We received our first request to open stores in Mexico in 1998 and it has finally happened! Our first store of many to come officially opened at Centro Sante Fe Mall in Mexico City on April 23. Our Mexican partners did an excellent job on all fronts and our Manager Aurora is going to be outstanding. It was worth waiting for this team.
We arrived in Mexico City on Wednesday afternoon and already the excitement was in the air. The Friends and Family party for our associates was a hit. Our best advertisement for our company is almost always the people who work in our stores and their families. As a tradition we start every store off with a special night for our families and it was great to meet everyone especially the Pena Family who are the majority owners of the franchise for Mexico.
Thursday as spent with the media and we had great interviews. In Mexico the press was very welcoming and positive and asked great questions. Build-A-Bear Workshop already has a great name because people in Mexico have shopped us all over the world and they are muy excited to have us in their home country. Thursday night we had a special party for the media and their kids and that was amazing too. The press was very excited to be able to bring their children and
I made lots of new friends.
The long awaited opening day was on Friday at 11 AM. The crowd started gathering at around 9 AM and people had come from all over Mexico to help us cut the ribbon. Many, many kids brought their well loved bears and told me stories of their visits to London, Disneyland, San Antonio, Houston, Orlando and so many other BABW cities. I also got to meet many of my facebook and twitter friends in person like Cynthia and Isabel.
I was so glad to be back in Mexico. The people are so welcoming and warm and best of all they love shoes (high, high heels too) and teddy bears—my two favorite things. The first time I visited was in 2004 with one of our partners, Frank Vest, and we shopped this very same mall, Centro Sante Fe….a great mall then and even better now.
By favorite photographer, and my husband, Bob was there to take pictures and be sure the store looked PAWFECT!! As usual Bob won the hearts of all and he is now known as Beto by all his Mexican friends.
Thanks to our great staff lead by our manager Aurora and to our franchise team. You did us proud! To all our Guests returning and new, muchas gracias. I will look forward to visiting again soon and often.