By Aaron Worley
INDIAN TRAIL – “It’s just fun to break a bunch of stuff,” said Holli Bennett, a former paramedical examiner and now-owner of The Rage Room.
Clients can come into the compact space that Bennett bought and furnished to unleash their rage, seek therapy or enjoy a date with their partner. Participants have the option of choosing from a variety of blunt objects, such as a sledgehammer or baseball bat, to go to town on old vases, bottles, fax machines or chairs.
Destruction sessions that aptly borrow the title of the supposed issue the person is dealing with include, “Fed Up Wife/Mom” and “Office Space.”
These sessions allow 20 minutes of unparalleled venting in the form of breaking everything in sight that is put in the room and cost anywhere between $35 and 40.
Bennett’s inspiration for the idea stemmed from a week of being upset and frustrated that there wasn’t anything she didn’t own that she could (legally) break to make herself feel better.
She turned to YouTube where she began to watch videos of places around the globe that had these so-called destruction workshops. This opened a channel in her mind to make this a reality for her and anyone else who had negative feelings they needed to release.
With the space that she purchased from an owner she knew at her last job, Bennett and her husband, Roger – who builds furniture for a living – set up tables and painted over the plywood in the space to make it look presentable. They added posters emphasizing the benefits of creative obliteration, with quotes like, “Here’s to another day of outward smiles and inward screams,” and “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
Currently, Bennett focuses more on parties and special events.
“It’s better when there’s a group of people versus when it’s just one person coming here to break glasses and mugs,” she said. “You can watch your friends have fun and demolish a fax machine, which is kind of something you wouldn’t have the chance to do if you were just by yourself.”
At $45 per person, the parties include drink tickets, a table for catered food and 15-20 breakables per person, with a minimum of eight people needed. As a test run, Bennett held her son’s graduation party in the venue and allowed him and his friends to break a series of plates and dishes. They occupied two rooms in the space, but with more than five people in each room, it didn’t take long for them to finish destroying everything.
Her son and his friends, like any client, had safety gear and masks on to protect them from shards of glass and other ceramic pieces. Those that are interested must also sign a waiver that gives them full understanding of the possibility that someone may get hurt by these flying shards.
Bennett runs a workshop as one of her main sources of income, called Farmhouse Chic, that does the exact opposite of The Rage Room. Focusing on arts and crafts, people build frames and wood projects during classes or group sessions.
This contradiction is amusing to Bennett as she has no problem balancing the two different ventures. “I’ve had a really good response from Facebook and people seem to like it,” Bennett said in response to how consistent of a turnout she expects.
Like every new business opportunity, taking risks is inevitable and will make or break that business.
The Rage Room officially opened Aug. 5. From the calls Bennett has received, she believes she has a winning idea. Visit www.therageroomnc.com for details.