Published: 8th July 2017
Author: Bethanie Lunn


I recently visited the newly remodeled Build-A-Bear Workshop in the Centre to make a furry friend for my daughter, and came away with the biggest smile on my face…and a Unicorn on a Skateboard…

Build-A-Bear Workshop re-opened the gorgeously remodeled store in May presenting an updated look and feel.  When I stepped into the store I entered an imaginarium of fun and magic that teaches kids (and big kids) creativity and the importance of friendship.


The focus is still on the experience of making and personalising furry friends of course but there is now a seven-foot-tall stuffer prominently placed at the center of the store and clear numbered stations guiding you through the process as follows:

  • 1. Choose Me: Pick your furry friend
  • 2. Stuff Me: Add sounds, scents, a heart and lots of stuffing
  • 3. Dress Me: Discover outfits and fun extras
  • 4. Name Me: Make your friendship official with a Birth Certificate
  • 5. Smile For Me: Capture your first moment together against the new selfie wall
  • 6. Take Me Home: Explore your new world together


Adorable right? It is this unique process that teaches children how to love and care for something since they enjoy seeing the effort and personalisation that goes into its making.



The characters are aplenty. As well as a range of classic bears, you’ll find popular fictional characters from Transformers and My Little Pony to the Despicable Me cast.  The range of accessories and outfits to choose from left me envious.  Microphones, headphones, skateboards, sunglasses, Superhero capes and sparkly shoes are just some of the add-ons guests can kit out their new friend with.  The store team tell me most kids want their new friend to be like them and they really have thought of everything. No one will struggle to find something they relate to.


Insert image of x3 promise pets


I found the Promise Pets collection adorable.  Not only do they teach children about the fun experience of pet ownership, they also come with their own range of outfits and accessories from feeding bowls to bandannas and leash and collars.  I’ll definitely be treating my kids to these when they’re older.


The imagination behind this store is impressive and brings childhood dreams to life; no creation is ever too challenging.  Just discover mine onwards!


For my 16-month old daughter Sassie (and OK, a little bit for me too), I chose ‘the skin’ of Despicable Me’s Unicorn. For the sound, you can add a personalised voice message to any furry friend with the Record Your Voice recordable sound chip, or pick a sound from their favourite cartoon, film or fictional character.  I opted for the Power Rangers theme tune because my daughter’s unicorn was going to come with some attitude.  This is loaded onto a chip and inserted into the paw which will chorus when pressed.


You can choose from a range of scents which is rubbed over the toy and then also inserted inside.  My chosen fragrance was Bubblegum and they each last around two years.

You then choose your heart to go inside.  I opted for the new beating heart which softly vibrates, before being taken through the ‘heart ceremony’ and stuffing process.  Guests use a foot pump to help stuff the friend themselves and can even pick and test the softness.  This was a heart-warming experience, s’cuse the pun, and as a big kid – made me feel privileged to create such a personalised gift, so I know children will adore the ritual.  You are asked to ‘rub the heart on your toes so it’s toe-tally awesome like you, on your knees so your friend always needs you, on your cheek so its always cheeky and to rub it on your heart so it always feels loved’.  Melt.


Your new friend then comes to life, you can opt for clothing and accessories if you wish, and make a show of it at the dressing station – this is where I really had fun.  Our Unicorn got blinged up with a guitar, sunglasses, a tutu and cape and a skateboard, obviously.

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The team were so wonderful and the process so full of imagination and care that I left feeling more uplifted than after a shot of expresso.  The store team tell me they’ve even hosted Hen Dos and adult parties fro those who want to reminisce and have fun in a carefree way and I can completely see why.  I’ll definitely be returning with my children and would love to host a birthday party in the store, with packages starting from just £15 per guest. *

The experience left me whirling in a blend of childhood memories and excitement in making a new gift for my daughter.  Being named Sassie, it was only right that we created a rather sassy character for her to look after. Her reaction

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Because everyone needs a skateboard-riding, guitar playing, cape-wearing Unicorn in a tutu and shades, don’t they?

*Parties are tailor made to your needs.  You can choose a theme, such as Princesses or Superheroes, and opt for different packages depending on what you want to gift each guest. 

Visit for the store guide to get in touch and find out more.

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Bethanie Lunn

Bethanie Lunn


Fashion Stylist, Creative Director and Beauty Editor

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