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15 Minutes With … Brook Jay

Who: Brook Jay, “mid-30s,” Humboldt Park
Job: Founder and co-president of All Terrain, a marketing agency
Status: Single, dating

Back in 1996, when Jay was working on a project for the Atlanta Olympics, she met her now-business partner Sarah Eck-Thompson; two years later, All Terrain was born. Today the company thrives with 15 full-time employees in a $650 billion industry. The pair’s “experiential” - i.e., lifestyle - marketing agency focuses on putting clients’ products in front of targeted consumers. Take, for example, last year’s Heineken Premium Light launch. Jay was charged with selling bartenders - the people she calls the real nightlife-industry influencers - on the brand.

Sarahbrook15 Wining and dining celebrities, who often serve as spokespeople, is one way Jay (pictured, left, with Sarah Eck-Thompson) gets her message out. “When Vince Vaughn was here filming The Break-Up, I was determined to meet him,” she says. “I heard he was going on tour with his Wild West Comedy Show and filming it for a documentary. Within a month, I was working with him. I arranged a product placement for Diageo, the world’s largest liquor company.”

Boozing with Vaughn and hanging out with his then-girlfriend Jennifer Aniston was a nice perk, too. “After closing down the wrap party at The Vic for his comedy tour, we all headed to Holiday Club,” Jay says. But she insists it’s not all glamour, all the time: “We’re the people behind the people. You have to check your ego at the door in this business.”

1. What’s your drink?
Champagne. I’d drink it every day if I could - and sometimes I do.

2. Who’s your favorite person to drink with?
Sarah Eck; that’s how we got together in the first place.

3. What was the last book you read?
I’m reading I, Mona Lisa.

4. What’s the last movie you saw?
On a plane recently, Stranger Than Fiction

5. What’s your favorite restaurant or dish?
Currently, my favorite restaurant is Custom House. I love Shawn McClain.

6. What are your three most prized possessions?
A diamond and sapphire ring designed by my grandfather, my business, my skinny jeans

7. Who should be the next president and why?
Sergey Brin and Larry Page, co-founders of Google. They have access to all information, everywhere, faster than most, and they’re really good bosses and businessmen. We should run our country more like a business.

8. When’s bedtime?
12:30 to 1 a.m., on average

9. Favorite brand of jeans?
I bought jeans from Express, and they’re the best. They’re called Denim Laboratory, and they cost $90.

10. Favorite Chicago store?
My new favorite store is LuLu’s at the Belle Kay. I bought my 2007 Oscar dress there; owner Laurie Davis helped me get ready.

11. Where do you get your local news?
Chicago Tribune online, Red Eye, and Fox News [local affiliate, WFLD]. My favorite anchor is Tamron Hall.

12. Where do you get your caffeine fix in the morning?
Alliance Bakery in Wicker Park

13. Favorite brunch spot?
The Debonair Social Club’s Rock Star Brunch. It goes from noon to 6 p.m. because people in the industry can’t get their asses out of bed that early. You get unlimited mimosas with the purchase of an entrée, and free valet sponsored by Effen vodka.
14. What’s the best part of the nightlife biz?
There’s a lot of joy in it. When you’re out [at clubs and bars], there’s nothing bad about it.

15. What’s the worst part of the nightlife biz?
I get burnt out on people doing the same old, same old, reproduced ideas.

All Terrain’s next big event (featuring comedian Jonathon Drubner of Spike TV, local comedy troupe Schadenfreude, and DJ Toymaster) at Park West on Monday the 23rd is open to nightlife industry and media types only, but I’ll deliver the scoop in next Thursday’s blog. In the meantime, everyone’s invited to Stone Lotus Friday the 20th, when the club hosts the official Chicago launch party for Cocaine Energy Drink, a new, controversial buzz booster. Stop by the bash, then check my blog Monday for a recap.


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