On Tuesday, February 12, Ursuline Academy had the privilege of hosting Maxine Clark, the founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop, for an all-school assembly in which she spoke to students about leadership, entrepreneurship, and the power of following your own dreams and ideas. Following the presentation, she also spent time with student leaders, discussing and answering questions on the value of education and the entrepreneurial spirit. Her personal achievements throughout her career are fueled by her dedication to bettering the lives of others, by problem solving, and nurturing her youthful, passionate spirit.
In 1997 she founded Build-A-Bear Workshop, from the inspiration of a childhood friend and the idea that by adding entertainment to retail anything could be sold. She served as Chief Executive Bear until June 2013, when she chose to apply her entrepreneurial skills to her passion for improving K-12 public education and to invest in and mentor women and minority entrepreneurs. Through teaching her simple, yet valuable lessons such as the importance of failure and individual passion, Maxine credits her teachers as her foundation for success—classroom teachers and mentors alike.
Maxine is a wonderful reflection of our Ursuline values. She emphasized the importance of self-focus and applying the time to discover what you as an individual are passionate about. Like St. Angela Merici, Maxine believes in the power of reaching out into her community and providing the tools and opportunities to enrich the lives of those that live there. Projects such as Blueprint4SummerSTL, a free and easy-to-use mobile app designed to help families navigate the best summer activities and pre-college programs for their children, and the Delmar DivINe™—the transformation of a neighborhood eyesore into a multi-use real estate development to open in 2020, are examples of how Maxine knows that the greatest value in these communities are in their people.
We enjoyed welcoming a fellow Bear into our Ursuline community. You can view her presentation by clicking here.