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Old 08-27-2010, 08:29 PM   #1
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Default Annalee Dolls now at Olde Province Common

The new tenant at Olde Province Common in the space formerly occupied by Jackson's Star Market... Annalee Dolls! The signs are already up, and plans are underway for a Grand Opening! I suppose it would be a retail location, maybe a museum area? (speculating)

Does anyone have more details?
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:28 AM   #2
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Yea, they are all made in China now.
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:31 AM   #3
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Well, it is nice to see at least one company that is expanding instead of contracting....

http://www.annalee.com/whats_new.php
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:41 AM   #4
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Thrilled to see this company grow....we've been going to the original in Meredith for over 20 years. Very unhappy to see it start to unravel after Anna Lee's death. But in speaking to the proprieters, we found out that it was bought by the people that now run the shop. Their hearts are really in it, we wish them well.
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Old 08-28-2010, 03:30 PM   #5
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Sure its expanding but all the manufacturing has been exported at the further
expense of our work force.
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Old 08-28-2010, 08:22 PM   #6
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It's always funny when some things that cost so much, are then being made overseas so someone can make even more. I'm sure those local jobs pay very competitive wages and benefits
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:30 AM   #7
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With all the manufacturing jobs shipped to Mexico and the far east you can understand why there is a shortage of jobs in the USA. As long as greed is there for CEO's they will continue to feed China.

An old man whos has seen the decline of America.
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:30 AM   #8
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For years, Annalee's employed locals to assemble dolls at home. It allowed many mom's who couldn't get out to the workplace to contribute. It was sad to see those jobs go to China. I wonder if any of those people who lost their jobs will be buying the dolls from China that they used to make.
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:54 AM   #9
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Default those things are creepy, no matter where they're made

My mother-in-law gave me an Annalee doll once. It reminded me of Bride of Chucky and I didn't scold the dog for chewing it to bits.

In all seriousness, when a local place goes China, it's no longer local and I don't spend my money there. A trip through their history on their website has loads of folksy, happy, wonderful entries. I note they are missing the one showing all of those jobs sent overseas.
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Old 08-29-2010, 04:55 PM   #10
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Don't worry about the jobs going to Mexico. Before you know it all the Mexicans are going to be in the States and then the jobs will be back before ya know it. I heard that WalMart is thinking about building a manufacturing/distribution facility in Arizona. Hmmmm....wonder why.
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:14 PM   #11
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Default From Annalee's FAQ page...

Where or how are the dolls made?

Designers develop all their designs and prototypes in Meredith, New Hampshire. Once new designs are completed, they are manufactured to our high standards by Asian artisans who have been trained in all aspects of our doll making techniques. A rigid quality control process insures that every doll meets our tough standards of quality.


----

Wow. Sad....
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:21 PM   #12
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No "Asian Made" discounts either.

They are fugly though.
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAMIAM View Post
For years, Annalee's employed locals to assemble dolls at home. It allowed many mom's who couldn't get out to the workplace to contribute. It was sad to see those jobs go to China. I wonder if any of those people who lost their jobs will be buying the dolls from China that they used to make.
My wife and I were members of the Annalee Doll Society from almost the beginning. We would go to the Barbeque and Auction weekend every year (with a few extra days to enjoy The Lake) and we have a rather large collection including the original collector series, some signed by Annalee herself. We enjoyed touring the "Factory in the Woods" and talking to the local people that hand crafted the dolls. "Made in Meredith" was a part of the charm and made it worth the price. I have a cap signed by Annalee, Chip, Chuck and Townsend that is one of a kind.

That being said, it was sad to hear that production was moved "offshore" and the "Factory in the Woods" and "Made in Meredith" had ended. The last weekend we ever attended was just after Annalee passed away and we found out the last doll personally designed by her was NOT made in Meredith. The local hands that crafted the dolls were gone. That was the last Annalee we ever purchased. Son Chuck continued as the designer and parted ways with his brother Townsend and a major family feud ensued. We knew that was the end of what had been a fantastic family business.

We are not interested in dolls made in China.

