North Dakota Living report    

Although relative newcomers to North Dakota, Maria and Ryan Borkowski and their young family are putting down strong roots here. The current Watford City residents came to the state from Colorado about seven years ago – drawn by oil and gas industry opportunities. Their little guy, Tyler, is now part of their team.

We 3 B's: Ryan, Tyler and Maria Borkowski

We 3 B's: Ryan, Tyler and Maria Borkowski

Beyond their oil patch jobs, Maria and Ryan each have individual artistic and craftsmanship talent, which they have pooled into a small business they call We 3 B’s. The Borkowskis also have chosen to affiliate We 3 B’s with the Pride of Dakota merchandising/branding program.

Maria’s contributions to We 3 B’s come from her educational and personal accomplishments with horses and her passion for photography. As a girl growing up in Colorado, her mom worked in a photo studio, where Maria saw how photo equipment and photo subjects were handled. She went on to complete a college degree in horsemanship. Today, she is a dedicated photographer, organizing other local photographers, holding high hopes to blend her horse knowledge with photography skills.

“I love horses. I want my photography to eventually get into equine media, or equine portrait photography, and rodeo photography,” Maria says.

Maria has also taken steps to advance the artistic and creative community in the Watford City area. She is an inaugural member, and now board member of the local Long X Arts Foundation, and founding member of the Watford City Shutterbugs Camera Club.

Ryan Borkowski is originally a central South Dakota farm boy, who picked up farmstead tinkering from his father. Today, he turns out wood and metal creations, from local materials, and adds them to the We 3 B’s line of products.

“On our South Dakota farm, my dad always called himself a jack of all trades and a master of none. So that's kind of where my creations come from,” Ryan says. He says his work with wood – some of it from the original barn on his family farm – has included frames for Maria’s photos, and a variety of hand-crafted pieces. His metalworking has turned out decorative scarf slides, knives and other items. 

We 3 B’s, with the aid of the Pride of Dakota brand, has products for sale at Watford City’s Long X Museum, Hometown Homemade, and they offer products at area vendor events.

“I know I like buying local, and supporting small businesses, and knowing where our food comes from,” Maria says.

The Borkowskis are members of McKenzie Electric Cooperative, Watford City.

Maria also has high hopes for the development of local arts, cultural and music events originating in McKenzie County and around Watford City. “I want the Long X Arts Foundation to be a well-known entity. So when our community is looking for dance or music or art or photography or anything like that, this is where you go to find out about it,” she says.

Ryan shares Maria’s aspirations for helping shape a positive quality of life in the new, booming community they now call home.

“I want to keep the small town mentality that I grew up with,” he says. “With the time, effort, patience and love we put into our handmade products, I hope this can be a community where we understand these products come from people building with their own hands, and the community is going to enjoy that.”

Follow We 3 B’s on Facebook. Shop and stop at their display at these upcoming events: Nov. 10 – McKenzie County Healthcare System Women’s Day, Roughrider Center, Watford City; Dec. 8 – Cowboy Christmas, High Plains Community Center, Killdeer.

Follow We 3 B’s on Facebook.