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Ever wonder who gets to create the whimsical designs at Annalee? Well, now is your chance! We are thrilled to feature the Design & Production Team that works behind the scenes at Annalee HQ in Meredith, New Hampshire.
Gracie Blackey has worked for Annalee for 43 years. She began working in the Positioning Department in 1976, and today she is the Director of Design. From 1977 – 1986 she worked in the Cutting Department. Six of those years she served as Cutting Supervisor before she became Annalee’s assistant in the Design Department. She remembers convincing Annalee to put her face on the copier machine. In 1995, Gracie worked in the Bill of Material Department where she entered doll info and tracked production. For the last 17 years, Gracie has served as the Director of Design. She loves, “the excitement of creating, the busy schedule, and the comradery of her coworkers.”
Favorite 2019 Design: Stars & Stripes Ducks
Barbara Danforth has been a designer with Annalee for 42 years. She worked in Stitching Department as a trainer and inspector and filled in for other departments as needed. She also remembers working closely with Annalee and how totally involved she was with her dolls. She remembers how Annalee loved thrift shopping for clothes and would often buy them way too big. That’s where Barbara came in —she would alter them to fit. Her favorite part of working at Annalee is being a creator.
Favorite 2019 Design: Rustic Pine Collection
Peggy Angelo has been part of the Annalee Design & Production Team for 25 years. She started in 1989 in the Furrier Stitching Department. As Annalee fans know, the furrier stitch (also known as a blanket stitch) helps guarantee a long-lasting and timeless quality. In 1991, Peggy moved to the Design Department. Peggy remembers Annalee and a time where she brought some groceries to a girl in need. Since 2011, Peggy has been working in the gift shop and working on production and assembly of exclusive and personalized designs.
NormaJean Atkinson has been helping create dolls at Annalee for over 27 years. In her early years, she worked on making doll frames and placing them into bodies with stuffing as part of the assembly. She was trained by Annalee. NormaJean remembers once when she was working on a 7-inch Santa with full hair that Annalee walked by and said that it looked like these had just come out of a beauty shop. Annalee quickly lifted up Santa’s hair in places to make them not so tidy! NormaJean has been a trainer and inspector, and when asked what she likes best about her job she said, “too many things to mention!”
Favorite 2019 Design: Pancakes N’ Syrup Mouse (Exclusive)
Paula Greene began working at Annalee 4 years ago. In her first few months, she worked on positioning large dolls. Today she is part of the Production & Assembly Team that puts the finishing touches on all the exclusives. She has fun finishing these unique and intricate limited editions with hair, clothes, and accessories. She is skilled with detail and enjoys hand-painting and making accessories. While she never got to work aside Annalee, she finds it a happy place, “I love the work and my fellow workers are great!”
Favorite 2019 Design: Coffee Bean Mouse (Exclusive)
Daphne Towers has been with Annalee for 1.5 years. She previously designed collectible teddy bears. She is the Assistant Director of Design and ensures all the dolls being hand-assembled are getting the special touches that make them uniquely Annalee Dolls. She designs exclusives collectors will love and sources materials used to create outfits and accessories. She loves working in a fun and creative atmosphere. “The people on our design team are not only talented but a lot of fun to work with.”
Jenashay Doyle just started at Annalee this year! She brings a lot of new ideas and creativity that we can’t wait to share with our collectors. She has been working on some new exclusives for 2020 that will blow your socks right off. You will have to wait to see what she’s cooking up in her new role as a Designer. She enjoys the new role and “being around a creative and friendly bunch.”