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Experience Businesses: Sarah’s Smash Shack

If you position it right, you can market anything — especially if it aligns with a core human need. In this case,  Sarah’s Smash Shack was conceived to relieve people who are stressed-out.

Could the timing be any more appropriate?

Customers in San Diego can choose fragile tableware from the Smash Shack Menu—for example a set of three glass flowers for USD 10, or the House Special, which consists of 15 plates at a cost of USD 45.

Customers can also BYOB – breakables, that is — and (get this) for a ‘corkage fee’ that starts at USD 20.

Yes, people are loosing their jobs, banks are going bust – but there is money to be made in the craziest of ideas if they are well executed.

smashshack

After donning protective gear, smashers are escorted to one of the break rooms, where they stand behind a waist-high barrier and hurl their arsenal at a stainless steel wall. To make the process more personalised, customers are encouraged to bring their own soundtrack on MP3, and to write messages on whatever they’re about to throw. There’s also the option of flinging objects at a photo or mantra of choice. A VIP room is available for group smashes.

Since August 2008, the shack has helped quite a few customers vent their frustration and release their tension. Or just plain enjoy the process of harmless destruction without having to clean up after themselves. It’s hard to tell whether the credit crunch has benefited or hindered the business’s success, making customers thriftier but also more stressed and up for smashing…

Does it get any better? –> It’s eco-friendly!!

Aware that it’s not cool not to care about the environment, the shack donates its broken glass and ceramic to mosaic art programs throughout the United States.

While the whole concept might sound a bit nutty, this could be a lucrative small business to set up elsewhere, especially for entrepreneurs who can get their hands on cheap vacant retail space for a year or two. Entry costs are relatively low and, well, that human urge to smash stuff is universal ;-)

I mean, why not set one up right next to those pottery studios at the mall? I guarantee you it would be a hit among the tweens.

About the Author: Christine Haskell

Christine is a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft with several years experience in the .com industry. She recently started social venture labs, an idea incubator for those leading small mission-driven businesses or organizations looking to create relationships, share ideas and [...]