Pictured above: Nature and adventure are important to the Pouillies, shown here on a family trip to Jackson Hole, Wyo., in 2018.
Adam and Jaime Pouillie of St. Patrick Parish in Mauston spent much of their childhood only 25 miles apart, yet it wasn’t until they were away at college halfway across the state that they met.
Jaime grew up in the Mauston countryside, the oldest of four children. St. Patrick was her childhood parish home, one she visited with her family each Sunday for Mass. She also attended St. Patrick School from kindergarten to eighth grade, where she had several religious sisters as teachers. Jaime’s family lived in the home where her mother grew up, right next door to her grandparents. She and her siblings would often visit and use their pool; other times, they would sneak next door for treats. Jaime recalls camping, family vacations throughout the U.S., holidays spent with family and her involvement with sports.
Adam grew up in Mukwonago, but his extended family was all in Necedah, where his parents had grown up. So, he and his family spent most weekends there (driving right through Mauston each trip). Adam’s childhood was spent outside, filled with camping, fishing, hunting and Boy Scouts.
We need more than ourselves to get by in today’s world, and who better to have on our side than God.”
Adam and Jaime both attended UW-Stout in Menomonie, where Adam was studying manufacturing engineering and Jaime, interior design. They first met while working at the front desk of their dorm. As they got to talking, they soon realized that they grew up 25 minutes away from one another. By this time, Adam’s parents had moved back to Necedah, so they were practically neighbors back home.
Returning home a few weeks later, they met up in Necedah at the Street Fest and continued to spend time with one another as friends. Some fellow dorm staff set Adam up with Jamie on a blind date. He was pleasantly surprised, and by Thanksgiving, they were an “official couple.” Two years later—in July of 2001—Adam and Jaime were married at St. Patrick Church in Mauston.
It was important for the couple to stay close to family, and Jaime had a local job offer, so they made their home in Mauston, living at Jaime’s parents’ farmhouse for the first year and a half of their marriage until they built a home for themselves next door.
Looking ahead 18 years, Adam and Jaime are the parents of two beautiful girls, Makenna (13) and Ellie (11), who attend Jaime’s alma mater, St. Patrick Catholic School. Adam and Jaime have shared their beloved hobbies with their daughters, and the girls enjoy sports like mom, hunting with dad and family camping adventures together.
Adam is the plant manager at Parker Hannifin in Mauston. When he was promoted to this position three years ago after earning his MBA, the time seemed right for Jaime to move toward her long-time dream of opening a boutique gift and décor store. A perfect retail location became available in town. After a walk-through of the property, as well as much family discussion and prayer, Jaime and Adam purchased it.
The property had a good structure to create Jaime’s vision for her shop, but it required months of demolition, labor and love from dedicated family members to be ready to open its doors. On May 1, 2017, the Pouillies opened The Designer’s Touch on State Street in downtown Mauston.
“It has been a scary and rewarding journey,” shares Jaime. But ultimately, she says, “It’s good to be a part of the community where you grew up and be able to provide a need for the people and give back when we can. We enjoy sponsoring the Community Sharing Supper and providing gift certificates and baskets for fundraising events in our community. Our community is small, and the support we’ve received has been immense. It’s also good to look at what we’ve accomplished and be proud and pass onto our girls that hard work and dedication can pay off. It’s really enjoyable for our store to be a place that friends and parish members like to gather after community events … It’s fun sharing stories, laughs and refreshments in this inviting atmosphere that we’ve put our heart and soul into.”
Makenna and Ellie even get in on helping with the store, pricing new products and helping change out merchandise for the seasons.
Aside from the retail hours the store is open, in the evenings Jaime often does decorating consulting, and both Jaime and Adam install custom window treatments that are part of their shop’s offerings.
Adam coaches Ellie’s soccer team, and, most evenings, the girls are on the field or court, whether it be volleyball, basketball, soccer or softball. The Pouillies’ schedule is busy, but their hearts are full.
More important than instilling in their daughters their hobbies and work ethic, Adam and Jaime are instilling in them the Faith they share.
“In our society today, lives are so busy, and we need to take the time to just chat with God, to center ourselves, be thankful for our blessings and offer up our worries. We need more than ourselves to get by in today’s world, and who better to have on our side than God. The more you pray, the more connected you become with Him,” Jaime explains, offering this guiding principle for their girls.
Jaime and Adam wanted to provide not only a solid academic education for Makenna and Ellie, but also for them to be educated in the Faith and to be part of a school community that feels like a family. They have found all of that and more at St. Patrick Parish.
The girls are both altar servers and members of the school choir, which sings at weekday Masses. They know that serving the Church is just what you do, since they see their parents’ consistent involvement.
Jaime lectors for weekend Masses and is currently the vice president for the Catholic Education Committee at the school, serving at different times on various committees within the church and the school. Adam is the chair of the school’s big “Hunter’s Night Out” fundraiser. Jaime is the marriage preparation coordinator at St. Patrick’s, and, as a couple, Adam and Jaime have been a part of the marriage prep program for 14 years. They present the “Open to Life” presentation for marriage preparation retreats and serve as a FOCCUS couple for engaged couples. As a family, the Pouillies also volunteer for their parish fall festival and ring bells for the Salvation Army.
Even amidst the busyness of life, the Pouillies don’t use it as an excuse not to be involved with their parish and school. They know it is their duty to do so and carve out the time that is required. As an added bonus, they say, “The feeling you get from giving back and the people you meet or friends you make are priceless.” They also have fond memories of the Home and School’s Trivia Night and Hunter’s Night Out each year—seeing all the hard work come together and enjoying themselves at the events.
Father John Potaczek, pastor of St. Patrick Parish, is thankful for the efforts of the Pouillie family. “Parishes need people to step up so that great events and some of the daily things get done, that is exactly what I see in this family. The parents witness this, and it is being passed on in their daughters,” he shares. “A ‘can-do’ attitude makes all the difference for any event. The Pouillie family is a model of that and doing it with a smile.”
Story and photography by Amy Eichsteadt
Published in Catholic Life March 2020 issue