Build a Bear Workshop
Company: Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc., St. Louis, Missouri
Entry Submitted By: Blick & Staff Communications
Company Description: Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. is the only global company that offers an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. The Company currently operates more than 385 stores worldwide. Founded in St. Louis in 1997, Build-A-Bear Workshop is the leader in interactive retail. Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) posted total revenue of $474 million in fiscal 2007.
Nomination Category: Individual Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Lifetime Achievement Award
Nomination Title: Maxine Clark, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Bear, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.
1. Describe for the judges the nominated individual's lifetime of accomplishments (up to 500 words):
With keen intuition and business savvy, Maxine Clark has distinguished herself in
the retailing industry. During her 24 years with The May Department Stores
Company, where she started as an executive trainee, Maxine applied her talents
of spotting emerging retail and merchandising trends, partnering with companies
such as Disney, American Greetings and Mattel. She also used this approach at
Payless ShoeSource where, as President from 1992 to 1996, she developed the
retailer into the number one seller of children’s licensed footwear in the world.
Since 1997, Maxine Clark has devoted her energies to creating Build-A-Bear
Workshop®, a teddy bear-themed experience retail store combining the universal
appeal of plush animals with an interactive process. Children from 3-103 are able
to create their own huggable companions. Fueled by passion for teddy bears and
a love for retailing, Maxine has shared her enthusiasm and creativity with children
worldwide and brought entertainment back to retailing. Since opening the first
store in Saint Louis in the fall of 1997, over 60 million furry friends have
An innovative, family-friendly retail store that promotes creativity and fun,
Build-A-Bear Workshop currently operates more than 385 stores worldwide, including
company-owned stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom,
Ireland and France, and franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa.
Listed on the New York Stock Exchange, Build-A-Bear Workshop posted total
revenue of $474 million in fiscal 2007.
Maxine worked to partner with tourist destinations and prominent locations where
families are having fun. From Myrtle Beach and Navy Pier to the DOWNTOWN
DISNEY® District, she is growing the brand recognition for Build-A-Bear
Workshop as a family entertainment destination.
Last year, Build-A-Bear Workshop® extended its in-store interactive experience
online with the launch of its kid-safe virtual world at buildabearville.com™.
Guests are able to play and grow the friendship that begins in-store by bringing their new
friends to life online, while participating in games and quests promoting good
In addition to her responsibilities at Build-A-Bear Workshop, Maxine is a member
of The Board of Directors of the JC Penney Company, Board of Trustees of the
International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), Washington University in St.
Louis, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, her alma mater – the University of Georgia, and the
KETC TV Board. She is also a member of The Committee of 200, the premier
international organization for female entrepreneurs and top corporate executives.
Maxine has built a global brand by providing valuable insights into the desires of
the American consumer. Maxine Clark truly has the vision and know-how to
spread smiles worldwide.
2. List the URLs (web addresses) of any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that you would like the judges to see that support your entry. IMPORTANT: List each URL on a separate line, begin each URL with http://, and enclose each URL in square brackets. For example, [http://www.yourcompany.com/pressrelease.html]:
June 2008-- Georgia Magazine- Building a Bear Market
September 2007-- Business Week – Build-A-Bear’s Founder Shares Her Story
September 2006-- On Philanthropy- Kid-Smart Cause Marketing: A Bear-y Smart
October 2005-- NYSE Magazine- Warm, Fuzzy, and Business Savvy
August 2001-- Pittsburg Post-Gazette- Former Payless chief hits pay dirt with
Build-A-Bear Workshop Web site
Build-A-Bear Workshop News
3. Provide a brief biography of the nominated individual (up to 100 words):
During her 30-year career, Maxine Clark's 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. In 1997, she founded Build-A-Bear Workshop, a teddy-bear
themed retail-entertainment experience. Today there are more than 385 Build-A-
Bear Workshop stores worldwide. Build-A-Bear Workshop extended its in-store
interactive experience online in 2007 with the launch of its virtual world at
buildabearville.com™. In 2006, her first book “The Bear Necessities of Business:
Building a Company with Heart” was published.