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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, November 29, 2001

The Left Lane
A bear of their own

Bins of hibernating bears are waiting to be fluffed to life at a new family-owned toy store at Ala Moana Center, where children can create their own critters. Hanai A Bear, which follows a children's workshop adopt-a-bear concept originated more than 20 years ago in San Francisco, opened in October, calling itself the first interactive store of its kind in Hawai'i.

The shop, where children can be seen selecting teddies and kissing toy hearts before the bears are sewn shut, is making adults feel warm and fuzzy as well. "We've had tons of people who have made us cry when they come in and tell us their stories," such as one woman who created a bear in memory of a child who died, said Matt Reynolds, whose family is one of the owners.

Prices range from $17 to $28 for basic bears. Outfits cost $5 to $19. Bears come with an adoption certificate. The store is steps from the mall's food court and can be seen on the Internet or reached at 949-2327.

— Tanya Bricking, Advertiser staff writer