This week I was very privileged to be invited to a brand building event at the Build-A-Bear headquarters in St Louis. As Isaac is only 2 1/2 we haven’t yet taken him to make a bear so I was intrigued as to what they offered as they’re so wildly popular.
The first thing was that Maxine Clark, the founder, is an unbelievable inspiration to women in business and women everywhere. She doesn’t like to use the word “no” which has seen her accomplish numerous unbelievable things including traveling with Oprah to give bears to children in Africa. Yeah. Pretty cool.
She sincerely cared about her workers and their families and the fact that they’ve only been going 13 years and yet many people had worked there 10 years or more really spoke to me. She hasn’t clawed her way to the top, she simply had a fab idea and executed it believing that she’d need people to help her get it done.
Her charity work is also phenomenal and her book gives back 100% (yup that’s right!) to her foundation which helps fund many local projects including taking bears to terminally ill children in hospitals.
One of my fave parts by far was the fact that they brought Adrienne Weiss in to speak to us. Talk about inspiring and talk about honoured. What a thoughtful gesture to help train us build our brands while there. A couple of food for thought items:
~Become a club people want to be a part of. This is why I love Starbucks.
~Think about your brand as a country, with it’s own language, rituals, and customs. Challenging to me at Mummy Deals. Do my English-isms count?!
Now onto the fun….
Yuppers, I got to hang with Miss Lori a little. What a treat!
And see all the World Cup bears they made even though they weren’t available outside of South Africa.
Hubs loves the England football team and my friend Jen’s hubby was rooting for the US. We joked about taking a plane to South Africa together afterwards and letting the boys know we’d be running a little late! Ok, maybe it wasn’t a joke and had I not been so frugal we’d have gone!
Even a beefeater? Do they stop at nothing?!
Jen and I hanging out in the lobby. Me shocked by all the team building/branding pieces everywhere that created a fab work environment. I even said they should be voted in Forbes Top 100 places to work and whaddya know? Then I saw the seal!
For real?! My friend Toni and I had a blast making our animals at the store they took us to
Yup, Woody and I had a blast and Isaac is loving his Woody bear. Thanks Maxine and Build-A-Bear.
My friend Toni and I had a blast making our animals at the store they took us to