Celebrating A Dream that Came True!
The 25th Anniversary of Quacker Factory & QVC!
On February 4, 2020 we will celebrate the beginning of a remarkable relationship—the 25th Anniversary of Quacker Factory and QVC! A relationship that resulted because Jeanne Bice followed her HEART’S DESIRE and proved that if you BELIEVE, dreams really do come true! That’s why for 2020 Quacker Factory’s theme will be…
You may ask ‘How do you know your Heart’s Desire’? Jeanne wrote about it this way: What’s your deepest dream? The dream you keep dreaming day after day, night after night?… The dream you keep deep in your heart.
Your Heart’s Desire is inside you! It was sprinkled inside when God created you. Keep an open mind. And listen to that inner voice that says ‘This is what I’ve been looking for.’
‘Your Heart’s Desire can change over time. Life is a journey. Everyday we’re learning something new and discovering possibilities we never even dreamed of. Life’s experiences lead us to our Heart’s Desire… we have to look for it and listen for it.’
Growing up in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin Jeanne had lots of dreams. She loved people in her neighborhood and at school. An early Heart’s Desire was to entertain and perform. She had the leading role in her high school play ‘I Remember Mama’. Her classmate Nancy Furr recalls she was a ‘natural’.
Her Heart’s Desire grew to include falling in love, marrying and starting a family. That all came true when she met and married ‘Butch’ Bice and settled in Ripon, Wisconsin. It was there that she discovered her talent as a popular local radio show host. And she pursued her creative talents—embroidery and embellishing clothes with distinctive designs.
This led to the next big chapter in her Heart’s Desire: establishing her first shop, The Silent Woman, with her friend Mary Ann. It was located in Butch’s family home near downtown Ripon. And it became an instant success—attracting attention locally and far and wide. She and MaryAnn were invited to participate in prestigious craft and fashion shows throughout the Midwest.
Then in 1981 tragedy happened. Jeanne’s beloved Butch died suddenly, leaving Jeanne a widow with 2 children: her son Tim, and daughter Lee.
Jeanne decided to move to Florida where her parents had retired and began a fashion design business. Thus followed some hectic and difficult years—selling her apparel at upscale markets. One day Jeanne exclaimed to Tim, ‘This business is driving me QUACKERS!’
Instantly Tim stopped her and said ‘That’s it! That’s who we are! We’re the QUACKER FACTORY!’ And so the brand was born.
Not long after, Jeanne and Tim were watching television in her office and happened to tune in to QVC. Immediately Jeanne was captured. ‘I can do that!’ she exclaimed!’ And so her Heart’s Desire grew.
On a large poster board, Jeanne wrote ‘QVC YES!’ She put the sign on her wall. She believed it could happen.
Soon thereafter she got a call from the State of Florida dept. of commerce telling her that QVC was bringing their 50-50 tour to Orlando on a nation-wide search for new vendors to sell on their channel. They asked if she would like to audition.
‘Absolutely!’ she said. And she and Karin went to Orlando. They were one of the very few selected for an appearance on QVC. Her Heart’s Desire was coming true.
That first appearance (a brief ‘hit’) was on February 4, 1995. She presented 2 embroidered shirts with Karin, Tim’s wife at her side. The shirts sold out instantly!
QVC customer response to Jeanne and Quacker Factory apparel was immediate. She was invited back, and the brand was on the road to great success.
Talented people like Susan Bramley saw the potential of Quacker Factory and joined Jeanne and Tim to produce product for the QVC opportunity. Additional talent joined the design team, believing in Jeanne’s philosophy to design clothes that make women happy, inspiring them to seek the attention they deserve. A philosophy that endures today.
Quacker Factory was rewarded with its own shows on a regular basis appearing with top QVC hosts—becoming one of QVC’s most popular and successful fashion brands.
In 2000 Jeanne applied for an official registered day designating February 4 as National Quacker Day… in recognition of the national popularity of the Quacker ‘sisterhood’. Thus fulfilling a major dream in her Heart’s Desire’.
Joining her team in 2000 was Angel Smedley, who had been a model at QVC and became a great friend to Jeanne—representing Quacker Factory on air when Jeanne was not available to travel.
Later the team was expanded with the addition of Patrick Hoy who was based in London representing the brand on QVC there, now appearing in the U.S. as well.
Jeanne Bice passed away on June 10, 2011. But her Heart’s Desire lives on. Her spirit and her love for life continue to inspire millions to this day.
Jeanne believed in miracles. She listened to her Heart’s Desire… and that’s why we urge everyone this year and every year…