Relieve stress with rage: Co-owner of Fort Wayne's rage room shares how it works

Have you ever thought about throwing a plate across the room? Maybe you’ve dreamt of the catharsis you’d feel taking a crowbar to a computer monitor. 

Well, Abby Greutman and her business partner, Brianna Dailey, have the solution for you. 

As Fort Wayne’s first and only rage room, All the Rage offers guests a way to “destress without the mess” by smashing bottles, mugs, computers, vases, and just about anything else that shatters when hit with a crowbar or bat. 

Customer Scott Zent smashes an object in his rage room.

Guests pick from a list of packages, with various lengths of time and different types of breakables offered. For a price, more breakables can be added, and guests can even bring in items of their own to smash. Then, they sign a waiver and enter one of three rage rooms, where they’re given a crowbar, a bat, and free reign to destroy. 

Input Fort Wayne sat down with Abby Greutman, one-half of the business duo behind All the Rage, to learn more about the phenomenon of “safely raging” to destress. 

Abby Greutman, one-half of the duo behind All the Rage.

IFW: Tell us about All the Rage.

AG: We have three rage rooms, where guests who are 18 years and older can come in and pick their package and add-ons. Then they come to the back and get all suited up in what I call marshmallow suits because everybody looks like a human marshmallow. They put on a helmet and gloves, and then they come in to rage.

The aesthetic is not like pristine clean because we got glass everywhere in the rooms and dust comes out, so we're kind of a little fun grunge.

It's a unique, fun experience, but especially when we have gone through COVID, and there's so much going on in the world right now, people are stressed, and some people don't even know. They come in, and it's just like this like physical release.

Especially for mental health, people talk about like doing yoga or going for a run and stuff like that, and that's not always people's jam. You know, I'm not a runner, I will never be a runner, but this is a good way to have that same release.

Visitors must suit up before entering the rage rooms.
IFW: What inspired you to open a rage room in Fort Wayne?

AG: Rage rooms started in Japan about 10 years ago and made their way here. It was in a few of the larger cities in the U.S., and we were like, you know what, if Fort Wayne can support seven escape rooms, we can definitely have a rage room for stress relief. 

Before we opened, we went to a rage room in Chicago. It was good to just see what it would be like from a customer's point of view and then tweak it for what we wanted. 

One thing we found is, not to knock other rage rooms, but at least one of them had political figurines and that type of thing, and it really solidified that we want to keep ours away from violence toward others. That helped us think through what we would and wouldn’t allow. 

We felt like Fort Wayne could use some stress relief. We’re here for the community, to help destress. We opened in 2019, and we’re the only rage room in Fort Wayne.

One of the three rage rooms at All the Rage.IFW: What kind of crowd does All the Rage attract?

AG: We have a lot of fun groups come through. We have a lot of bachelorette parties and divorce parties come through. But also it's really fun to see team-building work groups. We actually had a woman come in for her 80th birthday.

It's just fun to see them let loose. We have a lot of people who maybe come in with their spouse or a significant other, or their friend, and they're like, ‘This isn't for me. I don't know.’ And then they get in there, and they're like, ‘Okay, wow, this is actually really fun.’

Broken glass on the floor of a rage room at All the Rage.

IFW: How do you source the items that are smashed?

AG: We actually have partnerships with local businesses. We partner with local thrift shops and some e-waste facilities. We get some stuff in from them, people destroy it, and then it's more broken down for them. We take off the plastic in the middle and then we give them back the electronic bits that need to be recycled.

If you see all of our clear bottles over here, these are actually from Byler Lane Winery. They aren't able to recycle them, so instead of them going straight into the trash, they give them to us, and they get one extra life. 

We also take community donations from people who are trying to get rid of stuff. We do not accept TVs because those can be dangerous to break.

People can also bring in their own items to smash. We don't allow people to bring in framed pictures of their exes or anything that physically represents another person.

Wine bottles, which are not able to be recycled, are given a second life at All the Rage.IFW: What are some of the challenges of operating a rage room?

AG: It was work to find a specialty insurance that wanted to ensure something that has risk potential. But we have our waivers, and all our other safety precautions; it’s our number one priority. 

We’re hoping to add on a paint room that would be open to people 18 and younger. We have a lot of people who want to bring people under 18 for that kind of cathartic release, and we feel like we could have a good way for them to get it without creating destructive neural pathways in their very malleable brands. But we can't move forward until our insurance gives approval for it. 

Waivers at the front desk inside All the Rage.IFW: You’re located at 2307 Spy Run Ave., which used to be an antique store. What was it like to transform this space?

AG: Yeah, I think it was a gentleman and his wife; they had it for a long time. I think the wife got sick, so they closed it down. We were in the middle of looking for a place, and we were hitting a lot of walls. We were on the way to look at a different location, and we saw this was up for rent. We were like, perfect, and we hopped in it immediately. 

We did have to rip out and replace all the flooring. We painted everything. Then, we had the three rooms built as well. There were shelves everywhere we pulled. I'm not even exaggerating; we probably pulled thousands of nails and screws out of the walls. It took us a couple of months to get everything around and get it shaped up and ready to go.

All the Rage, 2307 Spy Run Ave, Fort Wayne, IN 46805.

IFW: What has it been like to open a business with a partner?

AG: We actually have been friends for about eight years now. So we were friends for five years before the business idea started, and it was actually her idea. She's said, “I had this crazy idea.” And I was like, “You know, I've always been interested in starting a business, and this sounds fun. I'm in; let's do the research.” And it went from there.

I don't think either of us could have done this by ourselves. I would definitely say to any entrepreneur if you have the possibility to do this with somebody who you trust, go for it. 

Owners Abby Greutman, left, and Brianna Dailey at All the Rage, 2307 Spy Run Ave, Fort Wayne, IN 46805.IFW: After you opened your business, you went through SEED Fort Wayne’s Build Institute program for entrepreneurs, which is a basic business building course. Tell us about your experience.

AG: The Build Institute program was helpful to wrap our heads around stuff because neither of us have ever had our own business before.

There was definitely a lot of information. Some of it was surrounding the actual logistics of starting. We were beyond that, but it was still helpful to be like, “Okay, did I miss anything? Cool. I did that. Right. Maybe I need to redo something here.” It really helped to find those gaps that maybe we, as first-time business owners, had never thought of before. 

Also, I feel like I gained a really good local entrepreneur community through the Build program to bounce ideas off of, or just support each other. Even if it's not face-to-face, we continue boosting each other's businesses and their posts on social media.

The classes themselves were really good, but the community and the resources beyond that I would say are maybe even more valuable. 

Follow All the Rage:

Instagram | @alltheragefw
Facebook | @alltheragefw
Tik Tok | @alltheragefw

This story is made possible by underwriting from SEED Fort Wayne and the Build Institute program. Learn more at seedfw.org.

Read more articles by Brittany Smith.

Brittany Smith is Input Fort Wayne’s Assistant Editor. She previously worked for Northeast Indiana Public Radio and participated in the College Input Program.