Me and my mom

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!


About Molly Saunders

I am a bear in the Digital Dept at Build-A-Bear Workshop. I work at World Bearquarters in St. Louis, Mo. View all posts by Molly Saunders

27 responses to “Me and my mom

  • brandy3

    wow, so you have been apart of Build A Bear Workshop since day one. That is awesome

  • Alvina (Triggs) Perry

    Awww, Molly what a great story. It made me recall the days you would spend at BQ helping me. I miss you! Glad to see you are stilla bear.



  • MaricrisG (@MaricrisG)

    That is definitely cool and so awesome that you are working with your mom in a place that brings you fun and love each day!

  • Ode to moms everywhere «

    […] 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 […]

  • juliaroberts2

    I love, love, love this story. And your mom? She sounds awesome!

  • Jennifer J

    I still have the first bear I made & dressed as a sailor when my mom took my sister and I! Now I have three children of my own & they have each built a few bears! My little boy loves the orange tabby he still carries it with him everywhere! It was the first one he made & he will be 7 this year! Sure hope he makes a comeback lol My oldest son Logan who is 8 is never to old to dress and create, his fav is Mr Owl with a star wars music box! Lastly my little girl who is turning 3 sleeps with her peace bear every night & is looking forward to building her birthday bear! A huge THANK YOU and GOD BLESS to you & your mom for all years of precious memories I have with my family at build a bear!

  • Tootie Parker

    Good Morning Molly,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story.
    My daughter and I are so proud to support such a great inventor. We love the bears, but really love the clothes and accessories that come along as well.


  • maddisonmouse

    hi i have a daisy bunny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! her name is daisy!!!!!!!!!!!! she has the pink mp3 and that plaid skirt outfit and i got her a basket to sleep in and a wooden heart my dad made! and my mom made her with me❤

  • ana

    When my two kids make their first bab i open the store literally to be sure they have the oportunity to enjoy the moment. Since then they made another but the first was unforgatable. Thanks for all the good and beary precious time..

  • Beth Schneider

    Wow! Great story! That is so cool that you were a part of the store from day one! I have a rabbit named Rhoda who I origionally dressed in 70’s clothes inspired by Rhoda from the Mary Tyler Moore show! I now have a peace and Friendship bear named Noailey(Noly for short) created for me by two kids I sit for named Noah and Hailey! I am 30 years old and still single and childless so I sometimes treat Noly and Rhoda like my kids! I don’t have as much time as I used to but it is still a great way to let loose and relax and have fun after work. I work in a daycare so that sometimes makes for a long stressful workday! I LOVE Buildabear workshop! I hope to take my kids someday if I ever have kids!

  • Leslie Joscelyn

    What a beautiful story. I was just at Build A Bear the other day in Syracuse, NY with my son Jakob. My baby, Jakob who just turned 5 years old was diagnosed with Autism in 2009. That same day we made our FIRST Build-A-Bear together. It was some frightful moment for me getting the official diagnosis so we REALLY needed a friend. Every year since then when we have had to return to Syracuse for follow-up appointments with his developmental pediatrician I promised him a new Build-A-Bear…and, so, this time, he chose the kitty…and, of course, because he’s a boy he had to have the new green John Deere tractor to go along with it. Of course I caved in and gave it to him…because this follow-up appointment I didn’t leave crying my eyes out. This was the one appointment where I left breathless – after all my hard work and dedication to my son and from the help of his therapists we are looking at a possible declassification in a couple of years! Jakob has flourished!!

    Can you PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make an Autism Awareness bear?!?! (if you haven’t already done so) I would buy a million of them in a heartbeat!! I think ‘For A Cause’ bears would be a huge hit!!!

    • mollysaunders

      Hi Leslie,
      Thanks for sharing your story with us! Thank you for visiting us and allowing us to become a part of your memories. Go Jakob!
      As you can imagine we receive lots of requests for special bears for different causes. While we have worked with Autism Speaks for 8 years in a row to give all pin pad donations to the organization during the month of April, we also have a bear called Champ – A Champion Fur Kids! With every purchase of Champ a donation is made to our foundation which helps many children’s health and wellness causes. It is in this way that we are able to help even more kids every year!
      Learn more about our Cause Animals.

  • Paula Anderson

    I have taken all 5 of my grandkids to BAB on their birthdays. When their mom asks them what they want me to give them for special occasions they all say, “We want Grammy to take us to BAB!!” Of course I do. My greatniece is 2 and we are going for her first bear this week! I have Miss Piggy and Kermit and a floppy eared bunny. For Mothers’ Day my son is taking me to build another bear. I feel like a kid whenever I enter the store. Thank you for making the bears affordable and the sales people so fun to work with!

  • Selah

    Molly, that’s awesome that you did that! What a great story, that’s amazing!! God bless you guys!!

  • Debora Mbanga

    Ahhhh, I remember those days when I was all about BAB. Now, most people in my family think I’m too old for BAB😦 I got my first BAB when I was 7 or 8 years old😉 now, I have 4 BAB’s. (Sindy, Moniqie, Shea, and Lily) Brown, pink, brown ice cream color, and cream. I will always love them,

    BAB 4eva❤

    • mollysaunders

      You are NEVER too old for a furry friend!

      • Debora Mbanga

        Your my proof that I’m not to old to get one! Guess what? My auntie was thinking of GIVING them away to my niece! I know it would be sweet, but she wouldnt love them like I do. Once I get a man, ima force him to get me a BAB. Tehehe,:)

  • Joanna

    Me and my sister had built that cat. Thank you for choosing the cat!

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