Need to release some tension? Take A Break here

The words scrawled on the walls after a smashing session at Take A Break in Kennewick show the catharsis.

“Women Veteran Approved.”

“It’s OK to Not Be OK.”

“Know Your Worth.”

“Cancer Sucks.”

“Breathe In, Breathe Out, Swing.”

Brigette Rose hatched the idea for Take A Break last summer, saying what the area needed was a sort of rage room — a place where people could break (or spray-paint) things to alleviate stress.

By the end of 2021, she opened at
309 W. Kennewick Ave., next door to the Sports Page in downtown Kennewick.

“I got into the building around Thanksgiving, opened the break room around Christmas, and in February opened the paint room,” Rose said. “It’s therapeutic.”

And she’s not done.

She wants to build a sensory room.

“In here, kids can break boxes, pop bubble wrap,” she said. “Different physical activities.”

How does it work?

Walk in the front door of her shop and the first thing you might see are a pile of old television sets, with the innards pulled out.

The walls are painted in a type of Jackson Pollock way. The back room features shelves of breakables — glass bottles, porcelain, lamps, vases, coffee cups, knickknacks.

The goal is simple: starting at $10, someone can go into the break room and using a baseball bat or golf club — “I’m looking for a sledgehammer” — and can shatter a bunch of beer bottles.

To smash a bucket of 20-25 breakables costs $35.

The prices go up from there. Find out what you can break and how much it costs at Takeabreaktricities.com.

“You sign a waiver, dress head to toe in safety gear, then go in and smash things,” Rose said. “It’s very therapeutic.”

People can play their own music in the break room, scream and yell, and when they’re done and their anger spent, they can write on the walls.

The idea

Rose’s daughter, DeAnna, was diagnosed with autism at a young age.

“She was very aggressive and would break holes in the walls,” said Rose, who says she likes to parent outside the box.

DeAnna was frustrated with her anger and didn’t know what to do with it. So she’d lash out.

“At the age of 8, she would hit me,” she said. “I’d have to bear hug her to the ground, restrain her safely.”

Sometimes the health system can be such a frustrating maze. At times, Rose didn’t know what to do. There wasn’t really a playbook to handle some of the situations.

“I’ve spent so many years fighting to figure out the system,” she said. “People feel helpless. That feeling is what drives me.”

At one point, Rose was a drug and alcohol counselor, and she did art with her groups.

She also owns a company called Mindful Art, offering art for healing, working with several groups.

But then she discovered rage rooms.

“They started in Japan roughly 10 years ago,” Rose said. “You see them on reality TV shows.”

Think of the movie “Office Space,” where the frustrated workers steal the printer from their company, take it out into a field and destroy it with a baseball bat. That scene resonated with a lot of people.

“I didn’t make this up,” Rose said. “This is not a franchise.”

But she did her research.

She found there were three rage rooms in the state: one in the Seattle-Tacoma area, one in Vancouver, and one in Spokane.

“I did all of the work I had to do,” she said. “I visited two places in Washington to see what it was like. I wished I had something like this years ago.”

It was important enough to her that she paused her Mindful Art business in August to concentrate on Take A Break.

“This provides something new, out of the box, for coping,” Rose said. “There are a lot of people struggling out there for mental health. I’m a resource. Rage rooms have become more popular because people have become closed up. They’ve built up anxiety. They’ve built up emotion.”

And it’s gotten worse since the pandemic started.

Women need an outlet

Rose’s customer base is almost entirely women.

“They need to get it out. About 99% of our customers are women between the ages of 25 and 65,” she said. “That is my population. We will be at the Men’s Expo next month at the HAPO Center.”

Recently, a group of 12 from the Tri-Cities women’s veterans came in.

“We’re getting a lot of teambuilding groups,” she said. “The Richland High dance team of 20 girls recently came and were in the break room and the paint room. A group from Bethel Church was just here. We get birthday parties.”

Rose said she gets people from Walla Walla, Pendleton, Grandview and Yakima.

“I would like to end up having a mobile unit. And expand, go to other cities,” she said.

The paint room is like a blank canvas, and kids love going in there. Recently a group of mothers and kids came in, and the kids immediately started firing paint at each other wearing their protective coveralls.

“The mothers tried to stop the kids,” she said. “I said ‘Let ’em go,’ and started firing paint at everyone.

It was great. The moms were trying to control their kids. And you could hear the laughs in there. I’ve been buying up all of the black light paint in the Tri-Cities.”

The response

The business has been successful so far, Rose said.

“From a business perspective, we’ve reached our monthly goals. We’re not in the red. I’ve come in with $6,000 raised in a month for the building rent and insurance. So I’m not in debt.”

The community also wanted to help her get it started because they saw the value in it.

“The rooms were built for free using volunteers,” Rose said. “It’s good support, and good service for people.”

She also gets a lot of donated breakables.

“I also work with Safe Harbor’s secondhand store, the Seattle Children’s store, and the veterans secondhand store,” she said.

Those shops provide her with low-cost breakables.

“And I’m excited for yard sales. I just have to find a truck to take things away.”

She gets beer and liquor bottles from Sports Page, and soon from the Branding Iron down the street.

At the end of the day, either she or a volunteer take out the breakables and put them in the dumpster out back.

So far, Rose said, “the garbage men have been really nice.”

The aftereffect

Rose said she loves how people look and feel when they’re done in one of her rooms.

“They come out feeling less heavy. They’re sweating. It’s like exercise,” she said. “Nobody comes out of those rooms angry. It doesn’t say go break people’s stuff. It says ‘Here’s an outlet. Come and get it out.’

“Also people come here to do this because normally it’s something you’re not supposed to do.”

“I believe in it,” she said. “I had to because everything around me was telling me not to do it.”

Take a Break: 309 W. Kennewick Ave., Kennewick; Takeabreaktricities.com; 509-491-1007. Hours: 2-9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2-6 p.m. Sunday; or by appointment.

 

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