Clark will discuss her perspective on the retail industry today. Operating Status of Organization e.g. Build-a-Bear consistently won kudos as a workplace. Maxine Clark – Founder Build-A-Bear Workshop®. Founders of the organization. When one rather stiff, formal banker propped his feet up on his desk, it took her a minute to register: He’d worn his Ralph Lauren teddy bear socks for her. For today’s generation, Maxine Clark is that person and Build-A-Bear Workshop is that idea. But the job wasn't enough -- the spark was gone, she said -- and she left in 1996. His relatives came over on the Mayflower; my grandparents came over from Eastern Europe. When did the business instinct develop? The following is a summary of … But the job wasn't enough -- the spark was gone, she said -- … All rights reserved. During her career, her ability to spot emerging retail and merchandising trends and her insight into the desires of the American consumer have generated growth for retail leaders, including department store, discount and specialty stores. Q&A With Build-A-Bear Workshop Founder, Maxine Clark Customization has become the norm in retail, but when Ellevate Network member Maxine Clark created the Build-A-Bear Workshop in 1997, it was an innovative idea -- and one that customers responded to! 314-918-3000. Active, Closed. My parents didn’t go to college. I do believe there’s an opportunity for much smaller, local retailers, though, where people make things or provide a curated selection, bringing you their taste. I was doing lemonade stands as a kid. Copyright 2020 SLM Media Group. It’s much easier and sometimes even cheaper to scroll through your computer at home. Guests go through an in-store process in which they choose clothing, accessories, sounds, and even scents for their furry friend. But we have to build on good stories. Founded in St. Louis in 1997, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. is the only global company that offers an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. Lists Featuring This Company. Because it’s about your soul. History. And we call it DivINe: Div for the Delmar dividing line, IN for investment and innovation; E for engagement and experience. And we were the next big revolution: We made bears possible for boys and girls, kids and adults. It’s not a fancy environment. SLM contributor Jeannette Cooperman is intrigued by people's lives, ideas, relationships, and struggles. Clark withdrew money from her retirement account, opened a line of credit using her home as collateral, and nine months after the experience with Katie opened the first Build-A-Bear … Without my teachers, I would be nowhere and nobody. She went to toy factories and children's retail stores looking for ideas. Welcome to the Build-a-Bear Workshop Wiki Welcome to the Build-a-Bear Workshop Wiki! Twenty-five years of experience in retail management prepared founder Maxine Clark for the creation and successful implementation of the Build-a-Bear Workshop concept. She drew up three plans, then presented them to a panel of children. Today there are more than 500 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide and nearly 190 million stuffed animals have been sold. [4] In 1992, Clark became the president of Payless Shoe Source, and left the company in 1996. She wanted a Beanie Baby, and they were sold out. They love to read, they’re swimmers… So we created Blueprint4Summer, to make it easy for parents to access information about summer camps. Brands include make-your-own Major League Baseball ® mascot in-stadium locations, and Build … (LEBANON, Ill., March 4, 2020) — Retail industry innovator Maxine Clark, founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop®, will discuss her entrepreneurial success on Monday evening, March 23 at the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts on the McKendree University campus in Lebanon, Ill. Currently, this wiki has 345 articles, and also has 3,468 edits, made by many users on this wiki. We cannot have a million agencies doing the same thing and getting nowhere. Founded in 1997, Build-A-Bear Workshop may be the only franchise where you’re encouraged to tell employees to stuff it. Retail goes in cycles, you’ve said. "All those reasons they’d say a woman couldn’t do something—children, not enough experience, not enough money—none of them were true for me.". As of April 2019, the company's president/CEO is Sharon Price John. In her case, she takes her cues from pint-size customers who are far too young to either drive to one of her stores or to plop down a credit card at the cash register. I had so much fun—it was like the good old days of shopping. He spends a lot of time on criminal justice reform and immigration reform. RSS. And what’s your biggest criticism? She came to St. Louis as head of merchandise research for the May Company, became president of Payless ShoeSource, and then broke away to start the now-global Build-A-Bear Workshop. Build-a-Bear founder Maxine Clark: Build-a-Bear rings in at the New York Stock Exchange: Adults were skeptical of the Build-a-Bear concept, but children got it … What inspired it? “I’m a teddy bear person – I give hugs” she said with a smile. What you’re for, get out there and be for it. Maxine Clark (née Kasselman, born March 6, 1949 in Coral Gables, Florida) is the founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop, an American retailer that sells customizable teddy bears and other stuffed animals. Louis, Missouri 63114U.S.A.Telephone: (314) 423-8000Toll Free: (888) 789-2327Fax: (314) 423-8188Web site: https://www.buildabear.com Private Company Incorporated: 1997Employees: 1,800Sales: 170 million (2002 est. All those