Stories & Heart, a New Book by Build-A-Bear CEO, Hits Best Seller List on Launch Day

Sharon Price John’s new book and podcast in partnership with Forbes provide insights and tools to “unlock the power of personal stories to create a life you love”

ST. LOUIS, Feb. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. (NYSE: BBW) announces that new book, Stories & Heart: Unlock the Power of Personal Stories to Create a Life You Love, published by Forbes Books and authored by Sharon Price John, Build-A-Bear Workshop President and Chief Executive Officer, hit the Amazon Best Seller List for Business Mentoring and Coaching on its recent publication date, and has generated over a half a billion media impressions. Stories & Heart is available at Amazon, as well as a wide array of both ecommerce and brick-and-mortar retailers including Barnes & Noble, Hudson News, and select Build-A-Bear Workshop locations.

“Many thanks to all who have contributed to helping Stories & Heart achieve a best-seller medallion on launch day. I believe we all have more power to create a life we love than we may realize and hope this book can serve as a tool for those who are willing to take that personal journey,” said Ms. John who has been the President and CEO of the beloved publicly traded company for nearly a decade. “The positive feedback from readers and the media about the belief in the potential positive impact of the book has been truly humbling.”

Through a variety of personal stories and career experiences working with some of the world’s best-known toy companies, including the 25-year-old Build-A-Bear organization which she led and evolved through economic challenges and a global pandemic to deliver the most profitable year in its history in 2021, Ms. John’s new book is designed to provide insights and tools, supported by data and research, in an approachable manner and understandable format.  Each chapter explores areas like goal setting, change, values, failure, or perfectionism and is grounded in a personal “Story,” after which the reader is asked a related “Question from the Heart” and provided an exploratory exercise with the goal of creating a personal and actionable guidebook designed to help them “create a life they love.”

In conjunction with the book, Ms. John also hosts the Forbes podcast series, Stories & Heart. Each episode features trailblazers and groundbreakers who have lived extraordinary lives and share their own personal stories, acquired wisdom and insights with listeners. The newest podcast episode available today on ForbesBooksAudio, Apple and Spotify, features Sarah Harden, CEO of Hello Sunshine, a media company focused on female-centric storytelling and co-founded by Reese Witherspoon. On the episode, she discusses the ups and downs of her successful journey in the entertainment business and the importance of being mission-driven. Other featured Stories & Heart podcast guests that are available now include:

  • Maxine Clark, the founder of Build-A-Bear, who shares her first teddy bear story, talks about learning the ropes of retail and recounts her remarkable entrepreneurial spirit;
  • Sarah Personette, former Chief Customer Officer at Twitter who discusses remaining true to yourself and mastering leadership through volatility and uncertainty;
  • Rita McGrath, best-selling author, renown corporate strategist and Columbia Business School Professor, who provides insights on how companies (and people) can evolve and change; and
  • Sylvia Acevedo, whose inspiring journey of being a Girl Scout sparked her interest in science that led her to NASA, Apple and Dell, to eventually become the CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA.

Upcoming Stories & Heart Events:

  • The Build-A-Bear Workshop location adjacent to the Empire State Building in New York City is hosting a public book signing event featuring Ms. John on February 16 from 6:30-7:30 pm at 22 West 34th Street. A free Lil’ Cub Teddy Bear will be provided to the first 25 purchasers of the hard copy of the book at the event.
  • Ms. John is scheduled to participate in a number of speaking engagements associated with the book, including a February 16 event with the Licensing International’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) designed to help brand licensing professionals under 35 years of age expand their skill base and network through educational and social events.
  • To learn more about other upcoming events or for more information about Stories & Heart including access to the podcasts, worksheets and related blogs, visit

Separately, Build-A-Bear is pleased to share that in honor of the launch of Stories & Heart, the company has donated $25,000 to the Build-A-Bear Foundation, which focuses on childhood literacy and the wellbeing of children. 

About Sharon Price John

Sharon Price John has served as Chief Executive Officer of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. since 2013. In her tenure as CEO, she revitalized the brand, bringing profitability back to the publicly traded company (NYSE: BBW) and creating a springboard for the brand’s relevance in the years to come.

She also serves on the board of directors at Jack in the Box (NASDAQ: JACK) and on the executive committee of the Toy Industry Association board. She has been named one of the University of Tennessee Knoxville’s 100 Distinguished Alumni of the last 100 years as well as a Distinguished Alumni by Columbia Business School’s Women in Business. Sharon has three children and lives in St. Louis with her husband.

About Forbes Books

Launched in 2016 in partnership with Advantage Media Group, Forbes Books is the exclusive business book publishing imprint of Forbes. Forbes Books offers business and thought leaders an innovative, speed-to-market, fee-based publishing model and a suite of services designed to strategically and tactically support authors and promote their expertise. For more information, visit

About Build-A-Bear

Build-A-Bear is a multi-generational global brand focused on its mission to “add a little more heart to life” appealing to a wide array of consumer groups who enjoy the personal expression in making their own “furry friends” to celebrate and commemorate life moments. Nearly 500 interactive brick-and-mortar retail locations operated through a variety of formats provide guests of all ages a hands-on entertaining experience, which often fosters a lasting and emotional brand connection. The company also offers engaging e-commerce/digital purchasing experiences on including its online “Bear-Builder”, the animated “Bear Builder 3D Workshop” and its age-gated adult-focused “Bear Cave“. In addition, extending its brand power beyond retail, Build-A-Bear Entertainment, a subsidiary of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc., is dedicated to creating engaging content for kids and adults that fulfills the company’s mission, while the company also offers products at wholesale and in non-plush consumer categories via licensing agreements with leading manufacturers. Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. posted total revenue of $411.5 million in fiscal 2021. For more information, visit the Investor Relations section of

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SOURCE Build-A-Bear Workshop


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