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History

Build-A-Bear Store Storefront

Building Memories, One Bear at a Time

Perhaps once in a generation an impassioned individual crafts an idea so impactful that it transforms not one but two industries, while touching the hearts of millions around the world. For today’s generation, Maxine Clark is that person and Build-A-Bear Workshop is that idea.

Maxine envisioned an interactive retail destination where kids could make personalized “furry friends.” She ultimately created something that is now called “experiential retail” which has fundamentally helped to change the way we think about shopping.

On that October Sunday in 1997 when she opened the first Build-A-Bear Workshop in the Saint Louis Galleria Mall, Guests lined up outside the door. They knew, even then, that this was something special. And they have never stopped coming. Bear by bear, store by store, market by market, and country by country, Build-A-Bear Workshop has now grown to over 400 locations worldwide.

In addition to changing retail, Maxine changed the stuffed animal toy market. How? By delivering a consistent approach to creating emotional connections with Guests through a unique high-touch service model delivered by our very important Bear Builders. The simple brilliance of stuffing your own furry friend — including our iconic and memorable “heart ceremony” — forever separated a Build-A-Bear furry friend from all others.

Millions of furry friends and more than 20 years later, Build-A-Bear Workshop has earned its rightful position, far beyond fad, as an iconic part of not just one but two generations.

Now retired as the first and only “Chief Executive Bear,” Maxine’s passion for children has been channeled to positively impact early childhood education, which will undoubtedly create yet another legacy. Find out more about our founder Maxine Clark.

Maxine Clark

MEET OUR FOUNDER

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Active Offers ()
  • 25% OFF Select Furry Friends!

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    DISCLAIMER: Frights & Delights Sale valid online only at buildabear.com through 11:59 p.m. CST on October 4, 2022. Prices as marked. Exclusions apply. Must enter code SPOOKY at checkout. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Product availability subject to change. Outfits and accessories sold separately unless otherwise noted. Prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

  • The age they’re turning is how much their Birthday Treat Bear costs.

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    DISCLAIMER: Offer valid for Bonus Club members. Offer valid in stores only. Offer valid on Birthday Treat Bear only. Offer subject to change without notice. Limit one per guest, must be present for offer. Cannot be combined with any other offer. While supplies last. Outfits and accessories sold separately. Minimum price $1. See an associate for details.

  • No Up to 30% OFF Animal Crossing™: New Horizons styles!

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    DISCLAIMER: Animal Crossing™ Sale valid online only at buildabear.com through 11:59 p.m. CST on October 9, 2022. Exclusions may apply. Prices as marked. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Product availability subject to change. Prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

  • Up to 20% OFF Select Pokémon Bundles!

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    DISCLAIMER: Pokémon Sale valid online only at buildabear.com through 11:59 p.m. CST on October 9, 2022. Valid on select bundles. Not valid on Gengar and Umbreon bundles. Other exclusions may apply. Prices as marked. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Product availability subject to change. Prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

  • Double the Fun with this fun in-store offer

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    DISCLAIMER: 2 for $45 offers valid in stores for a limited time only. Prices as marked. Valid only on select Make-Your-Own furry friends. Exclusions may apply.Price does not include tax. Offer not valid on previous purchases. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Selection may vary by location. Excludes Build-A-Bear Workshop® within other retail stores, restaurants and specialty locations, including but not limited to, Great Wolf Lodge, Knott’s Berry Farms, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Gaylord Hotels, Kings Island, Rainforest Cafe® and Build-A-Dino® Experience within T-REX Cafe™. Product availability subject to change.Outfits and accessories sold separately unless otherwise noted. Offers valid only at Build-A-Bear Workshop® stores in the United States (including Walmart locations). Prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

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