The Factory That Jeanne Built: From Bored Housewife to Multi-Million-Dollar Businesswoman
In the mid-seventies, Jeanne Bice was like many women: a homemaker, a wife and mother, living in a small town in Wisconsin. She was also a gourmet cook, a crafter, a party-thrower, a shopper, and on top of it- Bored with a capital "B." While bad news for her, it was great news for a future gaggle of "Quackers."
This boredom led Jeanne to partner with her friend, MaryAnn. The two women opened a gift shop called The Silent Woman. After a year or two, what started out as a hobby became serious business when tragedy struck: Jeanne's business partner divorced and Jeanne's husband passed away unexpectedly, leaving her widowed and the sole source of support for her two children.
Jeanne and MaryAnn put their heads together. They noticed that their customers purchased gifts and needlepoint for special occasions only, whereas they bought new clothes almost weekly. So, they began producing a line of appliqued clothing, and Jeanne Bice officially became a clothing designer. Soon after, Jeanne's partner remarried and left the business.
In the early 1990s, Jeanne's son, Tim, joined her and they began building the business. One day, trying frenetically to meet a deadline, Jeanne burst out: "I feel like I'm going Quackers!" The saying stuck and what millions of people know today as The Quacker Factory was born.
Jeanne and Tim began to explore the "new frontier" of television shopping. Jeanne first appeared on QVC on February 4th, 1995, debuting her line of appliqued clothes and her now-famous "Quack" greeting. Not only did Jeanne's entire line of clothes sell out in an unprecedented few minutes of air time, women all over the country literally started "Quacking" back to her - on the air, at the supermarket, at bookstore appearances.
Today, Jeanne has inspired a loyal fan base of Quackers who tune in not only to buy her clothes, but to get to hear Jeanne's home-spun stories. She is now one of the most popular guests on QVC and the Quacker Factory is a multi-million-dollar business. In turn, the incredible gifts her loyal fans have brought to Jeanne and her family and friends are beyond her imagination, and she is continually awed by the special group of women who call themselves "Quackers".