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BKB Community Spotlight: Elise Schmitt, Events Manager at BKB Chicago

Our community spotlight shines on Elise Schmitt, our Events Manager at BKB Chicago, who’s usually busy setting up the spotlights at events. She talks to us about BKB Pizza Parties & her fear of heights.

elise schmitt

Who are you and how did you get to BKB Chicago?

Hi! I’m Elise, the Events Manager at Brooklyn Boulders Chicago. I come up with weird ideas and BKB lets me turn them into events which is pretty rad. I found my way here through a friend who invited me to a hard hat dinner prior to our opening, at the time it was essentially an empty warehouse with scary looking walls and I thought, “yes, this seems like a great place to work.”  A few months later my hiring boss reached out asking me to apply and I was lucky enough to land the role I’m in now.

elise schmitt chicago

What’s your climbing philosophy?

What do you like about climbing and the BKB community?
The physical and mental challenge of climbing is unlike any sport I’ve participated in before, it’s incredible. When I’m on a rope my mind is cleared of anything but what my next move will be… that and, “wow I really need to get better at this.”  As a new climber it’s pretty inspiring to be around so much talent every day, I learn a ton from watching my co-workers and the community. I’m pretty lucky to be able to sit back and take in their maneuvers on the wall.  Also thrilled that it’s socially acceptable to stare at people’s butts body movements here, could be weird outside of a climbing facility  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


elise schmitt climbing

Favorite event thrown so far?
Our kick-off to Halloween, BKBoo! With the exception of competitions I’m constantly searching for new ways to incorporate climbing into our larger events. I’ve always managed to do that on a smaller scale, but with BKBoo! I was able to transform the entire space into a lights-out headlamp climbing party.  The response we had was insane, people flooded into the facility! It was the first time I’ve really seen our community come together like that and it meant the world to me.

What are your biggest current projects, on and off the wall?
Just to keep climbing, keep learning. Every day I climb is a day that I don’t suck quite as much as I did the day before. It’s also brought my fear of heights to peak (jokes!) paranoia, working on getting over that. Off the wall, I’m planning some killer events for our community. Bigger and better, hopefully more beer.  And pizza. I want to exist in a place where pizza is accessible to everyone. I just want to have BKB pizza parties all the time forever.


Elise was born and raised in and around the city of Chicago, eventually taking off for college in Wisconsin because it just wasn’t cold enough for her here. After returning to her home state she kicked off a career in events and marketing within the magazine industry targeting the worlds of fashion, design and music. Soon she moved her way into national brand production focusing on large scale events which finally led her to Brooklyn Boulders.  Now she can be found making things weird at BKB Chicago with pop-up parties, climbing competitions and theme nights. Lastly, she loves pizza to a degree you didn’t think was possible. 

Got an idea for an event at BKB Chicago? Hit up Elise at