How to Build-A-Business

Practical Mommy (Ria) and I spent two days at Bear Headquarters for Build-A-Bear in St. Louis (our own backyard!) with nearly 20 of the hippest online moms/bloggers from across the United States. The event was a Brand Building Workshop hosted by Build-A-Bear called Connecting in the CyBear Century.

It took Ria and I all of about 10 minutes to have our first “OMG” moment. How was #babwconnect? In a word, it was:

As you can see, I was not the only participant that found #babwconnect inspiring. I’d like to share some of this inspiration with you. Here are my top five take-aways, applicable not only to branding and business, but to life:

#5 – Dream Big: This one came from the founder of Build-A-Bear, Chief Executive Bear Maxine Clark. You could live by these two words alone and do quite well. Why hold yourself, your business or your life small when you can dream big?

#4 – STOP BLOCK and TELL: These are the steps to teach your children to prevent cyber bullying… not a bad philosophy to live by either. Don’t like the way something is going in your life? Stop, block and transform it so you can live another way. A big thank you to Mary Heston who shared this tip with us and her group @wiredmoms for helping to keep our kids safe online. You were one inspiring quote after the next. (“As parents, we are the sherpas in our children’s lives” almost made the list as well *wink*)

#3 – Nothing IS Something: This gem came when Michelle (@honestandtruly on twitter), asked the amazing and talented Adrienne Weiss (a branding guru if you ask me) about the use of negative space in design/brand building. Again, words to live by and ohhhh soooo Zen.

#2 – Take Risks: Another pearl of wisdom from Maxine Clark herself. She shared a personal story with us about her 1st Grade teacher who each week rewarded the child in her classroom that got the most answers wrong (yes, wrong) with a finely sharpened red pencil. All the kids thought this was the coolest and it helped them raise their hands more, even when they weren’t 100% sure they knew the answer. This small act taught Maxine at a very young age the value of being engaged verses getting everything right. I KNOW you see the valuable life application here so I won’t say another word.

And finally, my number one take away from the Connecting in the CyBear Century Brand Building Workshop:

#1 – It’s Simple: Ahhh, out of the mouths of babes. This one came from twelve year old presenter @Zach_Bonner (on twitter-follow him!) who was a Build-A-Bear Huggable Hero in 2007. When asked why he began his community work to end youth homelessness at the age of six (half his life ago I might add) he replied, “It’s simple. We had water and they needed it.”  It’s simple. This one’s going in my pocket to stay. Were it we all viewed life this way, you KNOW the world would be a better place.

To Maxine, to Zach and all the other amazing presenters, and finally, to all the helpful Bears at BABW who organized #babwconnect, thank you from the bottom of my beary grateful and inspired heart. It was paw-some.

So tell me, what is your number one inspired “rule” to live by?


Suzanne Tucker, aka Zen Mommy

In addition to mommying to two magical girls born in 2000 and 2003 and twins born February 1st, 2010, Suzanne co-owns a holistic health center with her husband Shawn in St. Louis, Missouri where she practices as a physical therapist, Certified Educator of Infant Massage and health education teacher. Suzanne is the Co-creator of My Mommy Manual and the online positive parenting course, Yoga Parenting.


  1. Nicole Brady says:

    Your video and wrap-up are PAWsome! Thank you!

  2. right on, suzanne! it was all of those things and much, much more! so great to connect with you…hope to do it again soon! 🙂


  3. Suzanne Tucker says:

    Nicole and Candy, loved meeting you and hope to see you again soon. Type A Mom Convention maybe in Sept? Thanks for the comments.

  4. Love it! You are so on top of things too – I haven’t even looked at my pics yet!

  5. Zen Mommy says:

    thanks cher! i couldn’t wait to see all our comments clipped together. 😉

  6. I missed out on the second day, but had a wonderful time on the first and learned a lot. By the way, you are super awesome and thanks so much for making this newbie feel welcome.

  7. It was a real pleasure to meet and spend time with you ladies. Thanks for adding to my enjoyment of the event.

  8. It was sooo great meeting you lovely ladies more. Still on high from #babwconnect. Now, ZM and I are busy busy Dreaming Big ala BAB! 😉 If you haven’t read The Bear Necessities of Business yet, I highly recommend it!

  9. Yes, yes, yes! I couldn’t agree more with all 5 of these!