Meet the Team

About Us

Our story began in 2001, just before the “Build Your Own Plush” movement became all the rave. This interactive concept of stuffing your own unstuffed plush animals quickly became a great activity for children. The movement quickly created a new division in the plush toy industry that continues to grow, with thousands of retailers incorporating the “Build Your Own” model into their stores and vacation resorts worldwide.

Since that time, The Bear Factory has been the leading plush supplier worldwide in innovation, quality, and sustainability. With the creation of “Plush for the Planet, the first sustainable stuff a plush line made of recycled fabrics, in 2020 we remain the leading supplier of environmentally conscious plush skins worldwide.

Our mission: Create the best product, cultivate lasting memories, and educate the next generation on the importance of animal and environmental conservation.

As a Family owned business we value our employees and the unique qualities they have to offer at The Bear Factory. Please check below the name for how to contact!

Meet our founding family, Jerry Mclean accompanied by his daughter, Keia, her husband Jimmy and their daughter Araya. More than 20yrs ago while visiting Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan, our founding family strolled into a local gift shop for some window shopping. It was there they came across an archaic machine spouting fluff and a few unstuffed bear skins you pick from to “build your own buddy”. Here we are many years later where we had a vision where one day we would be able to offer a Green product line that holds up to sustainability standards while also providing an opportunity to educate children on the importance of environmental and animal conservation. Our inaugural line driving focus is to promote awareness of our oceans and the micro plastics that litter them. Our goal is to let plush for the planet be a conversation starter with the next generation while also providing an interactive build your own plush experience to create a memorable lasting impression.

Hours of Operation

Monday thru Thursday: 10:00a – 4:00p EST

10609 Hi Tech Drive, Whitmore Lake MI, 48189

p. 248.437.4930

General Inquiries: hello@thebearfactory.com

Shipping Inquires: shipping@thebearfactory.com

Order Information/Payment: orders@thebearfactory.com 

Jerry M.- President/CEO

Jerry@thebearfactory.com

ext.100

Jimmy B.- COO

Jimmy@thebearfactory.com

ext.101

Keia M.- Director of Product innovation

Keia@thebearfactory.com, ext.102

Things about me: I love to live my life with kindness & pay attention to the beauty in life and share this awareness with my daughter. I’m very active, I love traveling to new places with my family, and spending time with my husky Koda.

What is my favorite plushie & why: Maple the Brown Bear because she is so cuddly & was the first TBF plushie to meet my daughter Araya

What about the TBF legacy are you proud of?: I am proud of taking what my mom & dad created and putting my husbands and I’s spin on it and sharing it with our daughter. I am beyond proud of the team we have brought together and the bond that we share not only as a company but as our little TBF family. Lastly, we get to be apart of a child’s happiness every time with every plushie and that lights up my life!

Libby F. – North American sales manager

Libby@thebearfactory.com, ext.103

Things about me: When I’m not at work I love to spend time in nature with my husband and kids seeing the world through their eyes brings me my greatest joy. I love to do yoga and listen to music.

What is my favorite plushie & why: seaweed because it reminds me of being at the ocean

Why is The Bear Factory an amazing place to work: I truly enjoy coming into work every day because of the group of people here we all have a great dynamic in each personality bring something fun and different to the group I also love The Bear Factory ‘s mission to leave the world a better place and how we found it

Nick H.- Warehouse Supervisor

Shipping@thebearfactory.com, ext.104

Things about me: I have many hobbies outside of work such as travel, music, and sports. I have lived many places, including abroad. I moved back home in 2022 to be closer to family.

What is your favorite plush and why?: Ahh that is a tough one! It changes from month to month. Right now it is Hazel the highland cow or Tristan. The frog robe has always been my favorite clothing item.

Why is The Bear Factory and amazing place to work: My co-workers! Outside of the team we have, I am very proud to be working for a company with the sustainability being a top priority. Watching the hard work Jimmy and Keia have put into that transformation has been a treat to witness.

Casey Y.- Logistics Coordinator

Casey@thebearfactory.com, ext.105

Things about me: I enjoy being outside most of all. I love the woods, playing, sports and walking. My 3 kids are my pride and joy and watching them develop into the unique special beings they are is my greatest gift.

What is your favorite plush and why?: I love the African wild dog. Not only is it beautiful, soft and snuggly, those animals are truly amazing and fascinating creatures.

Why is The Bear Factory and amazing place to work: From minimizing the impact on our plane, to ensuring employees have a real work life balance, proper compensation and healthcare; the bear factory truly embodies the values we proclaim important.

Audrey C.- Marketing and General Inquiries

Audrey@thebearfactory.com, ext.107

Things about me: I enjoy the outdoors, going to the gym and spending time with family. I am fun loving, seek spontaneous adventures and am caring. I have a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in Marketing, Psychology and Communications.

