The History of Create a Bear
In 2011 I was a manager of a well known bear company, I spent long days listening to constructive feedback about the experience that was offered and the parties they held. On leaving the role and working elsewhere I decided to look into options that would give children the chance to Create their own bear and be more involved without parents having to spend a fortune.
The first Year 2012
So we started as Little Paw Company (yes it sounds like we sell dog clothes! Oops, business mistake number 1 of several.) and went out to test the waters.
Booking tables at local and community event made us known and I needed to have a place to start to grow the business. I rented the smallest office known to man and packed it full of stock.
Our events were so much fun, we felt grateful for every sale, every kind word and for all the other traders we met!
In October 2012 I managed to convince my wonderful big sister to join the bears and we hosted one of my favourite pop up events ever...Make your own Monster! These were so cool!
with such a successful day we threw ourselves into the land of bear making and hosted a two month Christmas pop up in Stirling.
At the same time we introduced Little Paw Bear as our mascot. He was a great hit and still is around today.
With lots of hard work we managed to have a good Christmas and with a shop being available in the centre I convinced my sister to take on a full time shop while I went back to my day job.
2013 to 2014
I have never been more humbled or happy than the day the sign on our first shop was put up, We ran fun days, hosted birthday parties and loved it all.
The first shop was beautifully painted by our cousin and my niece spent her teenage years in a mascot suit working hard. It was tough but it was all about family.
2014 to 2015
In my personal life I had become a foster parent and was finding my feet, we had the opportunity to jump on and take on a bigger store and we went for it.
Our activity den was painted by family and created to offer kids a great experience to sit at a table, build a bear with family. It turned an experience of 10 minutes into something that lasted much longer. Our customers were amazing, our fellow traders the most entertaining and we had a ball. I myself celebrated my birthday with food, fizz and bears at a private party.
At home my full time work was supporting foster kids and things got challenging, kids not going to school and difficulties all around, unfortunately my commitments became a conflict and I decided to focus on home. We closed the den and went online.
This was the year of Party in a Box was launched and Create a Bear became our company name. We toured the country providing parties and bear making activities while helping parents plan and run their own bear party! At home kids were settled and it was time to pop up again!
The sister and I (dream team!) were back. This time in a Falkirk shopping centre where we popped up and hosted some of the most fun events ever!
From the Beary Scary Halloween party, to our weekly birthday parties we had a great time. We met some brilliant traders who made us laugh, smile and we learned a lot from.
After the summer season we closed our pop up and went back to providing Party in a Box kits, Gifts, Custom Bears and even hosting a few events too.
2017 to Now
A little personal in a business blog but I guess Create a Bear isn't a commercial large faceless company. It is family through and through. At the end of 2016 my household got smaller, my fostering needed me more and my life changed. Living in Edinburgh I kept the company on pause while I focussed on fostering.
Since then I have married and moved to Aberdeenshire and am settled and ready to take on the bears again. Create a Bear is in my blood, it's my passion. I pride myself on what I offer what the company has become and I am grateful to all that helped me develop it.
2020 we had grand plans! Then Covid hit... We are so thankful for our customers that bought our Christmas Eve Boxes, we had hoped to deliver them with our big bear but sadly with restrictions this wasn't possible. This year we are inviting all of 2020 box customers to meet Santa Paw Bear for a photo meet and greet to say thank you for their support and finally let them meet our big bear!