My name is Katie and I am the lucky girl who Maxine credits as the inspiration for Build-A-Bear Workshop®. This is a credit that Maxine generously bestowed upon me, though I feel it is equally correct to say that I was merely a young girl who was willing to share my definite point of view on teddy bears and other furry friends!
Category Archives: Stories
By Margie Brill of My Springfield Mommy
A party at a Build-A-Bear Workshop can be for so much more than just a birthday. No matter what brings your family together, whether your children are part of a sports team, club, or church group, there is always room to celebrate. For example, just this month I invited a few children and their families from the local Ronald McDonald House to come to the Springfield, Ill. store for an unforgettable afternoon.
By Angela Roy of Mommy PR
This birdhouse was my husband’s idea. That man is a Martha Stewart sometimes. I had a box from The Honest Company, it was sort of long and skinny, on the smaller side. He took one look and decided that was going in the backyard for the birds.
What you will need:
- A box
- 2 kabob sticks
- Popsicle sticks (optional)
- Any craft extras for design (we used some pine and pine cone)
- Glue Gun
Your total cost should be FREE.
Take a the box and make it into a small square. We did this by cutting the long box in half and combining the 2 sides together (one half inside the other) to make it shorter. Simply glue those 2 together.
Take part of the lid, fold it in half for a roof. Run a Kabob stick through the bottom of the roof, through the birdhouse to the other side. This will help secure it stays on, but as an extra caution glue it also. It should look like the letter A now. Leave the ends of the Kabobs like they are, the birds can use those to perch on, or cover them in Popsicle sticks like we did (optional).
This part is all optional. You can use the Popsicle sticks to line the birdhouse for decoration, or add pine cones, leaves, flowers, even glitter. Whatever you want. Then just find a place to hang it outside.
Now isn’t that the cutest recycled birdhouse?
Have a whirl at it and see what you come up with.
By Angela Roy of Mommy PR
I bet you never thought you would be reading how to build a nut house. With kids, it’s always something, right?
We have been feeding our backyard squirrels for a while now. It’s something that I remember doing with my late grandpa. He would be swarmed by the local wildlife just eating out of his hands. I would just sit in amazement as they acted like house pets to his every move. Ahh, the memories.
Anyway, I wanted my girls to build some “Nut Boxes”, just little containers to hold squirrel feed; nuts, corn, sunflower seeds, etc. (You can also make these boxes to hold trinkets, craft supplies, jewelry, or candy. They are very versatile.) I made this affordable for anyone, because all the items are from The Dollar Tree (you know, the place where everything under the sun is only $1).
You will need:
- Popsicle Sticks- I bought 2 bags of 100 sticks ($2)
- Glue- ($1)
- Peanuts- ($1)
- Leaves, Pine Cones- Free, just let the kids pick items from outside
- Bird Topper- Optional ($1 for pack of 2)
Your total cost should only be $5
Lay two sticks down, about the length of the Popsicle sticks apart from each other, and glue 10 sticks across them to build a base.
Glue one stick along each side slightly overlapping each end atop the end of another stick. Continue until you reach the depth you want for your container.
While your box is drying, make another “base” as in Step 1. This will be your top. Let the kids really use their imagination on this part. Pine cones, birds, rocks, etc. Whatever you want as your top.
Allow to dry and then fill with your favorite foods for the animals or your other furry friends. This can be dog treats for Fido, nuts for the squirrels, or even candy for Grandpa.
An extra you can do; If you get the plain Popsicle sticks, you can let the kids paint something on the sides. Also, we are leery of leaving a full box outside. We learned that the birds and squirrels sure are stronger and more nosy than we thought. They ate both boxes and dumped them on the ground! (see photo below) We keep joking that soon we are going to see them so fat they will be dragging their bellies across the grass.
I hope you enjoy your craft time with the kids! What will your nut houses look like? Leave us a link to see them!
Megan Dunham of Half-Pint House
My husband and I met while working at a youth camp in Colorado. That year was my first. I was 19 and I spent it working in the camp kitchen. It was my husband’s third and he had just joined the camp staff in a full-time capacity. Fast forward three years and we were married and both involved as full-time camp staff. Between the two of us we experienced camp life in just about every capacity you can imagine – from kitchen crew to counselor to store manager to resident camp director we pretty much did everything there is to do at camp at some point during the 10 years we worked there.
One big thing we dealt with on a semi-regular basis was homesickness in our youngest campers. The camp we worked with started off with 2nd graders and went all the way up through high school. The camp we worked at was an overnight camp that lasted a full week. Kids were dropped off on Sunday afternoons and picked up again on Friday mornings.
