New store will offer novelty items, as well as occasional visit by Eddie Montgomery

June 06, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

What started as a breakfast conversation has turned into a new Danville business.

Just Between Friends, a store with everything from sterling silver football pacifier holders to novelty purses to women's clothing, will open Thursday at 10 a.m. at 218 West Broadway.

Store owners Tracy Montgomery and Julie Venables met because their children attend Danville Christian Academy. During their breakfast gatherings, conversation turned to Montgomery's desire to possibly open a store here. Venables liked the idea, too.

Tracy Montgomery's husband, country music singer Eddie Montgomery, endorsed the idea when his wife approached him.

"He said, 'You need to do that,'" Tracy Montgomery said. "Eddie has always wanted to open some kind of business here, but just didn't have time. Now we have this store."


Her daughter, Brooke, who will be a senior at Boyle County High School this year, will also work at the store, especially when her mother is on the road helping coordinate her husband's busy schedule, which includes concert appearances with Montgomery Gentry and filming the new ABC sitcom he'll be part of this fall.

Eddie Montgomery is having a platinum album of "My Town" made to display in the store. His wife said he'll also be in the store at times when he is in town.

"Eddie is always very welcoming to people. He'll sign autographs and talk to anybody," Tracy Montgomery said. "He's going to help promote our store, and he says he'll even help out when he's in town."

The owners feel like they have a wide variety of items that will appeal to everyone.

"I have two boys and needed my girlie fix, but we really do have something for about anybody," Venables said.

They've bought many of their items in Atlanta and expect more to arrive in the weeks ahead.

They already have variety of flip-flops

Already they have a variety of flip-flops with ribbons and bows.

"The high school and college-age girls really love them, but so do us young women," Tracy Montgomery said.

Just Between Friends also has an assortment of novelty purses, including a "Boyle County purse" that is black and gold, along with four-button purses for women and youngsters.

"But we also have a Danville purse coming and we are going to have bracelets in Boyle County and Danville colors," Tracy Montgomery said. "This is our town and we always want all the teams to do well. We are proud of what the teams do here and have things fans of both teams should like."

That includes the pacifier holder.

"I just thought that was only fitting for Title Town when I saw it," Venables said.

The store has picture frames of all shapes and sizes, pewter products, totes with bows, silver jewelry, note cards of all types, and other novelty items. Just Between Friends also carries Tastefully Simple prepackaged food products that normally can only be bought from a dealer.

"If you are having a party and need something, everything is prepackaged and has the directions right with it," Venables said. "Even my husband can whip up something using these products."

Store will be open Tuesday through Saturday

Normal store hours will be Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"Eddie is usually home on Sundays and Mondays, so this way I can spend time with him. And if the tour bus rolls out for the weekend, I won't miss as much time in the store," Tracy Montgomery said. "But I'm really looking forward to being here. I was a nurse and worked until our schedule just got so hectic that I had to quit because it was hard to keep taking off.

"Now I have a great partner, which was a must for me to be able to open a business, and then Brooke will be here. Eddie really wanted her to have a chance to be part of this, too."

Both women know Eddie Montgomery's name and promotions may help get customers in the store once. After that, they realize it's up to them to keep people coming back.

"We think we have something everybody will like whether you are looking for something for yourself or just for a gift," Venables said. "Obviously it will help because so many people know Tracy and Eddie, but we think everybody will like the unique items we have."

"We want to have something for everybody, and think we do," Tracy Montgomery said. "We've kind of rushed to get open in time for the (Great American) Brass Band Festival, but we're anxious to get started and think people will see that our store really is a friendly place with a lot of things you just can't get anywhere else."

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