Annalee is a maker of cloth/fabric figurines. They operate in New Hampshire and have been doing so since 1934. This is a story of a doll-making cottage industry that made it big . . . nationally big. But what makes this story different is that it’s infused with magic—a very special magic that is uniquely Annalee. Annalee Thorndike started the business based on her childhood hobby of doll making with a dash of Yankee influence. She fashioned her creations directly from the activities of her two sons—skiing, swimming, and other activities children do best. There is no doubt that this is why Annalee designed more than one mischievous, whimsical face for each of her doll creations.
During the 1970s, Annalee’s creations started to focus primarily on “The Mouse for Every House”. Her famous mice with several facial expressions, took on different personas, occupations, and hobbies. These little critters became a staple in holiday and seasonal decorations. The mice are still a favorite among customers and collectors to this day. Santa, mice, elves and animals became the core of the collections. Annalee was inspired by the family holiday traditions. Annalee said “After all, this is when people really show how much they care for each other.” Annalee’s designs reflect simpler times and her own sense of human nature and humor. Whether a Christmas elf or an Easter frog, one characteristic threads itself throughout the entire family of dolls: ”It’s the ‘positive-ness’ of the face,” said Annalee. “It’s the smile. If you smile, someone else has got to smile back.” Each and every “Annalee” energetically celebrates some aspect of life itself—life at its very best. Annalee passed away in 2002, but her legacy continues.
Nothing quite says “Christmas” like an Annalee elf, mouse or Santa. The festive characters and cheery critters will make the spirit bright.