I feel sorry for those that lost their jobs and the home workers. We talked to many workers at the weekend events and they seemed to enjoy what they did and the home workers all said it was a good thing being able to work at home and care for their children at the same time.

So sad.
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:39 AM   #14
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As one of the new owners at Annalee, I thought I would respond to your postings. One of our employees brought this to our attention, so I joined the forum to express my thoughts. To those folks who expressed support for us, thank you. For those that decided to make cutting remarks, I offer the following:
My partners and I invested our money into a failing company that was about to close. If we did not, than that means all jobs lost. Today we have around forty folks employed. We struggle to offer FULL benefits to them and their families. Greedy folks (as we were called) don’t do that.
My partners and I do not run into objectors when we donate to the local Chamber of Commerce, Children’s Auctions, Boys and Girls Club and about sixty other charities (literally, thousands of dollars!) and not that you care, but our first major contribution was offered as we were flooded out of our office building. By the way, we rarely even get a thank you, but we continue.
The greedy owners (us) who stole local jobs, could have moved the company into another area of the country where it would have been cheaper, stayed out of respect for the tradition of the Annalee name.
To all of you who are complaining, check the car you drive or the tag in your clothes. You could buy American, but I bet you look for price first. And, yes I am angry at your remarks. By the way, the CEO (characterized as greedy) here took very little as salary during the turn around-you would be amazed at how littlehe took so we could re-institute a benefit program!
Frankly, please don't buy our products. We make and design nice products for nice people and the nice people here at Annalee are proud of their work.

Last edited by infoperson; 08-30-2010 at 11:51 AM. Reason: mis-spelling
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:51 AM   #15
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Default ouch

Kind of upsetting to read this from a first time poster. Considering they are located in Meredith, why upset the locals? I think some people were just taking a walk down memory lane when they speak of the home workers and the little factory in the woods. And I have to agree-the good old USA unemployment rate is astronomical-I would prefer to see local people get local jobs. By the way, we all donate to auctions, schools, charities, forum fests (!!) and the like.
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:01 PM   #16
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Default Sorry but you bet wrong....

I do buy American and I do check tags, including where my car was manufactured. It is a big deal to me. I do support local business on every level of society I'm involved with; public or private.

I grew up with Annalee dolls and remember touring the facility when I was a kid. No matter how upset you get or put out with those of us who don't like to see it, I can't help but say I hate seeing manufacturing jobs going overseas. I've seen it in my home state, Maine, with so many businesses; from Bass shoes to L.L. Bean products, to .... you get the idea. It just seems to hit closer to home that industry has moved elsewhere when it was a part of your childhood. I was, quite frankly, shocked to learn that this isn't the NH institution it used to be... sad. I wasn't aware it had changed.

I get "why" businesses do it; they have to make a profit - that's business.

It doesn't mean I like it. Times have changed and we need jobs over here now. Have you considering bringing the work back home?

Thanks for the explanation, I guess, but one poster said something about greed; you should take your issue up with him and not the whole thread.
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:20 PM   #17
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Default good start.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by infoperson View Post
As one of the new owners at Annalee, I thought I would respond to your postings. One of our employees brought this to our attention, so I joined the forum to express my thoughts. To those folks who expressed support for us, thank you. For those that decided to make cutting remarks, I offer the following:
My partners and I invested our money into a failing company that was about to close. If we did not, than that means all jobs lost. Today we have around forty folks employed. We struggle to offer FULL benefits to them and their families. Greedy folks (as we were called) donít do that.
My partners and I do not run into objectors when we donate to the local Chamber of Commerce, Childrenís Auctions, Boys and Girls Club and about sixty other charities (literally, thousands of dollars!) and not that you care, but our first major contribution was offered as we were flooded out of our office building. By the way, we rarely even get a thank you, but we continue.
The greedy owners (us) who stole local jobs, could have moved the company into another area of the country where it would have been cheaper, stayed out of respect for the tradition of the Annalee name.
To all of you who are complaining, check the car you drive or the tag in your clothes. You could buy American, but I bet you look for price first. And, yes I am angry at your remarks. By the way, the CEO (characterized as greedy) here took very little as salary during the turn around-you would be amazed at how littlehe took so we could re-institute a benefit program!
Frankly, please don't buy our products. We make and design nice products for nice people and the nice people here at Annalee are proud of their work.

