If you’re on the street in Lincoln Park on a Mid-September Friday, chances are you’ll see a boatload of people donning costumes and mustaches (both real and fake).
It’s all for Mustache Day, and to call it a “holiday” here at Jellyvision is a bit of an understatement.
Beneath the fur, there’s a very real reason we wear elaborate costumes: to celebrate our CEO Amanda Lannert’s birthday!
It all started in 2007, when Amanda (President of Jellyvision at the time) had been fulfilling her duties as “birthday well-wisher” for years, but realized she had never called out her own birthday.
So Harry Gottlieb, our Founder, and Allard Laban, our Chief Creative Officer, suggested they celebrate Amanda’s birthday. Amanda enthusiastically (ok—perhaps a tad sarcastically) agreed, and they hatched a plan to go to Fogo de Chao for lunch.
All meat sweat jokes aside, this particular 17-person company-wide lunch was a very lovely one, indeed, and, according to Amanda:
“When it came time for dessert, the crowd of almost all dudes sang happy birthday so beautifully (with harmonies!) that the whole restaurant burst into applause. Then we all went back to the office and played the game Murder for hours. It was a lovely, happy day, and we were really grateful to have had such a nice lunch out, and such a great time taking a break with colleagues.”
The next year, the then 30 or so Jellyvision employees decided to up the ante. All of the men grew out their mustaches, many hilarious photos were taken, and, most importantly, a tradition was born!
These days, Jellyvision is company of more than 400 employees—and we’re still growing fast. Now, when we show up at Fogo de Chao, we take up the entire restaurant. And wearing and/or growing mustaches has evolved into dressing up in elaborate costumes, usually with a team theme. But the purpose of Mustache Day will never change: to celebrate our fearless leader Amanda’s birthday…and to have a lovely, happy day with our colleagues, while eating an unholy amount of food.
Want to read more about Mustache Day? Read these articles in Built in Chicago and Chicago Tribune. And check out photos from last year’s Mustache Day here.