reasons they’d say a woman couldn’t do something—children, not enough experience, not enough money—none of them were true for me. During her career, her ability to spot emerging retail and merchandising trends and her insight into the desires of the American consumer have generated growth for retail leaders, including department store, discount and specialty stores. Always. My parents took us out to dinner, and I had to keep Teddy in the car, and he was stolen! [5], "UGA Alumni Association : Women of UGA : Amazing Women of UGA", "Maxine Clark, founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop® to speak at summer commencement", "Build-A-Bear's Founder Shares Her Story", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Maxine_Clark&oldid=970935273, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 3 August 2020, at 07:18. The kids who are successful, even in the most impoverished schools, are the kids with outside activities, enrichment. BOX 191606 St. Louis is more complicated than a lot of places; because of all the municipalities, you have more than 60 school districts. March 15, 2018. In 2006, she published her first book “The Bear Necessities of Business: Building a Company with Heart”. During her career, her ability to spot emerging retail and merchandising trends and her insight into the desires of the American consumer have generated growth for retail leaders, including department store, discount and specialty stores. When I was 40, my father apologized. September 17, 2007, 11:56 AM PDT. Here, you turn over the rock of education and there’s 8,000 spiders underneath. 1 You want to encourage. There’s a warmth. By 2007, the store had sold over 50 million bears and had over 400 stores in operation worldwide in Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Kuwait, Mexico, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand and United Kingdom. Not lie. St. Louis has been over-malled for a long time. Her career began in 1972 when May Department Stores hired her as an executive trainee. It was just for the fun of it. Track your order now to see when your furry friend will arrive! You pick your animal, put it in a machine and get it stuffed, pick out a sound and give it a heart. Today there are more than 500 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide and nearly 190 million stuffed animals have been sold. Now they’ve created this pop-up store idea, so you don’t have to be there 365 days. Build-A-Bear's Founder Shares Her Story. Maxine Clark, founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop, knows all about the power of listening. "All those reasons they’d say a woman couldn’t do something—children, not enough experience, not enough money—none of them were true for me." St. Louis, MO 63119 Creativity was a big part of your business—“making children happy through the creation of their own stuffed animals.” Did you sew as a girl? Clark eventually made it to the top -- as president of Payless ShoeSource. My mother was Eleanor’s private traveling secretary. Now it’s so popular, a family foundation in Colorado is licensing it from us. No, but my mother did. What’s your dream?” She said, “To find the sun.” I was throwing out all sorts of ideas: We could go to an astronomy department, she could talk to a weathercaster…And the other kids stopped asking me about bears and started asking about science. The challenge is that moms don’t come to the malls as much as they used to. It’s a $100 million project to redo this whole big space, and you have to do it all at once, so it’s a big undertaking, and I’ve been doing this for three years already! Build-A-Bear founder Maxine Clark, er, bears her soul. She said, “It’d be so easy to make one.” She meant a craft project, but I saw Build-A-Bear. Please keep in mind that we hold no affiliation with Build-a-Bear Workshop. I wanted to have money of my own. She was 4-foot-9 and a firebrand—you did not want to say no to my mother. Maxine Clark is one of the true innovators in the retail industry. Actually, my father and a neighbor had taken Teddy, because I used to suck my thumb when I read to him at night, and they wanted me to stop. We invented experience retailing. Build-A-Bear Workshop is the largest chain that operates in this style. She was also a former executive of the old Venture Stores and the May Co.'s Famous-Barr stores. Date the Organization was founded. We have to make a bigger deal out of local businesses. Because of the way news is now, you can be overwhelmed by it. You are bringing surprises to people. We have to feel like we have some power. So I got a lot of exposure to senior management, traveling, making decisions for a big company, and I loved it. I didn’t want a fancy title; I’d already been a CEO. You rose to company president. And now we have raised a generation of children who don’t buy a teddy bear off a shelf anymore. In 1997, she founded Build-A-Bear Workshop, a teddy bear-themed retail-entertainment experience. The idea of the hunt has changed. In the mid-1990s, Maxine Clark resigned as president of Payless ShoeSourceand started a string of retail stores with interactive experiences similar to her childhood of various events held at department stores. Visit Build-A-Bear online to track your order, view status details, learn about shipping information and more. That’s how chief executive Maxine Clark described Build-A-Bear Workshop, the children’s toy company she started in 1997. You don’t have children, but you owe your business concept to one. When I went to interview Build-A-Bear Founder Maxine Clark, she opened her arms to give me a hug instead of a handshake. Everybody’s protective; there are a lot of silos. Yeah, they’ll