What is my favorite plushie & why: Lumi the Lynx because it has a variety of colors, is one of our new styles and just a cute bear.

Why is The Bear Factory an amazing place to work: The family oriented work environment is fun, energetic and there is room for connection while also keeping a dynamic, organized work space and routine.

 

Lindsey G. – Operations Administrator

Lindsey@thebearfactory.com, ext.108

Things about me: I have a amazing 9 year old son who is my world. I enjoy heading up north in the summer. Being on a beach is my most peaceful place to be.

What is my favorite plushie & why: Tripp the Turtle – the material is super soft, and he has an adorable face

Why is The Bear Factory an amazing place to work: The atmosphere is cheerful, and I love coming to work every day and being with my work family.

Ethan J.  Shipping and Freight Coordinator

Things about me: I enjoy exploring in nature and doing anything outside

What is my favorite plushie & why: Milkdud the Mountain goat, it is soft and cute

Why is The Bear Factory an amazing place to work: We are taken care of very well as employees. Four day work weeks allow for a good amount of free time to enjoy life outside of work.

Addy C.- Warehouse Clerk

Things about me: ​I’m originally from Puerto Rico. I moved to the US around 15 years ago and learned English by writing at first. I have been with The Bear Factory for almost a year and a half and I am a single mother of two handsome toddlers who filled my life with love and happiness every day

What is my favorite plushie & why: Ocean the octopus because it really describes how life really is sometimes. Most of the time you wish you had a arms to be able to do everything.

Why is The Bear Factory an amazing place to work: The Bear Factory is amazing place to work because they understand that life is more than just work to survive the work life balance. They understand that being a mom and being there for your kids is more important than work.

Ky F.- Warehouse Clerk

Things about me: ​I am someone who deeply loves my friends and will try my hardest to make sure they are ok. I strive off being around people who will allow me to be my silly, dramatic self. I am loud, but in all the good ways. I am always laughing and trying to make others do the same.

What is my favorite plushie & why: Boon bear, you don’t often see cute brown bears like ours. Although it is discontinued it is one of our softest plushies.

Why is The Bear Factory an amazing place to work: The people you work for and with every day. You are treated with total respect and can always count on a laugh in the warehouse.

Mike A. – The Bear Factory Events division

mike@thebearfactoryevents.com

Things about me: Mike values loyalty, dedication and integrity. “I love traveling with friends and family.” His interests are golfing and fine dining.

What is my favorite plushie & why: Frost the camo bear. This bear represents my two grandfathers that served our country.

Why is The Bear Factory an amazing place to work: The family team atmosphere is second to none.

A win for the Bear Factory community as a whole.

We could not be prouder to be recipients of the FastTrack Award from the Ann Arbor SPARK’s acknowledgment of our team’s dedication fills us with joy and gratitude. Kudos to our entire bear factory team for their contributions to making this possible. This is a collective achievement and a win for The Bear Factory community as a whole.

About the Global living Wage Coalition 
Living wages build and demonstrate respect by rightly valuing the societal contributions made by those that create and maintain the fabric of our communities. Our strategy seeks to complement worker voice and celebrate employers who are leading the way, uniting people around this common, positive, message. In an increasingly polarized America, it is a nonpartisan strategy appealing to both employers and hard-working people from all walks of life and all corners of our country.

The Mission: Overcome the barriers and create the incentives to enable employers to pay living wages, affording a decent quality of life for working families.

Acquisition International Business Excellence Awards

Ann Arbor SPARK is an economic development organization based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It’s focused on advancing the economic prosperity of the region by attracting and retaining businesses, supporting entrepreneurship, and fostering innovation. Here are some key aspects of Ann Arbor SPARK

The positive impact of individual and team efforts has made this possible.

SPARK is actively engaged in the local community, collaborating with stakeholders to address economic development challenges and opportunities. This includes participating in regional initiatives, advocating for policies that support economic growth, and promoting Ann Arbor as a vibrant place to live and work.

Overall, Ann Arbor SPARK plays a crucial role in driving economic development and fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the Ann Arbor region.

2020 Global Excellence Awards Winner - The Bear Factory: 2020 Award for Excellence in High Quality Plush Products
2020 Global Excellence Awards Winner. The Bear Factory: Best Global Plush Supplier 2020 USA
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The Bear Factory Team is focused on supporting your business or organization to the fullest and guarantees your satisfaction.

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Our 24 Hour Shipping Guarantee is something you’ll only find at The Bear Factory. We guarantee your order will ship within 24 hours of being placed to get you your product sooner.

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is our specialty. Our Team is dedicated to giving you the time and assistance to support your business or event. Have a question or need a recommendation? We’re here to help!

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customer service like never before. We understand you have more important things to do so our goal is to make your ordering process as easy and enjoyable as possible.

5 out of 5

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