In her nearly 30 years in business, Anne Taintor has been much imitated, but never truly duplicated. She had the very original idea of making collages from vintage magazine ads, injecting her pithy and often rebellious sense of humor into seemingly innocent images of 1930s, 1940s and 1950s happy housewives and their families. I first became acquainted with her work in the late 90s, when her images were solely on magnets and greeting cards. Today her designs are still as fresh as ever to me and never fail to bring a smile.

The story behind the product adds insight the talented mind behind it. In 1985, Anne was a 30-year-old single mom struggling to make ends meet when she launched her company. She was at the time an artist and a part-time waitress having a Harvard degree, but no business experience. What she had essentially was the desire to blend work and parenthood.

The company has succeeded largely because she understands and can laugh at the issues affecting modern womanhood and family life. As the Philadelphia Inquirer once wrote, Anne Taintor is a “master of the droll juxtaposition … an artist who perceives a ruthless truth in red lipstick.”

I’ve received a lot of great images and product from Anne Taintor in the years since we launched Stationery Trends, and I’m sharing just a few favorites below. If you like them, take a whirl around her site to see what catches your eye — you’ll find everything from canvas prints to crew socks. Plus there’s a monthly caption contest to try your hand at as well as ongoing news of the Taintorettes, that is, mini-biographies of the people featured in her designs.

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