We had the good fortune of connecting with Vanessa Cashmere and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vanessa, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I started my business after I hit a rough patch which ultimately was the turning point of my life. A few years ago I walked in on my live-in boyfriend with two other women. It escalated to a physical altercation and resulted in my arrest and discharge from the United States Navy. Consequently the charges against me made it very difficult for me to find employment as well as rent a place to stay. I found myself living in fear and uncertainty about my future. That’s when I knew that I needed to get serious about about creating a healthy outlet for myself, and others who needed it, to deal with the frustrations that come up and to prevent them from doing something they would ultimately regret. I had lost everything and had no choice but to reinvent myself. I knew that the life I wanted was up to me to create it despite the odds against me. Four years later, I opened up The Smash Spot and truly stand by the belief that you can overcome any obstacle with determination.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The Smash Spot is Miami’s only rage room, offering a unique themed element. Its an attraction designed for customers to constructively channel their emotions in a destructive way. Patrons get their own rooms and full protective gear to smash away at dishes, household items and electronics, all guilt-free. As the first themed rage room in South Florida, The Smash Spot has two rooms customers get to destroy things in: a jail and a crime scene. At the end of the their session, each participant takes a mugshot photo that they can keep as souvenir. I am most proud of my very 1st TV appearance when I was featured on NBC 6. That moment was truly surreal because I had many challenges that lead up to that moment. Like only being in business for 3 months when the world shut down and then being forced to close for business for 2 months. I overcame this obstacle in particular by remaining positive and consistently putting out content to my audience keeping them engaged while attracting new clientele. Though my business was closed, people were becoming more aware of the brand and by the time we reopened, customers were booking non-stop.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to shoutout my best friend Angee Malebranche. I had the idea for my business for years before pursuing it. Though it wasn’t until she encouraged me to really go for it even when I didn’t feel ready enough. She was there every step of the way until opening day. She believed in me when no one else could see the vision and she pushed me when I felt like quitting. She is truly inspiring and I’m so grateful for having her in my corner.
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