Maxine Clark (née Kasselman, born March 6, 1949 in Coral Gables, Florida)[1] is the founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop, an American retailer that sells customizable teddy bears and other stuffed animals.

Maxine K. Clark
Maxine Clark from Build-A-Bear at Disney Social Media Moms Conference
Clark in 2014
Maxine Kasselman

(1949-03-06) March 6, 1949 (age 70)
OccupationFounder of Build-A-Bear Workshop


She graduated from the University of Georgia in 1971[2] with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.[3] She holds an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Saint Louis University.


In 2006, she published her first book “The Bear Necessities of Business: Building a Company with Heart”.

After college, she worked at Hecht's, a division of the May Company department store chain, and in 1976 was promoted to the corporate offices in St. Louis, Missouri.[4] In 1992, Clark became the president of Payless Shoe Source, and left the company in 1996.[5]


  1. ^ "Maxine K. Clark".
  2. ^ "UGA Alumni Association : Women of UGA : Amazing Women of UGA". Archived from the original on June 13, 2010.
  3. ^ Osborne, Kimberly. "Maxine Clark, founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop® to speak at summer commencement". UGA Today. University of Georiga.
  4. ^ Eng, Dinah (March 19, 2012). "Who Built Build-A-Bear?". Fortune. 165 (4): 49–51.
  5. ^ "Build-A-Bear's Founder Shares Her Story". Bloomberg Business Week. Archived from the original on July 28, 2011. Retrieved October 12, 2011.

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