FAYETTEVILLE (AP) — Have you ever felt so mad you just wanted to punch a wall but knew you would regret the damage to your home? Or just wanted to break a bunch of glasses out of frustration but didn’t want to have the mess? The perfect outlet for this aggression lies in a rage room.
Ch-Hara Pearson, a New Jersey native, and Sparkle Bass, a Fayetteville native, opened Wreck & Release on Murchison Road a year ago with the goal of helping the mental health of Fayetteville community members, especially young people.
“I really want to focus on our youth because they’ve had a hard two years,” Bass said. “Even if you had no traumas, you had perfect parents, a perfect life, these last two years has been tough for any child. So, if you add trauma and other things onto that, we don’t give our youth a safe place to express themselves in an unconventional way.”
Bass added how it’s important for youth to let out their emotions.
“It’s something they need to let out and holding it all could make it even worse, resulting in school shootings, school violence, things like that,” she said. “My hope for the community is that we get more youth groups to come in and really help give them an outlet that they can let out whatever. It’s really powerful.”
The way the rage rooms work is patrons pay for an allotted amount of time to either break their own stuff that they bring or break things that Wreck & Release provides, depending on the package you purchase, with tools and cleanup provided. The materials in the rooms are either donated or purchased by the business.
Both women are graduates of North Carolina Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Bass with a degree in information technology from North Carolina A&T and Pearson a graduate of North Carolina Central University with a degree in behavioral science.
In honor of their alma maters, and because their business is located near Fayetteville State University, they’ve named the rage rooms the Aggie room, the Eagle room and the Bronco room.
‘A TOTALLY DIFFERENT PERSON’
Bass said she’s seen how the rage rooms have offered people much-needed release.
“It’s a simple concept to some people, but it’s more powerful than just going in and breaking some things, like the release you feel of ‘whew, no I ain’t got to punch nobody in the face. Now I can go and be a civilized human being,’” she said. “When people are really going through something and they come in, you can tell; they’re snappy, they’re not really trying to do a bunch of talking and when they come out those rooms, it’s a totally different person.”
The two also take pride in being the first rage room owners in Fayetteville who are Black women.
“I was made to feel like it was a bad thing to be a business owner and be working and have children and have a husband because I was actually told I can’t do it all and that somebody or something would be lacking,” Pearson said. “It became a thing where learning time management, having the correct support system and knowing that yes, you can do just as much as a man can do.”
Wreck & Release, located at 1201 Murchison Road, Suite A, has rooms ranging from $35 to $250 which can be booked on their website, wreckandrelease.com. For all of October, if you book the “I Want All the Smoke” package, you can bring a friend for free.