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Build-a-Bear Workshop
 
  Build-A-Bear Workshop Celebrates
100 Million Furry Friends Made
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Year-long “Friends Count” events to honor Guests and celebrate friendship

ST. LOUIS (Feb. 21, 2012)—Build-A-Bear Workshop®, the interactive retailer of customized stuffed animals, is celebrating its 15th birthday and 100 million furry friends made.  To thank Guests for helping the company reach these milestones, Build-A-Bear Workshop is hosting a year-long “Friends Count” celebration to spotlight the emotional connection created with every furry friend made. The celebration includes in-store events, charitable activities, and the launch of a brand new website, buildabear.com/stories, where Guests can share and read stories about others who have made furry friends at Build-A-Bear Workshop.

“We cherish the many friends that we have made throughout the years and we could not be where we are today without our Guests, partners, and associates,” said Maxine Clark, Build-A-Bear Workshop founder and chief executive bear. “We would like to thank these special friends for their continued support and dedication to Build-A-Bear Workshop and look forward to making the next 100 million furry friends!”

Build-A-Bear Workshop is kicking off the “Friends Count” festivities with:
  • The new Cele-bear-ation Teddy available in Build-A-Bear Workshop stores and online at buildabear.com®. This limited edition Collectibear® symbolizes all of the friends that have been made at Build-A-Bear Workshop, as well as friends to be made in the future. It includes a limited edition collectible pin.

  • Through March 5, Guests can enter The Ultimate Build-A-Party® Sweepstakes and have a chance to win a trip to meet Victoria Justice, popular teen actress, singer and Build-A-Bear Workshop brand ambassador. The winners will meet Victoria Justice in Los Angeles and have The Ultimate Build-A-Party with five of their friends. Guests may enter at any participating Build-A-Bear Workshop store or online at buildabear.com/sweeps.

  • A special “Friends Count” song, written especially for this celebration, and performed by Victoria Justice.  The song is available to download when Guests make a $1 donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, one of the world’s premier pediatric cancer research centers, which Build-A-Bear Workshop has supported since March 2011.
The company will continue the Friends Count Celebration throughout the year by hosting a Teddy Bear Reunion, a Design Contest for Bearemy® and Pawlette Coufur®, the Build-A-Bear Workshop huggable mascots, and a special birthday party.

Fifteen Years of Heart
Giving back to causes like St. Jude has been a part of the Build-A-Bear Workshop teddy bear culture of sharing and caring since the very beginning. Build-A-Bear Workshop and its foundations will continue to expand key charitable programs that have made a difference for so many. This year, the ninth annual Huggable Heroes® program will award $100,000 in prizes to 10 young people who provide extraordinary service in their communities and around the world. Each winner will receive a $7,500 scholarship and $2,500 to be donated to a charity of each winner’s choice. To learn more or nominate a child between the ages of eight and 18, visit buildabear.com/huggableheroes now through Feb. 27.

Every Friend Has a Story
To celebrate friendship, Build-A-Bear Workshop invites the community and Guests to share their own stories at buildabear.com/stories. Throughout the year, Guests can log onto the site to check out stories from other Guests, including Victoria Justice and other friends of Build-A-Bear Workshop.

“Since first opening in 1997, we have made 100 million friends and each one has a story,” said Clark. “Each of our special Guests has helped us reach this milestone and we are asking that they share their stories about Build-A-Bear Workshop, Where Best Friends Are Made®, to commemorate this very special occasion.”

Friends Count:
Build-A-Bear Workshop has always been all about friends. The very idea for Build-A-Bear Workshop evolved from a shopping trip with Maxine Clark and her best friend, Katie, who was only 10 years old at the time. The two were shopping for stuffed animals, but could only seem to find ones Katie already had at home. Katie said, “These are so easy. We could make them.” She meant create them as a craft project, but Maxine heard much more. She envisioned a place where kids of all ages could visit together to make new best friends, and in October 1997, the first Build-A-Bear Workshop store opened its doors. The Build-A-Bear Workshop concept grew and now the company and its Guests have populated the world with 100 million furry friends.

“At Build-A-Bear Workshop, our mission is to bring the teddy bear to life. A classic icon, the teddy bear brings to mind warm thoughts about our childhood, friendship, trust, comfort, and thoughts about love,” said Clark. “For the past 15 years, we have valued these traits and understand just how much friends count.”
 
For more information and updates on Build-A-Bear Workshop and the year-long “Friends Count” initiative visit: About Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.
Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. is the only global company that offers an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. There are more than 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop 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. Founded in St. Louis in 1997, Build-A-Bear Workshop is the leader in interactive retail. Brands include make-your-own Major League Baseball® mascot in-stadium locations, and Build-A-Dino® stores. Build-A-Bear Workshop extends its in-store interactive experience online with its award winning virtual world website at bearville.com™. The company was named to the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list for the fourth year in a row in 2012. Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) posted total revenue of $394.4 million in fiscal 2011. For more information, call 888.560.BEAR (2327) or visit the company's award-winning website at buildabear.com®.

TRADEMARKS
We would like to thank you for your interest in covering our business. As you write your story, we would ask that you use our full name: Build-A-Bear Workshop® and that when referencing the process of making stuffed animals you use the word “make” not “build.”

Build-A-Bear Workshop is our well-known trade name and our registered trademark of Build-A-Bear Retail Management, Inc.  Build-A-Bear Workshop® should only be used in capital letters to refer to our products and services and should not be used as a verb.
 
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314-423-8000 ext. 5293
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