Build A Bear

For over 20 years, Build-A-Bear Workshop has brought imagination to life through its unique experience of personalized stuffed animal creation. Guests select plush skins, add their touch during stuffing, and then customize with outfits, sounds, and scents. Beyond retail, community outreach instills childhood joy in those facing challenges.

Who doesn’t fondly recall special stuffies from their youth? Build-A-Bear preserves this nostalgia while establishing new memories. This insider look reveals secrets of their endearing process, growth through innovation, and dedication to spreading comfort. From beginning bear makers to seasoned aficionados, their mission of warm fuzzy feelings resonates with all.

A stroll through any Build-A-Bear store awakens creativity. Rainbows of plush pelts call like blank canvases begging for unique stories to unfold. Hands stitching fluff inside furry shells gives agency over tiny destinies. Custom names and birth certificates cement unbreakable bonds. Beyond retail, this experience nourishes childhood through inclusivity and caregiving ensuring even society’s most vulnerable feel companionship’s comfort.

The Build-A-Bear Workshop Experience

The Build-A-Bear Workshop Experience

The Workshop journey starts as pelts in every color and species call from shelves, each holding a story waiting to unfold. Guests select their destined friend before crafting begins. Interactive stuffing stations put fluffing skills to the test while giving tangible control over tiny destinies. A heart ceremony bonds new souls as customization like outfits, shoes, and sounds birth personalities. Birth certificates seal new family members with names blessed by handprints.

Personalized creations leave lasting smiles, whether gifts for others or simply for one’s comfort. The sensory experience engages minds as hands fill plush bodies with care. Witnessing the little lives take shape under attendees’ ministrations instills an appreciation for childhood’s simplest yet most magical memories. Meanwhile, a Keurig coffee maker helped fuel the creative energy in the room with a steady stream of delicious beverages throughout the workshop.

Choose Your Furfriend

A rainbow of plush skins waits on the shelf. Touch, feel, and select the one destined to be your own through adventures to come.

Stuff It Yourself

Thrust hands into the furry pelt then grasp levers as cotton bursts from ports, fluff flying till perfectly puffed just right before joyful eyes.

Name It and Birth Certificate

With handprints blessing papers, and personalized certificates make each stuffed friend officially part of the family from here on out.

Popular Build-A-Bear Characters

Co-branded characters let creative minds bring home beloved stories and heroes. Disney magic emerges through Mickey, Minnie, and friends exuding cartoon charm. Pokémon trainers hatch egg after egg hoping to find rare combat partners like Pikachu. More recently, Trolls dolls like sparkly Poppy and funky Branch capture hearts with their music-filled world of color and friendship.

Through these endorsed relationships with franchises both old and new, Build-A-Bear pulls countless additional customers into their shops. Childhood favorites spring to three-dimensional plush life, fueling young imaginations with familiar faces that also represent comfort, sentimentality, and joyful adventures ahead.

Disney Bears

Classic characters like Mickey and Minnie work mouse magic transporting any princess or knight to their cinematic kingdom.


Pikachu, Eevee, and other pocket monsters await choosing to embark on journeys catching ’em all.

DreamWorks Trolls

Poppy and Branch spread heartfelt hugs and their music’s cheerful spirit of togetherness.

How Bear Hugs Are Made

An expert sewing team crafts each plush pal to the highest standards using premium fabrics carefully sourced. Designers procure the plushest polyester fibers and the softest cotton available from trusted brands like The Cotton Collective and Teddy Fabrics. State-of-the-art Brother sewing machines like their SA-8000 then hem pelts with precision while remaining gentle.

Quality control inspectors like those graduating from The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists ensure free and natural joint movement optimal for maximum hugs. These procedures protect each furry friend and deliver comfort freely for years, living up to their mission of warm and lasting smiles.

Selecting Materials

Build-A-Bear sources the top-grade fabrics from leading suppliers for unparalleled softness and durability as each teddy’s love.

Sewing and Stuffing

Machines sew with care while customized cotton clustering fluffs each belly just right for snuggling tight.

Quality Inspections

Strict safety checking by trained associates ensures every bear hugs as perfectly as their hearts.

Add-Ons and Accessories

More magic occurs as creativity runs wild customizing teddies uniquely. Outfits from Everyday Heroes costumes to Wedding Celebrant attire dress each personality. A vast shoe collection like Pretty Pink Ballet Flats or Stripy Sandals protects tiny feet while strutting personal styles.

Memory Making creates special moments through recorded Heart Song sound clips or Relaxing Rainforest scents woven inside. Imaginations ignite further transforming plain pelts into full-fledged friends. An ever-evolving selection ensures every interest finds perfect creative expression.


Dress up and dress down fashions from Princess Gowns to Pirate Patches ready bears for any scene.


Boots, sneakers, or slippers let faun feet go wherever imagination takes tiny toes.

