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Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Annalee Story

In one way, the tale begins with a young woman's meticulous dying of felt fabric and freehand painting of doll faces during the Depression. In another, it starts daily in a design room, a short stroll from Lake Winnipesaukee in Meredith, NH. Either way this is a once-upon-a time story of a doll making cottage industry making it big; nationally big. But this story is different because this one is infused with magic; a very special magic which is uniquely Annalee. Annalee

Annalee and husband Chip Thorndike lived on a New Hampshire chicken farm. The chicken farm failed in the early 1950's and it was then that Annalee was forced to really get serious about her childhood hobby, doll making with a dash of Yankee influence. So the old chicken coop became a design room, Chip became a salesman, and Annalee a doll maker. She fashioned her creations directly from the activities of her two sons who were always skiing, swimming or otherwise engaged in what children do best. There is no doubt that this is why Annalee picked more then one mischievous, whimsical face for each of her doll creations.
Today, the dolls that Annalee's design associates create reflect not only easier times, but also Annalee's sense of human nature - and humor. The ideas emerged, she says, from "research and reading." By the 1980's the company started to focus more and more on the holiday seasons, after all, this is when people really share how much they care for each other. Whether a Christmas elf or an Easter frog, one characteristic threads itself through the entire family of dolls. "It's the positive-ness of the face," says their creator. "It's the smile. If you smile, someone else has got to smile back.". Then, she adds, "you have to have the action and the humor - the flexibility and the wit that goes along with it." Flexibility and wit happen to go along with the production of these whimsical felt-and-wire personalities. It is the wire frame that gives these dolls their personality, allowing our artists and you the opportunity to position them in a way that speaks to each one of us. Annalee dolls have a lightness of heart that fits into any setting. Take a look at Annalee's creations and there's something special right in front of you. Sure, her dolls are full of character and whimsy, but the thread that binds them together as an 'Annalee' is that each and every one of them energetically celebrates some aspect of life itself - life at its very best. Therein lies the magic, and such magic works wonders as a home d├ęcor display or just as a gift for someone special, even yourself.
There is an ANNALEE ONLINE MUSEUM to check out if interested. 

Now here are some photos of what we currently have available.

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