Rage rooms have been cropping up around the U.S. for the last few years, and very soon Savannah will have one of her own. Savannah Smithereens is a local smash room company that has gained attention in the last year or so with their pop-up events. The pop-ups were a hit and shortly thereafter people began inquiring about a brick and mortar site.
The owners Tiffany Noell, Suzanne Nelson and Becky Thompson decided to deliver on the hype and open the Savannah Smithereens storefront. Located at 410 W Jones St. across the street from Rancho Alegre, Savannah Smithereens will host its grand opening on Friday, Aug. 19 at noon.
For the uninitiated, a rage room, also known as a smash room, is a place “where people go to break stuff for fun to release their frustrations,” said Noell.
“Sometimes, people do it for grief. Sometimes people do it to celebrate something. But you’re just breaking objects, and then we clean it up for you in a totally protected, inclusive fun environment,” she added.
To ensure safe smashing, participants must wear protective gear including a full-body suit and a face guard. Noell got the idea a few years ago while visiting a friend in Atlanta who was having a rough day.
“She said, ‘I just need to find a rage room.’ And I was like, ‘What is a rage room?’So I looked it up and I thought, ‘Savannah needs this.’ And then covid hit and I was like ‘Savannah really needs this,’” she recalled.
Noell sat on the idea for a while, but then she lost her job, which turned out to be the catalyst that pushed her to bring the idea to fruition. She teamed up with Nelson and Thompson, and together they’ve been working to put Savannah Smithereens on the map. They are excited to open their storefront and provide people with a fun, safe outlet to relieve stress.
“We have three smash rooms available. Two can hold up to four people and one can hold up to eight people. . . We also have a space that’s a flex room, so you can have birthday parties, bachelorette parties, divorce parties, holiday parties, anything like that,” Noell explained.
Every smash room has windows where people who don’t want to participate but would still like to see the action can watch safely. In addition to the smash rooms and flex room, they also have a small arcade with a few arcade games and a jukebox.
A big part of the Savannah Smithereens business model is being eco-friendly. They source their smashable items from a variety of businesses to prevent those items from ending up in a landfill.
“We get our materials from places like the Salvation Army where there’s materials that they’re just not going to be able to sell in their stores. We also have a few local bars like Bootleggers in Pooler and Spanky’s that are keeping things like their liquor bottles for us. People donate stuff all the time like non-working TVs, computers that have gone bad, printers that don’t work,” said Noell.
The ladies behind Savannah Smithereens don’t simply source the items and then trash them after they’ve been destroyed either. They partner with local artists to turn smashed items into works of art.
“We have a multimedia artist who’s going to be working with some of our materials. We have a jewelry maker who’s making pendants out of broken materials, so that we can sell and they can sell. That way, we’re not just destroying. We’re also actively trying to keep things from the landfill and create beauty out of the stuff,” she explained.
Furthermore, Savannah Smithereens uses eco-friendly materials in its build. The smash room floors are made from 100% recycled rubber. And some of the wood found in one of the rooms came from Re:Purpose Savannah, which is a woman-owned business that salvages wood from buildings set to be demolished.
Noell encourages people to come out to Savannah Smithereens because “it’s just fun. Even the people who desperately need it because they’re mad about a situation, by the end of it, they just feel lighter. It’s just fun, and it’s that naughty kind of fun where you’re like, ‘I’m really not supposed to be breaking this fine china, but I am,” she laughed.
To learn more about Savannah Smithereens, visit savsmithereens.com/.