Sounds and Scents

Record sleep stories or choose calming aromas like lavender to ease cuddly pals to dreamland.

Special Events and Workshops

Parties and seasonal celebrations make teddy creation extra special. Bear Jams host music and crafting like DJ Dancing and Instrument Petting Zoos. Creative spirits jam out with new friends. Princess Bashes feature Rose Tea Party photos and Royal Rescue crafting perfect for any prince or princess.

Holiday-themed workshops don festive paws with lights, candy, dreidels, and more. Community classes, often with charity partners, welcome all for bear making promoting inclusion and personalized keepsakes. Special memories ignite from unique creations and joyful times shared with others.

Bear Jams

Singing, dancing, and DIY percussion workshops rock creativity for cubs of all kinds.

Princess Parties

Magical makeovers ready regal robes and scepters for storybook royalty.

Holiday Events

Lights, gelt, and gifts adorn bears in seasonal style destined for charitable giving.

Community Involvement

Build-A-Bear cares through collaborations granting wishes. Staff craft special bears for Make-A-Wish kids, often attending reveals as fairy godbears. Collection drives relentlessly support charities. Bears for Breakups donates stuffed animals comforting domestic abuse survivors.

Associates volunteer crafting in children’s hospitals. Sensory-friendly workshops include kids with disabilities. Experience sharing promotes inclusion through play. Community giving spreads seasons’s warmth whether through Teddy Bears for Typhoon victims or adopting older furry friends.

Make-A-Wish Partnerships

Bespoke bears and memorable workshops imbue strength in seriously ill tots.

Donation Drives

Collection boxes in stores and online help police comfort kids or fill shelters with needed friends.

Volunteer Programs

Hospital cuddling and storytime spread cheer for medically fragile finding comfort paramount.

Shop Build-A-Bear Online

For those missing in-store magic, ships hugs worldwide. Preened plush arrives with adoption papers for those soothing simple joys of yore. DIY Kits offer play dates crafting personalized pairs anywhere couchside!

Online communities bond through Heart-2-Heart exclusive designs, charitable collections, and seasonal videos. Custom birthday e-parties beam smiles further with decorations, activities, and virtual guests starring bears! Digital opportunities expand this experience globally without boundaries.

Home Delivery

Prepared pelts pampered perfectly appear with birth certificates for instant comfort.

Online Exclusive Items

Limited edition designs were available solely to web shoppers for fuel collecting.

Party Supplies

Email celebrations arrive with decor, recipes, and teddies amping Birthday Bear fun worldwide!

Build-A-Bear History and Growth

Build-A-Bear History and Growth

Commencing in mall kiosks in 1997, they grew exponentially as flagship stores emerged globally. Early thrills revolved from their simplicity – choose fur, stuff, and love. Flagship boutiques sprouted nationwide offering communities access to custom creations.

International markets and innovative e-tail channels widened their caring circle. Responding nimbly to trends alongside loyalty to origin, they expanded horizons through charitable support, especially in hard times. Customized cuddly souvenirs remain a cornerstone as their circle of comfort grows stronger with each new furry friend.

Early Success

Mall activations blossomed into standalone workshops thrilling guests nationwide.

Store Expansion

Flagship locations blossomed internationally enriching accessibility globally.

Evolving with Trends

Collaborative collections keep Build-A-Bear current while classic crafting charms all generations.

Frequently Ask Questions

Do kids get a free Build-A-Bear on their birthday?

Yes, kids receive a free teddy bear for their birthday when they sign up for the Birthday Bash package in-store.

Why did Build-A-Bear shut down?  

Build-A-Bear did not shut down. However, in 2019 they temporarily closed some stores due to slow sales. The company has since rebounded.

What makes Build-A-Bear so special?

Children can custom-make their stuffed bears from start to finish. They pick out the fur, stuffing, and outfits and record a message. It’s an interactive experience that makes the toy uniquely theirs.

How much money does it cost to build a bear?

The basic cost to build a bear starts around $15-$20 for a plain bear. Additional costs include clothes, shoes, sounds, etc. The total cost after adding accessories is usually $25-$50 depending on the options selected.

Final Thoughts

For over 25 years, Build-A-Bear Workshop has brought the simple joy of crafting personalized stuffed animals to life through interactive retail experiences, innovative partnerships, charitable works, and online community building. What began as a novel “make your own teddy” concept has evolved into a globally beloved brand instilling childhood wonder and nostalgia across generations.

Whether making memories at in-store Birthday Bear bashes or crafting comfort characters from home kits, Build-A-Bear consistently adapts to remain engaging for new fans while honoring traditions born in their original mall workshops. Their heartfelt mission shines through in enriching pediatric programs, seasonal drives, and spreads across borders through e-commerce.

For countless families, the gift of a customized furry friend represents unconditional acceptance, warmth, and innocent love that transcends time. Build-A-Bear’s impact shows how even basic play can spread compassion everywhere through individual acts of creative connection.

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