This past week was PAWSOME to be honest. One of the best parts of being me is all the people I have connected with over the years and what those experiences have added to me as a person and of course allowed us to create in Build-a-Bear Workshop and buildabearville.com
A few months ago BABV won a Wired Kids award that kids actually voted on. They said we were fun AND safe and that is a great compliment. In the process got to meet some great partners who feel the same way we do about internet safety especially as it relates to children and their well being. Saturday, the founder of Wired Kids.org, Parry Aftab, came to visit us and what a great meeting it was. Just as I was starting Build-A-Bear Workshop, she was a cyber expert attorney leaving her legal practice to go and focus on internet safety for children. Little did we both know the critical part we could both play because we know how important kids are to the future of the world and what a responsibility we have to keep them safe and help them be better citizens in the process.
At BABW we believe that 1+1=10 and that every business partnership can be plussed thru better collaboration and I feel sure that a relationship with Parry and her firm WiredSafety can help us be the best we can be and lead with a site that is even more fun everyday for kids.
At the meeting we talked about bullying and how mean some kids can be especially when they can hide behind their online person and no one really knows who they are. My mom taught me along time ago that what you do “when no one is looking” or now in the virtual world when “no one knows who you really are” is just as important as when people know who you are. I take my brand— the real Maxine Clark or my avatars, MaxineBearyLucky or Maxine Clark CEB VERY SERIOUSLY! I want people to see me as a good person doing good things because that is who I am and what I stand for. No matter how young or old we are who we are is our integrity and what we stand for as human beings. In a way, we are each a brand and it is up to us to make the brand strong.
We have many wonderful children and their parents on BABV and 99% always act in a safe and friendly way but there are a few bad eggs who think it is cool or funny to bully. IT IS NOT! When someone bullies or takes things from others without permission in buildabearville it is NOT acceptable. When found, they are banned permanently. When people threaten to report others who will not trade, it is the people that threaten that are WRONG, not the people who don’t want to trade. Not trading is their right in BABV especially when they have spent their hard earned money. We always suggest that people not respond or retaliate—not worth it and it can turn nice people into bullies out of frustration—not what we want at all. Just click and ignore and never see that character again. Then report the person to a responsible adult for bullying. Also report them to BABV. It is the only way for people to stop this bad behavior. My parents always told me that the good guys would always win and in the long run, it is absolutely true. I know that now as an adult but it took me awhile to figure it out too.
We have so many new and fun things planned starting this week with Earth Day and is followed up on April 24th Arbor Day, with a much requested new feature–gardening. Beginning 4/24 you can grow flowers and healthy food in buildabearville.
May is going to be incredible with three new animals, a special Mother’s Day gift with purchase promotion that says we appreciate our Moms. We will also launch the recording of our “Let’s Talk About Love” strong by Grammy award winner Natalie Cole sung with passion and a Mom’s point of view. Natalie joins David Archeluta and Meaghan Martin who have been making this song famous! PLUS the new BABV game cards will be available in store and of course, still online. I will let you know more about May as we get closer –it will be full of WOW!!