Brandon has been a bear for nearly 13 years, and he is also a father to 6 boys ranging in age from 5 – 17 years old! His kids help him keep Build-A-Bear Workshop the MOST fun place! When Brandon came to World Bearquarters, he worked on getting new stores up and running. He was an important part of the IT team and eventually began working more with our online and interactive projects, like Bearville.com™. You better believe his boys have helped him test games to make sure we offer pawsome stuff for kids of all ages!
Brandon’s crew has also helped test the Build-A-Bear App. With a Dad in IT, his kids love all things techie. He became a bear when his oldest son was just 4 years old and it’s hard for his family to imagine life without BABW! It’s normal for his sons to hang out with him in the engineering lab at BQ or to help him cut foam board to make mock fixtures. They love trying out new gadgets and gizmos for us! Recently, Brandon’s kids have helped with our new digital sound station for Hear Me. The digital sound station has a touchscreen that allows Guests to choose from tons of songs and sounds, including ones that have been approved by Brandon’s boys. At Build-A-Bear Workshop, we love to hear from real kids. They help us to evolve and remain innovative.
Besides helping their dad, ALL of his kids have celebrated at least one birthday with a Build-A-Party!
Brandon E., Director Virtual World & Interactive Opbearations
Jonah, 17; Ethan, 13; Isaac, 12; Carson, 10; Kyle, 7; and Caleb, 5.
Molly Saunders, Digital Bear
One of the things I remember best about hot summers is making ice cream with my dad. We use the old wooden ice cream maker that he grew up with. It makes the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted! Nothing ever comes close to that subtle, just-sweet-enough taste, especially after you’ve worked so hard to make it.
I’ve adapted a version of the recipe he has used for more than 40 years so that you can make ice cream with your dad, or so that your children make ice cream with their dad for Father’s Day. It could become a really wonderful tradition for your family, too. I also like that making ice cream can double Continue reading
Ever get that feeling, when you’re looking for just the right card, that nothing is good enough? That nothing written by somebody else could possibly express what you want to say to the special person you’re thinking about? I get that feeling all the time. And because none of the cards in the world are truly good enough for my mom (and I’m sure you’ve felt the same way), I thought I’d write this ode to moms (shhh… it’s especially for you, Mom). My wish is that every mom who reads this knows that they’ve done something right and wonderful for their children. It’s a little thank you, a note to say “you’re totally pawsome,” for every mom out there.
I don’t know how you do it, “it” meaning every single little thing.
You brought me here and fixed me up, you even gave me wings.
You raised me to be myself, not knowing what that was.
You just knew you’d love me because I was yours; just because.
Of course I fought and yelled and screamed, even when I knew you were right,
And you just said, ‘Someday you’ll understand,’ as I angered with all my might.
You were more than a perfect student of all the tests I put you through,
Although, the lessons were mine to learn – something you always knew.
In fact, with a mom as inspiring as you, I grew to have no doubt,
How incredible your beauty was, on the inside and the out.
I think we’ve grown, and you’ve become my friend more and more,
I think, ‘Wow, there’s just no one like you. I totally scored!’
I just hope that someday, for my babes, I might be
Even a teeny tiny piece, of what you are for me.
- Molly Saunders, Digital Bear
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!”
by Lee Nadler of thesherpapath.com/blog
I have found that one of the keys to achieving a goal is trusting that your teammates can be counted on to do the right thing. And thay they trust you.
In many organizations you must meet certain criteria, which are often not clear, to earn trust. At Build-A-Bear Worksop, this is turned upside down. You are immediately granted trust. Maxine Clark, Founder and Chief Executive Bear believes, “When you grant people trust they have to be accountable for their actions and use both their head and their heart.”
I learned that lesson as Chief Marketing & Interactive Officer at RIDEMAKERZ where I worked closely with Maxine and the fine folks at Build-A-Bear Workshop.
In our discussion, Maxine shares several other characteristics of leadership which I have also found to be present in Sherpas:
- Listening: “When you are truly listening, sometimes you can find the little things that matter and have an opportunity to make a difference.”
- Empathy: “How people treat each other from the heart is where the magic happens.”
- Empowerment: “You don’t just walk by people in life – you have an opportunity to make a difference. Leaders help people see their full potential.”
- Self Confidence: “People often give in to the impression others may have of them instead of building their own vision of themselves. Who is someone else to tell you that you can’t do something? It’s a competition with yourself.”
“I’m my own kind of Sherpa” says Maxine. Indeed she is.
Listen, apply the insights to your Path, add your comments and share with others.