AMSTERDAM - When Jenny Bouck partnered with her husband Allen to breathe new life into Willow Street Lace textile company in 2007, it was one more item on an already full plate for this mother of three.
Bouck, 40, has been married 22 years to Allen and said in her "spare time" she "cleans and does laundry" when she isn't with one of her three sons, working at the textile company, as a dental hygenist or as receptionist at Amsterdam Animal Hospital. She also helps care for her parents and 43-year-old sister, Jo Ann Langlois, in St. Mary's Hospital being treated for a brain tumor.
She also has 5 residential tenants including a four-family apartment house in Johnstown and rents out part of the Willow Street Lace building to Fiber Glass Industries.
The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
Jenny Bouck works with spools of lace at Willow Street Lace in Amsterdam Thursday.
"My husband worked at the [former Bojud Knitting Mills] textile company for 27 years, starting in shipping," she said. "We bought the company two years ago in May."
A recent sprinkler malfunction caused the offices at the company to flood and disabled the phone system there.
"We got called by the fire department that there was 4 inches of water," she said. "It took out the offices, but not the [textile] machines."
Getting the phones up and running is just one more thing on her plate.
"We aren't doing too bad," she said. "We have some orders. It was slow at first, and the flood made us use up our reserve capital. So far it's been paying for itself."
Bouck said the company produces "greige (pronounced gray) goods" which are unfinished textiles to be steamed and framed.
"Not too many companies do this anymore," she said.
The Boucks make the raw material for customers, who then sell the material to "converters" who dye the lace or shape it into what the final customer needs. Bouck said they mostly make lace for apparel such as lingerie and for home furnishings. They recently worked on an order to be turned into curtains at Disney resorts. Allen Bouck's patterns have also sold in Macy's and Victoria's Secret.
Bouck's three sons include Channing, 15, who loves music, Chace, 12 ("my wild child") and Casten, 10, who loves the outdoors.
Bouck said Chase is a special needs child who has sporadic "Goldenhars syndrome," a rare genetic disorder, but is very outgoing and friendly.
Co-worker Yvonne Toro at the Amsterdam Animal Hospital, who has known Bouck about 10 years, said the boys can "be a handful."
"She's a really good person," Toro said of Bouck. "We've become friends. She is very caring."
Bouck has also had a long relationship with Bud and Loren Barnett. Her relationship goes back to when Mrs. Barnett was Bouck's guidance counselor in school.
"She's a very busy person," Bud Barnett said of Bouck. "She dog sits for us when we go on vacation."
Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce President Debbie Auspelmyer said she loved to see how productive Bouck is.
"It's wonderful to see a woman and mother who is so involved in business and the community," Auspelmyer said. "She works so hard to be a success. She is a remarkable individual. We're so happy to have her in our business community."
Richard Nilsen is a general assignment reporter and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.