Easy 7 Step Guide To Your New Furry Friend! – Aly Lahoda and her job at Build A BearPosted by in The YES blog
I’ve always had an attachment to animals. Yes, even the stuffed variety. I was an avid collector of beanie babies and bears from all over. They all had names, and personalities, some of my beanie babies were dating, there were families. I basically created a stuffed community. I even had one little dog, name Tricks who was a daredevil. I tied him to the top of my remote control truck and he went off-roading, and down stairs. I had another remote controlled pick-up truck that had working doors and enough space to have three animals in the cab while a bunch of their friends rode in the back. Those were the days.. And now I get my stuffed animal fix through building bears!
There are seven steps to creating your beary best friend.
Step 1: Choose me
You’ve got to pick the animal for you. I say animal because despite being titled “Build A Bear”, we have many animals. Bears, cats, dogs, bunnies, chipmunks, Smurfs and more!
Step 2: Hear Me
We have a sound station! Make your puppy bark or your purrfect kitty meow. Perhaps you would like a monkey who giggles or maybe a bunny that roars! Is it your birthday? Your new friend could sing you happy birthday. What about a heartbeat? Every time you press the heart, you can feel your furry friend’s heartbeat. (Sound optional)
Step number 3: Stuff me
“Alright! Would you like your bear to be soft and cuddly?”. . . I put the owners name on the animal’s ear tag, place their sound inside, and fill ‘em up! The guest gets to control the pedal as I hoist the empty animal over the filling tube. Once I think the animal is just how the guest had requested, I ask them to step off of the pedal and give their animal a “hug test”. If they want more or less stuffing I will change it to make it perfect for them, and then we move into the animals “heart ceremony”. We have to warm the heart, give it a beat, make a super secret special wish, and put that heart inside the animal. Then I close its back seam.
Step number 4: Fluff me
We have an air bath station. After your animal has been stuffed and closed, make it clean for Step 5.
Step number 5: Dress Me
Build a bear has a massive collection of clothing for our bears. You can’t let your new friend go out into the world naked can you?! We’ve got everything from boxer shorts, to red glittery heels, hockey uniforms to prom dresses.. Basically there is A LOT to choose from. If you didn’t get everything you wanted this time, feel free to come back! “Have you picked out all your clothes? I see you picked a dress! You better not forget her underwear!”
Step number 6: Name Me
You’ve got to create your friend’s birth certificate! What will you name your new friend? Fluffy? Snickerdoodle? Woof? Honey? Beanstalk? Pancake? Loo loo? Bear? Peanut? Kicks? Ginger? Noel? Lancelot? Toaster? Mr. Bluebeary? Tucker? Teddy? Wolfy McHowl? Paul? Jack? Monkey? Banana? Luna? Boot? Elroy?
Take Me Home is the last and final step in creating your furbulous new friend. You get a little cub condo for your bear to live in. TMH is also known as the payment stage. But we don’t like to talk about the financial losses, we just like to think of what you’re gaining!
As I began to grow and ‘mature’ I spent less and less time with my stuffed animals. I donated my old stuffies, and it was a harder task than expected. It was tough, but now I help kids/teens/adults/grandparents create their own new stuffed animals. Don’t feel out of place coming in to build a bear! People of all ages enjoy the process. Young kids love it because it’s exciting and tailored to their interests, teens love it because it lets them be a kid again, adults love it because we make them smile and have fun! Build a bear is so different from other retail stores. We love to have a good time and spread smiles and joy. If you’ve never build a bear, you’re missing out. I really do love this job, though, my dream is to one day work with real animals, perhaps in Borneo rehabilitating orphaned orangutans, or in Thai-land with the elephants. But for now, you can find me in the crowded land of Metrotown.
Aly Lahoda, bear builder!
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 Both comments and pings are currently closed.