Build-A-Bear Offers a Unique Experience that Continues to Transform Gift-Giving for Holidays, Life Events, and Just Because
Updated: 2.6.18 Marketing

Build-A-Bear Offers a Unique Experience that Continues to Transform Gift-Giving for Holidays, Life Events, and Just Because

By: Jena Bezesky

The Crunch: By delivering a unique retail experience, Build-A-Bear Workshop  has transformed shopping for a stuffed animal into a personalized and interactive process. The store enables customers to design and custom build a plush toy to their preference, letting them decide the details from animal type to the clothing it wears. Additionally, Build-A-Bear regularly offers special collections that celebrate a variety of holidays, special occasions, or are based on fictional characters from popular TV shows and movies. For a special gift that appeals to all ages, shoppers can get a Build-A-Bear creation that is both memorable and timeless.

Consumers today are seeking custom products and shopping experiences more than ever before. Across industries, from technology to fashion, shoppers want to add their own touch to their purchases. Monogramming, illustrating, and hands-on design are all trends that have emerged in the retail space.

But Build-A-Bear Workshop was far ahead of the trend and today continues to provide shoppers the opportunity to create personalized stuffed animals as memorable gifts. From the style to the accessories, both children and children at heart can design a furry friend according to their unique taste.

Build-A-Bear has been a popular destination for families since opening its first store in 1997 at a shopping mall in St. Louis, Missouri. It has since expanded to locations worldwide and offers an online storefront for custom orders. The store has left its mark on the industry by embodying “experiential retail” with its interactive approach to custom products.

With more than 20 years serving consumers what they want and how they want it, Build-A-Bear continues to innovate how consumers shop for stuffed toys and gifts for holidays, special occasions, and to simply bring a smile to a loved one’s face.

Leveraging Personalization to Deliver the Perfect Furry Friend

Build-A-Bear’s mission is to add a little more heart to life through its custom plush animals and interactive shopping experience. Far from a generic teddy bear from the corner store, Build-A-Bear lets customers build a stuffed creation and personalize it with the scents, sounds, embroidery, outfits, and accessories they want.

Young or old, anyone who goes to a Build-A-Bear Workshop location receives personal assistance from a store associate during each step of the bear-building process.
A screenshot of a child building a bear at a Build-A-Bear Workshop
People who want to give a meaningful gift look for ways to give something from the heart — which is exactly what Build-A-Bear helps customers to do.

Creating Experiences Around Valentine’s Day & Other Events

Build-A-Bear wants to help people celebrate every important moment in life, which is why the store often releases specialty toy collections for popular holidays, sports teams, fictional characters, and much more. The toy maker rolls out new themed lines that include stuffed animals, clothing, and accessories year-round.
A screenshot of a Valentine's day inspired bear with a couple celebrating Valentine's Day
One such release is the Sweet Shop for Valentine’s Day collection, which is full of heartfelt items like a cupid costume or plushies with sugar-scented fur that help customers express their love.

The store is also popular with sports fanatics, who can shop Sports Central for a wide range of outfits and accessories to show off team pride for big events like the NFL Super Bowl and the NBA Finals. And shoppers can bring their favorite TV or movie franchise to life with one of the many Build-A-Bear-exclusive character lines.

Whether for special occasions or just as a fan keepsake, Build-A-Bear has a special plush anyone can give — or make — to celebrate.

Helping Those in Need is at the Heart of Build-A-Bear

Not only does Build-A-Bear give a heart to each of its stuffed creations, the brand also shows its heart through the Build-A-Bear Foundation, which provides non-profit organizations funding through grants.

Each furry friend in a store is brought to life through the iconic Heart Ceremony, which is when a child makes a wish that is sealed with a kiss on a heart that goes inside their stuffed creation. Based on the same principle, Build-A-Bear is committed to improving the well-being of children in need by sharing love and supporting a variety of causes.

A screenshot of a child holding a Build-A-Bear heart

Charitable partnerships, grants, toy donations, and community citizenship in the company’s hometown of St. Louis are among the many ways Build-A-Bear gives back.

The toy maker has also donated toy bears to disaster relief victims through the American Red Cross and to hospital patients by means of the United Way and UPS. It also organizes store events when customers can make donations to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. By giving over $50 million in grants and furry friends worldwide, the company has an established legacy of helping the lives of children everywhere.

Build-A-Bear Offers Gifts — And Memories — That Last a Lifetime

Whenever someone gives a teddy bear from Build-A-Bear, they’re not simply giving a stuffed animal — they’re presenting a loved one with a memory.

Build-A-Bear Workshop offers a dynamic, interactive, and personal experience for all ages. Anyone who makes a furry friend is a part of the entire building process, from watching the animal fill with stuffing to selecting a pair of shoes for it to wear.

Whether it’s a custom bear to give at a special occasion or a stuffed animal for yourself, a Build-A-Bear plush is always an unforgettable present.