers in a variety of size loads, 4 loads, 6 loads, and 8 load washers and small, medium, and large dryers, the dryers are sized for our machines.  Our machines take quarters as well as debit/credit cards and we have a loyalty card that provides a discount when it is loaded to be used in the machines.”
Fort Scott Washateria is located at 501 S National Ave on the corner of 5th and National.  For more information: 620-644-9834, email: [email protected]

Grand Reopening and Expansion of Laree & Co on August 3

Sending on behalf of Chamber Member

Laree + Co….

Save the Date!

Join us for a Chamber Coffee & Ribbon Cutting

to celebrate the Grand Reopening & Expansion of

Laree + Co, Downtown Fort Scott!

Thursday, August 3rd, 8am

3 S. National Ave.

PLUS, exclusive access to shop before the

public reopening event on Saturday, August 5th!

*Door Prizes

*Breakfast Charcuterie Board

*Juice & Coffee

Laree + Co is also hiring for a full-time Sales Manager and 2 Sales Reps. If you or anyone you know is interested in these position, they can click here to apply!

Click here for the Laree + Co Storefront Facebook Page!

Click here for the Laree + Co Facebook Page!

Click here for the Laree + Co Community FB Group!

Click here for the Laree + Co website!

ViCon Creations, A Three Generations Business

Connie McKee, Devlin Cole and Vicki Waldron in the ViCom Creations building on Maple Road, west of Fort Scott.

Connie McKee and her daughter, Vicki Waldron started a business together in 1996 called ViCon Creations LLC, and have done a variety of handiwork.

“We started with alterations (making clothes fit, that don’t fit),  then moved into interior decorations…awnings, horse stuff,” Waldron said. “A lady asked us to manufacture bra liners for Pam’s Bra’s. We worked about 10 years on that.”

They still do alterations, as noted on their Facebook page, which is a valuable service during prom and wedding season.

She does work for J & W Sports and Twister Trailers as well.

For the last seven years, Waldron has worked at Common Ground Coffee Shop in Fort Scott.

“I decided I’m done standing on my feet,” she said. “I decided to expand my sewing business.”

In August 2022 she started to revamp her sewing business.

Vicki Waldron shows one of her women’s fishing vest creations.

She creates purses, women’s fishing vests, and does machine quilting.

“Most people will make quilt tops, but need them quilted,” she said.

This year her granddaughter Erin Camp started making t-shirt quilts.

“She is paying off her college tuition (Northwest Missouri State) by making quilts. She makes the quilt tops and I bind and quilt it,” Waldron said.

Another granddaughter, Lauren Schalk, makes jewelry: Western style earrings, bracelets and necklaces. Schalk is attending Oklahoma State University. She is working with her grandmother for this business venture.

These two granddaughters are her information technology help, she said.

Her mother, Connie McKee makes toddler girl’s clothing.

“Mom comes in when she wants to work,” she said. McKee is retired.

Vickie Waldron shows toddler girls clothing that her mother Connie McKee makes.

What ever they make, they put online at

Vicki prepares to attach an achievement badge to a letter jacket.
Vicki shows one of the purses the business makes.
Connie McKee works on a leather apron for her grandson, Devlin Cole.

A grandson, Devlin Cole, has shown an interest in creating leather items, she said

On the horizon for ViCon Creations is building a new work building to replace the remodeled chicken house the current business is located in.

She would like to teach sewing to young girls in the future, and “how to cook good meals,” she said.

“If young women come out here and learn to sew, I’ll give them a job,” she said.

Contact Waldron at 417.214.2599.

Chamber Coffee, Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting at Varia

Chamber Coffee, Grand Opening, & Ribbon Cutting hosted by Varia Quality Resale Clothing & Accessories

The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce invites members and guests to a Chamber Coffee, Grand Re-Opening, & Ribbon Cutting hosted by Varia Quality Resale Clothing & Accessories, Thursday, September 15th at 8 a.m. at 114 E. 23rd St. Coffee, juice, and light refreshments will be served, and attendees may register to win a special drawing. Ribbon cutting will immediately follow.

Varia just moved to a new and expanded location and has over 4,000 items in stock! They are open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm.

Chamber members and guests are invited to Chamber Coffee events each Thursday at 8 a.m. to network, make announcements, hear about happenings in the community as well as learn about the host business or organization.

Contact the Chamber of Commerce at (620) 223-3566 for more information. Visit the Events Calendar and category of Chamber Coffees on for upcoming locations.


Today’s Christian Heights Country Store Provides Needs of the School

Christian Heights School, 1101 Barbee, Fort Scott.

Today is the annual big fundraiser for Christian Heights School, 1101 S. Barbee that helps provide necessities for the small Christian school.

“We’ve done Country Store for 56 years,” Principal Larry Davolt said. “It helps us with special projects for the school. In the past a new roof, a new floor, computers, you name it. It goes beyond our little budget for operations.”

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This year is it today, May 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is comprised of a flea market/ rummage sale, bakery, plant sale and a silent auction of donated items. And food: homemade ice cream, taco salads, hamburgers, malts, shakes, sodas, home made desserts and then the Chicken Annie’s Fried Chicken dinner at 4 p.m.

Ashton Pridey helps put out items in the general merchandise room of the Christian Heights Country Store on Friday. Pridey is a student at the school.

The dinner time lasts from 4 -6 p.m. and one can also order BBQ beef, salad, rolls and homemade pies for $6 for adults and $3 for children.

At 6 p.m. is a auction for merchandise supplied by area merchants and individuals.

Some of the items that will be auctioned off at 6 p.m. at Christian Heights.

The event is sponsored by the Fort Scott Christian Heights Parent-Teacher Fellowship.


About the school

The entrance to the school at 1101 S. Barbee.

Christian Heights is a pre-school through 12th grade Christian school.

“We’ve been here since 1947,” DaVolt said. “My motto is ‘We provide quality education in a Christian environment.'”

The school has 75 students and a staff of 10. DaVolt also teaches science classes in addition to being principal.

The pre-school is three days a week and all other school grades are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.