Made in the USA hits a new level of authenticity when you purchase a handcrafted item from the ladies at Rail Three Ranch. Mother-daughter duo Sammi Jo Beebe and Pecas Sonora Beebe not only create, design, and produce beautiful, high-quality leather products, but they are also essential day help on their family’s cattle ranch in rural Arizona.
Sammi Jo started this story way back in 1997 inside her garage in Oklahoma, where she crafted an early version of the iconic leather flower well known today. Her creativity and dedication, along with a young Pecas’s assistance, helped grow an idea into a reality, and they eventually moved into a shop on their Oklahoma ranch. But Arizona was calling the Beebe family’s name, so they made the move and eventually settled about an hour and a half southeast of Phoenix in a dry, saguaro-filled piece of country outside of Florence, Arizona.
The Rail Three Ranch Leather Shop sits in the city of Florence on the main drag. The address takes you to a historic adobe building built in 1889. Florence, which has deep roots in agriculture dating all the way back to the Hohokam people, continues to serve this purpose. As more people move to the cities and fewer people farm or raise animals, small towns like Florence continue to see a reduction in local business, so entities like the Rail Three Ranch Leather Shop and the actual Rail Three Ranch are essential to the local economy. Pecas says the ranch is what keeps them in Florence.
Their shop and ranch aren’t the only ways they contribute to their local economy. Back in 2018, Shad, husband, and father to the ladies behind the brand, started a Ranch Rodeo, which welcomes people from the area to enter as a competitor or just to enjoy a nice winter day in Arizona, watching ranchers and cowboys compete. This event was a way to bring notoriety to the storefront, which had recently opened in the area, and to get ranchers together for a fun day of friendly competition and camaraderie. Typical rodeo events aren’t seen at this competition, but instead, events mimicking ranch chores like team tying, stray gathering, and bronc riding are featured. A small booth is set up with the leather products from the shop, but most of Pecas’ time is spent helping her dad put on the event.
An event looked forward to by many, including the Beebe family, is the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada, but more specifically, Cinch Western Gift Show at SouthPoint. Heading into their 10th year of selling their wares at this legendary trade show, Sammi Jo and Pecas are seasoned veterans in this space. When Shad was participating in the team roping ten years ago, Sammi Jo and Pecas had time to kill, and what better way to do that than to shop? With her true entrepreneurial spirit, Sammi Jo brought along a photo album full of their leather work, found the right people to show it to, and the following year landed a spot in the show.
Preparation for the big event takes a lot of time, starting early in August, but the real prep gets going in the “burrr” months, as Pecas puts it. September, October, and November are when the throttle is pushed into high gear, and all their products are made in mass but by hand. Pocketbooks, jewelry cases, wallets, door signs, halters, bridles, and more are in production for all the shoppers who join them at Cowboy Christmas.
A true family business, the ladies in the leather shop can are often found out on the ranch along with the cowboys. As true stewards of the land, the ranch is only stocked with half the amount of cattle the land could carry in case of drought, but even that number requires many men (and women) hours to do the work. When mother nature provides, they will run more cattle, requiring even more time. On the flip side, the men of the ranch, including Shad and Carly, Pecas’s fiance, and the other assortment of help on the ranch, can often be found at the leather shop, helping with the heavy items like breast collars and the loading of the trailer for the next show. Every year these gentlemen drive the ladies to Vegas, help them set up their large NFR booth, and break it all down at the end of those ten days.
Pecas, who took on a more prominent role in the shop after graduating from high school, helped to evolve the brand and brought the company online into the digital space. Not only do these ladies make beautiful leather products, but their social media is also nothing short of entertaining. Join them on Instagram for a behind-the-scenes look at the shop in all states of organization or lack thereof, peaks at the beautiful Arizona countryside, and don’t forget the numerous reels where they poke fun at current circumstances and even themselves. If you cannot make it to Vegas to meet these gals in person, their online store is easy to use and carries a wide variety of items. Watch for shop updates after big events where you can pick up what other people missed out on.
What makes western items like the ones you get from Rail Three Ranch exceptional is not just the beauty and style but also the inherent longevity those items bring. Whether you splurge on a large custom pocket book or a small wallet, a bridle, or a breast collar, you can be guaranteed that item will last. Maybe your grown children will turn it over in their hands, admiring the attention to detail in the choice of colors in the embroidered mountains on a pocketbook or smile in recognition at the age of the flowers on the headstall as they pull it over their horse’s ears. Either way, buying from a company like this isn’t just supporting one person. It’s supporting a family with deep roots in the western lifestyle and the community in which they reside. When you retract the lens further, it’s one small family doing all they can to keep the world of the west alive.
If you’re heading to the NFR, be sure to check out the Rail Three Ranch booth at SouthPoint. But if you can’t make it to Vegas, you can still shop with them at www.railthreeranch.com. Follow along on all their adventures at www.instagram.com/railthreeranch. Also, hot off the presses, the ladies were given a spot at the WRCA Finals in Amarillo, which is one more way to shop with them!
Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine
This article was created for the NFR Issue of the Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine which was released right around Thanksgiving. You can catch this article and many more by checking out the full issue. For more information on Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine, visit the website here.
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