Good first post Grasshopper, now you can take the pebble from my hand and go. Every year for as long as I can remember, I would go to the Annalee shop in the woods and buy Christmas presents, Easter, Halloween...you name it. As soon as they went overseas, I don't even look at the sign on 104 anymore. Kind of took the fun out of the whole shopping experience. It was nice having a unique product made right here in Meredith by "people that were proud of their work" and sold all over the world. Thats gone now. So you can set up your store in a big plaza and have your grand openings, but it is still no different than going to a card store at the mall. picking up the Annalee doll from the shelf, and not seeing made in Meredith NH. Although, I did notice the eyes on all the new dolls look different......
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:43 PM   #18
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Your car might be assembled here AG but a lot it was manufactured in other countries. Almost anything you own has the hand of Mexico or Asia on it. It's a fact of life when labor costs are at 2 ends of the scale. You might want to start with the computer your posting on.

What the liberal corporation bashers should understand about these companies they hate on is that if they did not outsource to cheaper labor markets they would quickly become has beens and bankrupt, taking all of the jobs they do supply now with them while the foreign companies get stronger still. Its a global world we live in now folks. Am I happy about that, certainly not.
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:59 PM   #19
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No "Asian Made" discounts either.

They are fugly though.
LOL - hideous! My wife love's em though so we have an odd-even year arrangement for putting them out at Christmas.
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:20 PM   #20
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Your car might be assembled here AG but a lot it was manufactured in other countries. Almost anything you own has the hand of Mexico or Asia on it. It's a fact of life when labor costs are at 2 ends of the scale. You might want to start with the computer your posting on.

What the liberal corporation bashers should understand about these companies they hate on is that if they did not outsource to cheaper labor markets they would quickly become has beens and bankrupt, taking all of the jobs they do supply now with them while the foreign companies get stronger still. Its a global world we live in now folks. Am I happy about that, certainly not.
Yup. I know it. My computer is an Apple but I know the components are from overseas - little to no USA Made products in that baby. My Chrysler minivan (it's a SWB model) was made mostly in St. Louis, MO but of course who knows where exactly the parts came from to the manufacturing facility.

Like I said, I get it. I really do. They have to make a profit - it's no sin.

Go back and read my post - I'm not "hating" on anyone or bashing them. I think one poster said something negative about the company and a couple others about the product. But it's the way things are allowed by our government - made possible via NAFTA - that I find upsetting... If you ever lived in a mill town and watched the mills close and move overseas, maybe you understand where I'm coming from... it's just the reality of it all... I had not idea one little doll company in Meredith, NH had also done the same...
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Old 08-30-2010, 06:21 PM   #21
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Infoperson......pretty tacky to brag about all of the donations that you make. That should come from the heart, not to seek praise and recognition.
Talk to some of us who have been supporting local charities for 30 or 40 years before you pat yourself on the back!
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Old 08-30-2010, 06:57 PM   #22
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Default Buy American.

Our Dept of Defense does a pretty damn good job of making sure defense spending goes local. Working for a local defense contractor for 33 years, I have witness hiring local skilled help and using local subcontractors to manufacture electronics for the military. DOD spending is put to great use in supporting local economy. In part to gain favor of local representatives and senators. When Obama decided to curtail the F-22 program, this action resulted in 190,000 skilled laborers losing their jobs. Obama did not realized this till after and he had to suffer the consequences of not having some backup program for the civil employess effected.

What I am getting at is that we do have the skills and expertise to do the job, right here in USA. If the consumer demand local products, much like the DOD, there will be a change to local production. Putting high tariffs on goods and services will not solve the problem. Our own greed for cheap products and our selfishness for high wages must be curtailed if we want to be better citizens and to help the nation get out of this recession.

