Hello Everyone – and Quack-A-Doodle-Doo!!!
I’ve been asked so many times over the last few years “How in the world did you get involved with Quacker Factory?!” So I thought it was time to give you the inside scoop on who I am – and how I came about working with the wonderful Quacker Factory team.
My father was in the Military (Army), so we moved around quite a bit when I was growing up. During the summers, we would go to Cape Cod – and it was there that I met the women’s fashion designer Larry Levine. I worked for Mr. Levine for several years during those summers – and also spent time at his studios in NYC. After attending college, I honestly thought that I would work in women’s fashion – what particularly interested me was perhaps being a Buyer for Macy’s, Saks or one of the big stores in New York City. Life was to throw me a few good curve balls though – and for 9 years I worked for a major hotel company – and then became a Management Consultant for almost 2 decades. For those of you who don’t know, a Management Consultant is kind of like a company doctor – they help companies become better and stronger – then bring them back to health. I loved that job – and it allowed me to travel all over the United States – and the world. 15 years ago, my Management Consulting job brought me to London for a year – my client was the London Underground/Tube system. I had been an exchange student in London during college, studying theatre, marketing – and international fashion/brand management. I had fallen in love with London in college – and had hoped that I would be able to return one day and live there. So you can imagine my surprise and delight when I got the call to move here for a year in 2001! During my first 3 weeks here, I just knew that I wanted to stay in London! There is so much history, fashion, beauty and joy in this great city. Somehow I managed to make it work – and in January I’ll have been here for 15 years!
Back in 2006, I was travelling back and forth to Bratislava, Slovakia working for a year with several clients in that country. In January of that year, a dear friend of mine in the States, David Fritz, called me with a very unique proposition. David said that he was producing a cruise for a woman named Jeanne Bice who designed clothing and sold her items on QVC. I remember asking him “Is QVC that shopping channel?”
David asked me if I could take a week off later that year in October, because he needed a friend to help him on the cruise with entertaining the passengers, helping with the events – and just being his right-hand for the week. Well, I didn’t have to think twice, because if you’ve ever spent an October in London – or even Slovakia – you know that a cruise in the Caribbean is MUCH warmer – and nicer!!
A Date With Destiny!
By the time October rolled around, I was SO ready to be in sunny weather. When we boarded the ship I asked David what my first job would be. He smiled and told me that in the morning at 9am Jeanne Bice would be making her first appearance – in the theatre/auditorium. He said the challenge though was that everyone would start lining up at 7am to get into the theatre because they were all VERY excited to see Jeanne. Of course it wouldn’t take 2 hours to get everyone in – so he said the challenge would be to keep them entertained for about an hour and a half. Guess what – he was right!!! But I was prepared with music – and had them all dancing in their seats to songs like YMCA and The Macarena! By the time Jeanne came out, we were all screaming – in our best ‘Ricky Lake’ voices – ‘Go Jeanne, Go Jeanne, Go Jeanne!!” I had never heard anything like it – especially since it was a full house with almost 1000 women!!!
I couldn’t believe the amount of LOVE and happiness in that room – it was incredible!!!! Now I know this might sound strange, but I really FELT as though my life was changing – that somehow that my life was about to make a BIG change. It was the strangest, but most wonderful, feeling I’ve ever felt in my life!
The curtains on the stage parted and low and behold, there was Jeanne Bice with her family and the Quacker Team – and the audience went wild!
After Jeanne and her panel of guests spoke for a while, the audience members were invited to ask questions in one of the Quack-Back Sessions. So it was my job to run around the auditorium with a microphone and let Jeanne knew where the person was. I would say something like – “Jeanne, I’m over here to your left and I’m with Lisa from Kentucky” – and then Jeanne would see where they were – and the guest could then ask their question.
As I introduced the 3rd person to her, Jeanne stopped the proceedings and she loudly said into her microphone – “Who’s my little Robin Williams lookalike out there in the audience running around with that microphone?! Honey, you’re adorable – I want to meet you after this session!”
