My name is Molly and I work on the Digital Team at Build-A-Bear Workshop. You’ll probably see that many stories and blog posts will be written by me. I figured some of you might eventually want to know the person writing them, so here is MY story of becoming a bear.
When I was 12 years old, I was running errands with my mom on a Saturday afternoon. We had one of those pointy-nosed mini vans with the new bucket seats in the front and I finally got to sit in one of them. At one point during our afternoon trek, my mom turned to me and said, “Guess who I met with today?” Of course, I had no idea. “Who?” I asked, wondering why it mattered, since normally her work days were not very interesting to me. “I met with an old friend of mine, we worked together a long time ago. And she wants to create a store where you get to make your own teddy bear!”
I was kind of in a state of shock. Instantly, I started imaging what my teddy bear would look like and what it would be wearing, what kind of personality it would have, where it would go with me. We talked about this amazing idea for the rest of the day, and for many days to follow.
Before opening the first store at the Saint Louis Galleria, Maxine Clark, the friend my mom had met with, gathered a group of kids, including me, and met with us once a month to talk shop. We talked about our favorite animals, what the bears should look like, if they should have clothes or not. And Maxine and her friends would show us samples and ask every single kid what they thought about everything. She always made us feel important, like our opinion mattered. And it certainly did. I so loved being a part of this small group of kids that wanted to work in the store as soon as it opened. I helped out wherever I could, just because I loved it. I helped out at our very first headquarters, stuffing store boxes and answering phones. I officially started work in the store as soon as I was old enough! I’ve even been able to dress as our official mascot on occasion, a job that I L-O-V-E!
Eventually I did leave St. Louis for a small college town, and I have had lots of experiences that have helped get me to where I am today. After I graduated, I knew deep down that there was no place I’d rather be. I worked at the front desk as the First Impressions Bear at World Bearquarters for a while before finding my place with our amazing Digital Team. My mom works here as the Director of Bear and Public Relations, so I even have meetings with her sometimes. And yes, we always get along. Bearquarters feels like home to me and all the bears in it like family. So it’s especially cool that I get to work with my mom!
Do you have a special story about your mom? Have you made a special furry friend together? Tell us about it. Share your story with us!