February 2020 Spotlight: Jessica Brown
Story by Liesel Schmidt | Photography by Catherine May Taylor
With all the noise of social media, online content, television, and print, now—more than ever—when it comes to marketing, you have to think outside of the box. You have to tap into your creativity as well as your business savvy to see all the ways to present a company, a brand, or a product, and that’s exactly what Jessica Brown does every day as the co-founder and president of Joy Riot.
Based in North Old Town, the boutique advertising agency works with brands in a variety of industries to help them better connect with their audiences in various ways, including branding, traditional and nontraditional advertising, social media, and websites. Prior to launching the company in 2017, Brown had over a decade of experience in developing brand strategies and creating award-winning international campaigns for a number of industries that included fashion, travel, and lifestyle brands—expertise that clearly set her up for success in going out on her own.
“I’ve always been a creative person,” says Brown, who is recently engaged and looking forward to marriage in October. “I enjoy painting and photography and I thrive on looking for new and creative ways to solve problems. When I was in 5th grade, there was a place where you could paint your own pottery in town, and I was obsessed with it—I wanted to paint everything! One day, I walked in and made the owner an offer: I would create signs, brochures, posters, and newspaper ads for her business in exchange for painting privileges in her store. That’s when my advertising career actually started,” she recalls.
Jessica’s creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and ability to connect with people and create valuable relationships have served her well in her career. “I love making connections, and if I can introduce two people who might become friends or work together in some way, it gives me such joy,” Brown says. “In advertising, I get to combine my creativity and business degree to connect brands with the right audiences so they can fill a void or solve a problem. It’s strategic and creative, and it benefits both parties. It’s all of my passions wrapped up into something that’s not just beneficial, but also pretty cool. And at the end of the day, I have a lot of fun doing it.”
“I love making connections, and if I can introduce two people who might become friends or work together in some way, it gives me such joy.”
Connecting is also something she does as a member of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, and she has greatly benefitted from those connections. “In 2018, I was named one of the Chamber’s 40 Under 40 honorees. Through that experience, I met some amazing young professionals within our community and became more involved in the Chamber. I’m now in my second year on the Development Committee, where I’ve had the opportunity to get to know the organization even more,” she says. “It’s a great group of people in Alexandria who really care about helping local businesses grow. It’s wonderful to be involved in the local community, and being a member of the Chamber offers a lot of networking opportunities. I’ve met many people with whom I’ve collaborated as well as gained new clients and friends.”
Our Chamber has a responsibility to make Alexandria the ideal place to work, live, and grow your business. As a member, The Chamber ALX becomes a channel to boost your brand, a resource to find opportunities and build relationships, and a seal of approval to give your business credibility in our community. Whether we're advocating on behalf of businesses to local government, hosting events to connect you with others, or giving visibility to businesses and nonprofits that Alexandrians should know about — we're working in your best interest.
For more information on the 40 Under 40 Awards Program and The Chamber ALX — contact us at LPATISH@thechamberalx.com.