say, “How do I know you?” and I say, “Well, it’s obvious I’m not a movie star!” But there’s something that comes with me that I love that people recognize. I remember going out with her to register voters. When I went to interview Build-A-Bear Founder Maxine Clark, she opened her arms to give me a hug instead of a handshake. [3] She holds an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Saint Louis University. I’m getting a little frustrated with the time it’s taking! I know this sounds self-serving, but this project I think is the beginning of that. by Jeannette Cooperman. Founded in St. Louis in 1997, Build-A-Bear Workshop is the leader in interactive retail. I don’t know if “sad” is the right word. If we can make Delmar a bustling metropolis from end to end and start to improve the neglected neighborhoods to the north—over time, without gentrifying so that only rich people can live there—I think we can erase that dividing line. The build-a-bear concept was selected from the three, as the children were excited about it, and the stuffed animals offered a high-profit margin. I think that in 20 years, maybe less, someone will reinvent department stores—it might be Amazon—but we will never need all the malls we have now. Build-A-Bear Founder On The Secret To Success: Big Dreams And An Even Bigger Heart Carmine Gallo Senior Contributor Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. We bought the old St. Luke’s Hospital on Delmar—if this were New York, it would have been scooped up in five minutes. How’s Build-a-Bear coping with the new retail landscape? Maxine Clark (née Kasselman, born March 6, 1949 in Coral Gables, Florida)[1] is the founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop, an American retailer that sells customizable teddy bears and other stuffed animals. You make a good team. We have to find common efficiencies. Teddy Roosevelt was the namesake for the toy that made you famous, and his niece Eleanor was your mom’s boss? Guests go through an in-store process in which they choose clothing, accessories, sounds, and even scents for their furry friend. This wiki is all about the popular store, Build-a-Bear Workshop! And a child can’t shop online. Maxine Clark – Founder Build-A-Bear Workshop®. Bob [Fox] is more detail-oriented; I’m more big-picture. I guess the one thing is that I’ll always be the Chief Executive Bear; the title retired with me. Prior to founding Build-A-Bear Workshop, Ms. Clark was the President of Payless ShoeSource, Inc. (“Payless”) from 1992 until 1996. Maxine Clark is one of the true innovators in the retail industry. Before establishing her own company, she worked for larger companies. Doll shops (known a… But their opinions are what drive sales and Clark has the good sense to recognize this. There are all kinds of excuses if you want a bear. Maxine Clark talks about what compelled her to leave a well-paid job … The legal name of the organization. Monday, 01/11/21 3:30 pm EST Then they asked for a second meeting. And in our local community, we do. Q&A With Build-A-Bear Workshop Founder, Maxine Clark Customization has become the norm in retail, but when Ellevate Network member Maxine Clark created the Build-A-Bear Workshop in 1997, it was an innovative idea -- and one that customers responded to! Do strangers recognize you at airports? It’s more affordable—you can even make them out of containers. )NAIC: 451120 Hobby, Toy, and Game Stores Source for information on Build-A-Bear … Clark eventually made it to the top -- as president of Payless ShoeSource. Maxine Clark – Founder Build-A-Bear Workshop®. So it made sense that she would wind up in retail. People brought their dogs to work. 4/30/2008 - It’s a company with a heart, founded on fun. Build A Bear is a Consumer Services company located in 7401 Market St, Youngstown, Ohio, United States. 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. You’re big on summer camps, too. Founded by Maxine Clark in 1997, Build-A-Bear Workshop gives children the opportunity to create their own personalized stuffed animals. In 1997, she founded Build-A-Bear Workshop, a teddy bear-themed retail-entertainment experience. FORTUNE -- Maxine Clark, the 63-year-old founder of Build-a-Bear, was always a shopper, even as a kid. P.O. And have apartments with affordable rent for the young professionals who are making about $35K working for not-for-profits, but want to live like adults, in a small, cool space? It changed dramatically with Elvis Presley’s “I want to be your teddy bear.” He made it a love object. We put two outlet malls half a mile from each other, right near another mall! Founded in St. Louis in 1997, Build-A-Bear Workshop is the leader in interactive retail. Clark founded Build-a-Bear in 1997, a year after resigning as president of Topeka-based Payless ShoeSource. The CEO of St. Louis-based Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. is retiring, 16 years after she founded the kid-friendly chain that now has more than 400 outlets worldwide.Sixty-three-year-old … Then you can give it a bath, brush it, pick out clothes, name it. Why start your own? We were not, at first, the perfect match! I drove home that night and told my husband, “I think it’s time for me to retire.” He said, “What?” I said, “I’m not sure I’ve found my sun.”. My teachers made such a difference. Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. has more than 400 stores worldwide, including company-owned stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East, Mexico and South America. So it made sense that she would wind up in retail. Clark, do you believe that all children’s dreams come true?” I said, “Yes, I do, Tia. More >> Upcoming Events Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc at ICR Conference 2021 . And it’s not like he’s running off and playing golf! But over time we’ve taken on each other’s traits. Maxine Clark is one of the true innovators in the retail industry. If there’s one left on a shelf, I’ll buy it, because it shouldn’t be alone. But Sharon [Price John, Clark’s successor] felt [Wall] Street wanted the titles to be more professional. Maxine Clark, founder and chief executive of Build-A-Bear Workshop, is the featured speaker at the Paul J. and Marguerite K. Thomas Colloquium on Free Enterprise 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2, in Stambaugh Auditorium in Youngstown. Build-A-Bear Background of the company/Case Summary Maxine Clark, the CEO and founder of Build-A-Bear, is an entrepreneur who enjoyed having fun at work. And the schools can’t do it all anymore. And you focus a great deal on kids, family, education. People from the North Side don’t always feel comfortable about something south, but they will all come to Delmar. Does it make you sad that Build-A-Bear has ditched the cute titles? Why? Build-A-Bear founder Maxine Clark, er, bears her soul. Founded by Maxine Clark in 1997, Build-A-Bear Workshop gives children the opportunity to create their own personalized stuffed animals. And with the start of the internet, I knew that if we didn’t make retailing better, we were going to lose out. Sure, you can call something fake news if you don’t agree with it. My favorite bear was Teddy. With more than 20 years of making special memories one furry friend at a time, we’re grateful to the millions of Guests around the world who will always be part of our family, with special stories of their own. How does the bear-building work? Build-A-Bear is a one-of-a-kind global brand that kids love and parents trust. Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. 1954 Innerbelt Business Center DriveSt. But when everything is a negative, why would anyone want to be here? She graduated from the University of Georgia in 1971[2] with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. We had a store before Apple did, before American Girl did. I went to the Unique Boutique [at John Burroughs School], and I spent a couple thousand dollars easily. Then you took your neighbor’s 10-year-old daughter shopping. Financiers weren’t terribly interested in custom plush until they met Maxine Clark. I’d hear my mother fundraising, and to me it sounded like begging. After college, she worked at Hecht's, a division of the May Company department store chain, and in 1976 was promoted to the corporate offices in St. Louis, Missouri. Your first plan was to be a civil rights lawyer. Have you always loved stuffed animals? We are always telling bad stories. But when we do things together, like the Scholarship Foundation—there are lots of scholarships available, but nobody knew how to find them. If you could change one thing for St. Louis…? “I’m a teddy bear person – I give hugs” she said with a smile. FORTUNE -- Maxine Clark, the 63-year-old founder of Build-a-Bear, was always a shopper, even as a kid. We’re there to sell and make a lot of money and reward the people who work there, but in the end, it’s about making kids smile. Build-A-Bear founder Maxine Clark, er, bears her soul "All those reasons they’d say a woman couldn’t do something—children, not enough experience, not enough money—none of them were true for me." 10:32 AM. Maxine envisioned an interactive retail destination where kids could make personalized “furry friends.”. So it made sense that she would wind up in … Brands include make-your-own Major League Baseball ® … It’s in the center. The company specializes in customized teddy … FORTUNE -- Maxine Clark, the 63-year-old founder of Build-a-Bear, was always a shopper, even as a kid. And you can’t inspire people with bad stories. In 2006, the company acquired The Bear Factory from Hamleysand began operating in its flagship store in London. Build-A-Bear has al… Those children are going to apply that to everything else. Build-A-Bear Workshop was founded in St. Louis in 1997. Build-A-Bear has released an online exclusive pram for their Baby Yoda plush, which can also be paired with a Mandalorian bear and other accessories. Because we always need something to hug. I’d go shopping with her—ribbons, fabric, thread—I’d wander the aisles just imagining what you could do with all this stuff! Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.’s board of directors has developed corporate governance practices to help the Company fulfill its responsibilities to shareholders and to oversee the work of management and the Company’s business results. To pay for law school, I went to work for the Hecht Company in D.C. My boss got sick, and I had to fill in. The company's slogan was "Where Best Friends Are Made" from 1997-2013 when it was changed to "The Most Fun You'll Ever Make." She came to St. Louis as head of merchandise research for the May Company, became president of Payless ShoeSource, and then broke away to start the now-global Build-A-Bear Workshop. When I left Build-a-Bear and I was going a lot to Cortex and working with women entrepreneurs, I saw how diverse these coworking spaces were, and how much people want to work together. I thought, why can’t we create a coworking space for not-for-profits? Your big project at the moment is the DivINe mixed-use development on Delmar. Neither of you has exactly fallen idle in retirement. Why are these squishy little objects so beloved? Build-A-Bear Workshop was founded by Maxine Clark in 1997, with its first store in the Saint Louis Galleria. And in 2012, another 10-year-old girl said, “Ms.