Thursday, October 14, 2010

My day at Build-a-Bear Workshop

I have started taking the time recently to read and comment on other people's blogs. 2 reasons. 1: because I know how much I like it when people stop by and say hello on mine, 2: because I'm actually pretty nosey.

So when  @inawelshgarden blogged about her recent visit to Build-a-Bear I felt this was something I could extend an opinion on. Little did I know that this would lead to me being asked if I would like to review the shop too.

Ummm. Yes, please!

I think I was asked partly because of my small (but growing collection) of Build-a-Bears and partly beacuse I am slightly outside the target market. So last Saturday, me & my mum (also a BABW fan) went to Cardiff. After a quick nose around the new John Lewis (fab!) and lunch at Las Iguanas (also great) we made our way to the Build-a-Bear Workshop in St David's Shopping Centre.

After the initial confusion (as the person we were meant to meet was off ill) we had a quick nose around the shop and then got straight to Step 1:

There was plenty of choice, but with Halloween round the corner, I opted for a Limited Edition Midnight Kitty and Mum (who also had to get in on the fun) chose a Portuguese Water Dog.

Here I am - looking more excited than some of the kids in the shop!

We queued up (Saturday is a very busy day at BABW!) ready for for Step 2:

We got to choose whether we wanted our bears 'soft & cuddly' or a bit more solid, and chose a little satin heart to go inside them. You could also choose from a selection of sounds too, should you feel the urge! At the Stuffing Station you get to step on a pedal, while the BABW associate ensures the bear gets stuffed in all the right places.

And here's my Mum. Yup, she's going to hate me putting this up :) (Hi Mum!)

Serious bit - Me & my mum were very impressed with the quality of the bears. Especially as they are 'sewn' up in front of you. It doesn't take long, the bear stuffing is very secure and you can 'bearly' see the join. We weren't asked to do the BABW promise, as we were when we visited Covent Garden, but it didn't detract from the experience.
So we moved on to the clothes & accessories section and there was so much choice. The clothes are again, very well made, and so cute! At the moment they have a fab collection of Star Wars costumes, so you could have your very own C3P0 or Hans Solo. Now, from this point we got a little excited & wrapped up in dressing our bears, so we took no more photos until we got home.

Now what else could I dress kitty in, but this fabulous Witch's outfit, complete with broom?

Totally spoilt for choice, I couldn't resist this gorgeous little knitted cardigan & beige skirt for Bella and hooded top for Edward. Perfect for the winter :)

I don't know if it's my marketing background (this is how I justify my collection) but I love the whole shopping experience. From the staff in the shop, to the box the bear comes home in, from the making of the bears to the quality of the clothes. They have done everything so well.

On the left is the box I recieved an outfit in when I ordered online. I still use it as a wardrobe now.
On the right is the box I brought Sookie* home in.

* Yes, I have named Kitty Sookie. After True Blood. Her & Bella seem to be getting on ok so far....

I love Build-a-Bear and would recommend it to anyone who loves teddies! They make fabulous gifts and great collectors items. I already have my eye on the website looking out for the next limited edition - apparently for Christmas they have limited reindeer and and an Abominable Snowman coming out.... Now, he'd look fit in with my Christmas collection of Snowmen, wouldn't he? ;)

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