Donna Alexander, a Dallas mother of two, has discovered a brilliant way to turn the anger that everyone feels, and their need to subsequently express it, into a steady stream of income as a resourceful African-American business owner.
For a set fee, those who visit the Anger Room, can feel free to smash furniture, destroy, and otherwise feel free to express unbridled rage to their hearts convent, while in a safe, sealed environment.
From the Anger Room press kit, provided by Donna Alexander:
“Anger Room, founded back in 2008, was established to provide a fun, alternative method of dealing with anger and stress.
We believe sometimes it’s good for people to do what feels natural and lash out when frustrated. But, doing so in real life will bring about real life consequences. So, Anger Room provides people an opportunity to do just that; but, do it in a controlled environment with supervision free of ridicule, consequences and legal ramifications.
The Anger Room is a place where you can let loose, gear up and destroy mocked rooms that simulate a real life workplace, living area, or kitchen. Each room setting includes a wide range of breakable items from computers and desks to televisions and couches. Each customer has the option of getting a general room setting equipped with add-on items (i.e. mannequins) or a custom room setting made specifically for them. Anger Room is also great experience whether you are visiting us alone or with a group.
We have provided our services for individuals, couples, company outings, fraternity parties, birthday parties, bachelor and bachelorette parties, just to name a few.
So no matter what walk of life you come from, your profession, education level or background, we all get angry.
Anger is a part of human nature and is natural emotion to experience. At some point or another in our lives, we deal with stress, whether in the workplace, in our relationships and even at home.
At some point in our lives, we’ve wanted to lash out, throw something or hit something in an effort to relieve ourselves of frustration and stress. So, Anger Room is here to offer you a laid-back and fun environment to deal with these feelings.
Anger Room provides its customers with an opportunity to do everything we were told not to do since we were children without having to pay the cost of replacing, restoring or having to deal with all the “real life” repercussions.”
We recently interviewed Donna Alexander to learn more about Anger Room:
1. How would you describe your business to someone completely unfamiliar with it?
Anger Room is an entertainment facility geared towards helping everyday individuals release stress and anger. By way of destroying mock room settings in a safe and controlled environment. People are allowed to break items like televisions, computers, living rooms, kitchens, glass and more, all to have fun and/or get some stress or anger out.
2. How did the idea for your business originate and then become a reality?
It originated from an idea I had as a teenager and seeing violence and crime from growing up in Chicago. The idea moved into a business when I moved to Dallas in 2002 after waiting to see if the business would be discovered by someone else, which did not happen.
3. How did you decide that this business was a realistic business idea and how did you get it to what it is now?
Through my own research and trial runs out of my garage with friends and family, it became very clear that this was more than an idea, it was a business that had promising potential and proven demand for the service it provided.
It’s a true example of one of the first things learned in business on the topic of supply and demand. As a business owner you want to supply a service or product that is needed and that’s what I did: supply an alternative solution to a problem, which is individuals with stress and anger who need a better way to release. I started it in my garage from 2008 to 2011 and open my first store front December of 2011.
4. Did you encounter any obstacles when starting out?
Sure. Finding a location because of the nature of my business. I got hundreds of No’s but finally found one yes. Insurance and other normal business obstacles were also present. It wasn’t at all easy in any way, but very well worth the work.
5. Did you actually build the physical room yourself? Is it transportable? Are there more than one model or type of room?
No, it’s not transportable. Rooms are designed to fit the customers needs.
No, I did not build the physical room; they were per-existing. Rooms are fully customized for any way a customer would like.
6. Why do you think your concept is so popular?
Maybe because its something people always wanted to do, I think:) It’s pretty cool and super fun to do! And the fact that it hasn’t been done before makes it that much more appealing.
7. Have you found any generalities in terms of who customers are? For example, do you have more men than women or more of any particular ethnic group than another?
Not really. Ethnicity is pretty much spread out among all races and backgrounds with no general groups or types at all and the men to women ratio is 50/50 evenly. So it’s very broad.
9. If you’re already getting franchise requests, are you getting any from other countries or interests in altering how the Anger Room works now?
Yes, all the time. The requests have been globally and not many, if any, want to change how Anger Room works, they love it for how it is and only want to help add things to it for the most part.
10. As an African-American businesswoman, do you have any advice for other minority professionals wanting to start their own business? Were there things that you learned along the way that you would change if you could go back?
I’m actually Puerto-Rican, Native American & African American (a little mixture of minorities, lol:), but my advice for any minority professional wanting to start their own business is assess their overall purpose of their business idea, find out if there is a need or demand for what they are offering.
Also, most importantly check for your “bottom line,” ask yourself “Is this Profitable?” That one question determines if your idea is a true achievable business or an just a idea.
Once you have made that determination, the next thing for you to do is Go For It! and don’t stop until your’e done what you set out to do:)
There is nothing that I have learned along the way that would ever make me go back and change a thing. My only curiosity is if I could have done this in my earlier years, lol. But I have concluded that everything happened exactly when it needed too! I am extremely grateful.
We’d like to thank Donna Alexander for her time and effort, and (of course) wish her much continued success.