That is honestly how I first met Jeanne!!! That evening, she invited me to join her and her wonderful family for drinks. I will NEVER forget that evening – she was just as magical in person, and so engaging! She wanted to know EVERYTHING about me – where I was from, where I lived, my family, my parents, my background, my favourite foods, my favourite color, etc., etc., etc.! She asked me about what work I did – and she couldn’t believe that I lived in London – and that I was a Management Consultant. She must have drilled me for a good hour wanting to know exactly what a Management Consultant was! I remember her saying – “There’s something I really like about you Patrick – and I can’t wait to get to know you better during the cruise.”
Quacking On The High Seas
One of the other ‘job’s’ I had on the cruise was to be part of a singing group that David and our wonderful friend, Scott Denny, put together – called appropriately, The QuackTones. I LOVE to sing – even though I’m not really that good at it – so it was great fun to be part of this group for the week. We performed a few times during the week – but my favourite time was during one of the cocktail parties that Jeanne hosted for everyone. Scott had changed the words in the song ‘All I Have To Do Is Dream’ by The Everly Brothers – and instead of singing ‘Dream, Dream, Dream…”, we sang ‘Jeanne, Jeanne, Jeanne….” Needless to say, Jeanne LOVED the new version!! Here’s a copy of the QuackTones singing during that cruise – you can even see Jeanne singing along!
I have to tell you that the week was amazing! There were so many great memories made – and also new friends! One of the highlights for me, besides getting to know Jeanne more – and being blessed to hang out with her every day – was the sing-a-long at the pool one night with Jeanne.
The Pajama Breakfast party was another highlight! Here I am with two of Jeannes great friends Andrew & Luke – she brought them on board to help as well.
Another fantastic highlight was that I got to meet my good buddy Angel for the first time – look at how young we were!!!
I honestly didn’t want my fun week in the sun to end!! I think that my favorite picture of all, over that entire week, was this one with our beloved Head Quack, taken during the Halloween Party we had on board.
I remember boarding my flight back to London – and that same feeling that I had experienced on the first day of the cruise came back to me – I didn’t know HOW, but I just KNEW that somehow my life had really changed as a result of being on that cruise.
48 hours after getting home to London – and getting ready to go back to Slovakia for my Management Consulting work, my phone rang – and it was Jeanne Bice! I was so surprised that she even called me! I will never forget that call for as long as I live – because Jeanne asked me to do two jobs for her – one was to help coordinate their activities in London with QVC UK – and the second one was to be the On-Air Guest for Quacker Factory on QVC UK. To say I was shocked is certainly an understatement!! I told her I could easily do the first job – but that in all honesty, I wasn’t sure about the second one – and I reminded her I was a Management Consultant – not a TV Presenter. She said to me – “Honey, you ARE a TV Presenter – you just don’t know it yet!” How incredible that she had that belief in me way back then! QVC UK already had someone in that position, so it wasn’t until Jeanne joined the angels in heaven, that we finally made her dream and desire of having me Guest Present for her in the UK come true – but I know that even though she is in heaven, she knows it has happened. I also know that she is definitely beside me every time I go on air to represent her wonderful Quacker Factory line!
By the way, if you’re planning a cruise, or even any vacation… add some “SPLASH” to your wardrobe! You’ll adore our NEW ‘Resort Collection!’ CLICK HERE.
Sooooo, that’s the story of who I am – and how I came about working for what I believe is the BEST women’s clothing line in the entire world. It is an honor to be able to do what I do – and I thank Jeanne Bice EVERY single day for seeing the potential in me – and for helping change my entire life.
Who knew that back in 2006 when my buddy David called me to spend one single week on a cruise with 1,000 QVC shoppers – and Jeanne Bice – that my life would be forever changed – that it would truly be a ‘sailing to destiny’ for me!! Miracles really DO happen.
As Jeanne used to say – “You just have to BELIEVE!!”
Happy Holidays everyone – and Quacker Hugs & Love From Across The Duck Pond!!
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