Maxine Clark, the 2015 Woman of the Year was inspired recently to create a new bear following the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. How adorable is this? As Maxine said, “almost anything you can imagine for yourself or others can be created at Build-A-Bear Workshop… 23 years and still hugs and smiles.”

Not sure who Maxine Clark is? She is one of the true innovators in the retail industry. During her career, her ability to spot emerging retail and merchandising trends and her insight into the desires of the American consumer have generated growth for retail leaders, including department store, discount and specialty stores. In 1997, she founded Build-A-Bear Workshop®, a teddy-bear themed retail-entertainment experience.

Today 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, Mexico, the Middle East and South America. Cumulative sales of nearly $5 billion and over 140 million stuffed animals have been sold worldwide. In June 2013, Maxine stepped down from her Chief Executive Bear role to apply her entrepreneurial skills to her passion for improving K-12 public education and encouraging and investing in women and minority entrepreneurs such as Goldie Blox and Maxine is also a Managing Partner of Prosper Women’s Capital, a St. Louis-based fund created to invest in women-owned businesses in the St. Louis area. Her latest project is Blueprint 4 Summer STL (, a mobile app that connects St. Louis-area kids to fun and educational summer activities. The app opens a world of summer possibilities to encourage childen to develop their opwn passions and creativity; advance their learning; and encourage students to spend their summer time constructively.

Join Maxine and other past Women of the Year honorees during our Inspiring Conversations Series over the lunch hour on October 8th, 15th, and 22nd. You can find more details by clicking this link.