It all started with a little vandalous facial hair. Shortly after Mailchimp CEO and Co-Founder Ben Chestnut appeared on the cover of Forbes magazine, a copy of the publication showed up in one of the common spaces at Mailchimp HQ. But something was different. An employee had artfully scrawled a mustache on its cover star.
Ben was thrilled.
“He said that we should all be very proud of the attention and the accolades that we were getting, but that we should never take ourselves too seriously,” Mailchimp Marketing VP Sean Cook remembers. “This little act of cheeky vandalism was a perfect representation of that.”
Inspired, Sean took to the Cook Gallery, which is also known as his office, which we converted into an in-house art gallery about a year ago. We’ve been using the space to showcase the work of our many talented employee-artists, and Sean saw an opportunity to do that again while roasting Mailchimp’s co-founders in the process.
So he planned an exhibition, which he titled Defaced. And he secretly put the word out across departments, asking for “vandalized” images of Ben and Dan. Turns out, MC employees were ready to party—the whole thing came together very quickly and quietly.