'I think people just need an outlet in 2020': Saskatoon business offers 'cathartic' chance to break stuff
SASKATOON -- In a year that's served up heaping portions of stress and frustration, a Saskatoon entrepreneur believes she may have just the thing to help people let off a little steam.
"I think people just need an outlet in 2020," Megan Mercer explains.
Her business, YXE Smash Therapy, is focused on offering customers — once decked out in safety gear — a chance to destroy everything from glassware to computer printers.
Mercer says the business, which opened in November, also features a "cool-down room" which is available for those who find the process of pummeling everyday objects with golf clubs and baseball bats stirs up something deeper.
"I want everyone to come and have fun. There's another cathartic level to it where if you're really stressed out and having a hard time you can come here make a special booking. I can reserve the cool-down room for you if you find that it evokes some emotion."
Mercer says a romantic split that happened over the summer was the inspiration to start Saskatoon's first-ever "rage room."
"In June, I went through a breakup, and while it wasn't very serious or heartbreaking. It was frustrating and annoying," Mercer says.
"I looked to see if there was a local rage room online. When the nearest one was in Regina I figured, well, I'm probably not going to go there so we'll just start my own."
Much of the derelict electronic equipment that gets walloped at Smash Therapy, comes courtesy of a partnership with the Electronic Recycling Association, Mercer says.
"We give them back to them after they're smashed and they're all recycled responsibly."
Also intriguingly in the post-Marie Kondo era of tidying, Smash Therapy invites donations of certain breakable items, potentially offering a different kind of catharsis for those deep in the midst of daunting decluttering campaign.
Sessions are booked in advance online, and run anywhere from just over $30 for a solo smash to sessions for groups up to six which can run over $300. Participants are asked to sign a liability waiver before the battering begins.
"You can bring your own breakables from home. No electronics because there's some red tape around that just because we want to make sure it's safe and there's no heavy metal exposure, so we've got plenty of (those items). I've got an amazing team that helps me prep all those things,” Mercer says.
"From home I would suggest just bringing glassware. Maybe a framed photo of an ex."
--With files from Janella Hamilton