Build-A-Bear Strongsville: Providing A Heart Ceremony Isn’t Just for the Bears

For my daughter’s 3rd birthday, we gave her a choice of things to do, and she chose to take her first visit to Build-A-Bear. We let her choose which “stuffie” she wanted, we let her choose an outfit and then we went through the line and followed the steps of stuffing, giving the bear and heart. Lastly, we got her bears birth certificate. It was such a fun, silly experience and perfect thing to do for her birthday! Building a bear at Build-A-Bear Strongsville is simple but will bring a smile to your child’s face. We have continued this tradition with my daughter and now with my son too!

four boys smiling at the camera


Maxine Clark is the genius behind the Build-A-Bear workshop. She envisioned an interactive store where children could make personalized stuffed animals. She created something that is now called “experiential retail.”

The first store was opened in the Saint Louis Galleria Mall in October 1997 on a Sunday. Guests lined up at the door! Now, Build-A-Bear Workshop has over 400 locations worldwide.

The special difference between buying a regular stuffed animal and going into experience creating your own at Build-A-Bear is customization and a unique high-touch service model. This in addition to the iconic “heart ceremony” forever separated Build-A-Bear from all others.

Misson and Values

The mission of Build-A-Bear is to empower all children, no matter their age, to be able to express themselves in a safe, warm space. This is delivered through services, experiences and furry friends!

little boy sitting in his stroller in build-a-bear strongsville

What is a Build-A-Bear Workshop®?

Build-A-Bear Strongsville is a stuffed animal store. Their goal is to inspires hugs, creativity, and fun for all ages. They are celebrating their 25th year and have brought over 200 million stuffed animals to life (which means over 200 million smiles too)! They’ve definitely earned their reputations as the best place for kids for all ages to create their own teddy bear. You get to choose your own teddy bear, stuff it with the assistant stuffer, make a wish on its little red heart and accessorize it with an unlimited number of options! You can also host your child’s next birthday party or company event.

Also, if you sign up for a free account with them, you can get a stuffed bear for the amount of whatever age your child turns (example my one-year old’s birthday was July so we got his bear for $1 +tax)! Celebrating or visiting Build-A-Bear to make your own stuffed animal with leave your children smiling for days!

About Build-A-Bear

With nearly 500 global locations, Build-A-Bear has become iconic. From its original roots of being the place to create a child’s personalized, special teddy bear with a unique step-by-step process, it has only added to the excitement. They now have an ionic Heart Ceremony and Build-A-Bear is now a multi-generational, multi-dimensional global brand which appeals to a diverse customer demographic. This experience can be in person or online.

Even after 25 years, Build-A-Bear will continue to focus on putting their hearts into everything step. They recognize that a hug is understood in every language!

The Experience

This workshop in Build-A-Bear Strongsville is meant to provide fun for everyone. They hope you will get to imagine, discover, learn and create a place to inspire you to make your special stuffed animal and create memories that make you smile.

two bears from build-a-bear strongsville

How Does It Work?

Through 7 different steps each led by an associate of Build-A-Bear.

  1. Choose your furry friend
  2. Add a special sound
  3. Stuff your newfound friend (sounds, scents, stuffing and the iconic heart)
  4. Give your new friend a big hug to make sure it’s stuffed to perfection
  5. Dress your friend!
  6. Name them (birth certificate provided)
  7. Take your new, specially made for you bestie home

They’re not just for a child to create for themselves but they’re also a perfect gift for kids and grown-ups alike. Build-A-Bear Workshop is said to be “the most fun you’ll ever make!

three boys in a studio in medina ohio looking at the camera

Causes They Support

The Build-A-Bear Foundation supports those in need. They have three core programs to assist in complete this mission:

  1. The Build-A-Bear Foundation Literacy Program, which inspires creativity through donating reading materials for children and building an equitable world through children’s literacy.
  2. The Hearts ‘n’ Hugs Fund shares hugs through donation stuffed animals to children in need of comfort.
  3. Build-A-Bear has several charitable partnerships which support those in need by funding. They offer services that can empower people to overcome challenges.

Build-A-Bear also has partnerships with these foundations:

  • Make-A-Wish
  • Toys For Tots
  • Shriner’s Children
  • American Red Cross
  • United Way of Greater St. Louis
  • Barnardo’s
  • Well-Child

Build-A-Bear Strongsville Hours and Location:

The location in Strongsville is located within Southpark Mall at 320 Southpark Center. They’re open Monday through Saturday from 10-8 and Sunday 12-6.

mother and son smiling and rubbing noses

If you’re ready for more Cleveland Motherhood content, then don’t skip over the blog links below! But before you go, check out my family photography portfolio and get inspired to start to conversation about your child’s milestone session!

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If you’re a mom in NE Ohio searching for a supportive group that’s filled with support from other location Moms, look no further! Join my Facebook Group called Caffeinated Moms of NE Ohio! (Loving coffee and ice cream is a plus, too, but not required!)