If buying American is top prority then I am sure Annelee dolls will return to Meredith. I know for a fact that many folks who bought the collectables are no longer buying the dolls because they are made elsewhere. The 'China dolls' do not command the prices on the collectors market as the original. The mass marketing of the dolls is what keeping the company alive. Nothing more.

As far as charitable organizations, the defense industries are one of the biggest contributor, if not the biggest, as the case of BAE Systems in Nashua, to local charities. People can complain all they want about DOD spending. At least the money is supporting the local economy.

As JFK says: 'Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country'.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:29 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infoperson View Post
As one of the new owners at Annalee, ......
I presume from that post that you are not related to the Thorndike family. I was not aware that Chuck no longer owned the business.

Quote:
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.... My partners and I invested our money into a failing company that was about to close. .....
JMHO but maybe one of the reasons it was failing was that the longtime collector base that had grown up across the country was not interested in a product made in China.

I wish you well and hope you realize that you now have to develop a new marketing plan. Note, I said marketing plan not sales plan, they are not the same thing as you no doubt know.
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Old 08-31-2010, 01:39 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RI Swamp Yankee View Post
I presume from that post that you are not related to the Thorndike family. I was not aware that Chuck no longer owned the business.


JMHO but maybe one of the reasons it was failing was that the longtime collector base that had grown up across the country was not interested in a product made in China.

I wish you well and hope you realize that you now have to develop a new marketing plan. Note, I said marketing plan not sales plan, they are not the same thing as you no doubt know.
My handyman's wife works at Annalee Dolls. He said they will not occupy the building at the Olde province Common until October.
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:12 AM   #25
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If you ever lived in a mill town and watched the mills close and move overseas, maybe you understand where I'm coming from... it's just the reality of it all... I had not idea one little doll company in Meredith, NH had also done the same...
Not directing the corperation bashing comment at you AG.I read this stuff all the time and makes me shake my head and wonder how little knowledge of the business world these people have.
I happen to live in the what was the biggest textile producing mill manufacturing town in the world,Manchester.As A kid I I saw all these mill building eventually become vacant.But guess what?I now own one and have watched the Millyard come back wonderfully except for the manufacturing.Although we do use 40,000 sq ft for manufacturing our own products.
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Old 09-05-2010, 03:24 PM   #26
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The Winnipesaukee Playhouse has been offering tours of the former Annalee campus all summer and have more dates lined up for September. We encourage anyone to attend who would like to see what we have done with the property thus far and what the plans are for the future.

Upcoming tour dates:

Saturday September 11, 11 am
Tuesday September 14, 10 am
Sunday September 19, 2 pm
Tuesday September 21, 4 pm
Thursday September 23, 11 am

If you'd like to attend, simply email bryan@winniplayhouse.com so we know to expect you.

We wish good luck to Annalee Dolls in their new location!
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Old 09-07-2010, 04:37 AM   #27
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Default uf da

Nice intro, infoperson. I'm sure it'll send the locals flocking to see you.

Since you didn't own the company when the jobs were sent overseas, it's obvious no one holds you accountable. But you bought a company, and with it you bought the Thorndike history, good and bad. Now that you own that history, you have a chance to alter it's course. If you are successful, your CEO as well as you will reap the benefits. That is what owners and CEO's do - they take chances, they hope to grab the golden ring eventually.

I'd suggest the first thing you need is a marketing department who can frame your corporate message. It can't possibly be what you posted here.
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:55 AM   #28
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Speaking of unemployment, with so many jobs going overseas and so many Americans out of work, why do I keep going into local businesses and speaking to employees with Eastern European accents? If you ask them about it, they are college students here on work visas. Why are we importing labor when we have such high unemployment?
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Old 09-07-2010, 02:32 PM   #29
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Speaking of unemployment, with so many jobs going overseas and so many Americans out of work, why do I keep going into local businesses and speaking to employees with Eastern European accents? If you ask them about it, they are college students here on work visas. Why are we importing labor when we have such high unemployment?
Oh boy, here we go. Maybe you should ask your Congress and President.
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