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002 How Kim Workman Built An Escape Room Business From Scratch

Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy; our Local Vibes podcast spotlights the hardworking men and women who make them successful!

In our latest episode, we sit down with Kim Workman, owner of Escape It, escape rooms in Newark, Ohio.

Kim shares her inspiring story of how she got started in the business six years ago and overcame the challenges in her business.

She also talks about her plans for Escape It and offers helpful advice for anyone considering starting their own small business.

This episode will give you valuable insights, whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or a longtime small business owner.

 

Transcript

Angie Cherubini (00:01):
We would’ve been, I, I know

Angie Cherubini (00:03):
We would’ve been standing there

Pat Cherubini (00:04):
For, and it’s been a long time ago, but it wasn’t just me. It wasn’t just, Angie’s true. There were like 10 of us. We couldn’t get in the freaking room.

Angie Cherubini (00:11):
And if you’re listening,

Angie Cherubini (00:13):
Those people know are watching those people know who they are. Oh

Pat Cherubini (00:18):
My God. Don’t remember. We didn’t. Did we get, we didn’t get, No, we couldn’t get in. We couldn’t get out. So we didn’t make it. We’re lucky. We’re not still there.

Announcer (00:27):
Starting sustaining and having a successful small business is hard, but you already knew that, but wouldn’t it be great to have a podcast that talks to and digs in to the people who’ve made it problem solved. This is local vibes, small business success stories, talking to successful small businesses from around America. You’ll hear awesome stories about how they got started and how they survived and thrived online. And in their communities, we find out their special vibe. Welcome to local vibes,

Announcer (01:06):
Brought to you by ultimate online marketing.com.

Announcer (01:11):
Now, here are your hosts, pat and Angie Cheri.

Announcer (01:15):
All right, let’s do this.

Pat Cherubini (01:27):
We do not want scripted. So we just say, Hey, what’s going on? If we, we veer off some other path, that’s where we go.

Angie Cherubini (01:35):
Okay. Well, I mean, I think we need to say, um, you know, welcome to you, Kim, and thanks for, for coming on here. And, and Kim Workman is actually a client of ours. How long has it been? How long have it’s been a good

Kim Workman (01:52):
Six give or take.

New Speaker (01:54):
Six. Really? Wow.

Angie Cherubini (01:56):
Wow. I didn’t realize it. It really had been that long. I knew it was a long time, but I didn’t know. It’d been that long. Um, yes,

Kim Workman (02:03):
Because I asked you to, to help me start the website and this August, I will be in business for six years.

Angie Cherubini (02:10):
That’s fantastic.

Pat Cherubini (02:11):
That’s success right there, especially now. Yeah, the last two years, we’ll, we’ll get into that a little bit, but yes. Why don’t you just start off by telling us who you are and what you actually do, what your business is.

Kim Workman (02:24):
Okay. My name is Kim Workman. I am the owner and operator of escape, escape rooms in Newark, Ohio. We currently have three escape rooms. Um, and we are on Sirocco avenue in Newark.

Pat Cherubini (02:39):
Nice. So an escape room that is

Angie Cherubini (02:43):
Yeah. Explain to people exactly what an escape Bruin is, because I think some people might think it’s

Kim Workman (02:51):
Like,

Angie Cherubini (02:51):
I’m scared of that

Kim Workman (02:53):
Panic room, which is not exactly correct. The easiest way to describe an escape room is if I throw you in a jail cell, you have 45 minutes to try to get back out of that jail cell. And if you can get out in 45 minutes, following the clues, different scenarios that I’ve left in the room for you, you’ll probably be successful at getting out in 45 minutes.

Angie Cherubini (03:18):
Awesome. And you know, truth be told,

Pat Cherubini (03:21):
Don’t tell it

Angie Cherubini (03:23):
We’ve been through it with our friends. And Kim actually had to give us a clue to get into,

Pat Cherubini (03:31):
We couldn’t even escape into the escape room, let alone escape from the escape room. So we had to cheat and have help. Oh,

Angie Cherubini (03:38):
That was fun.

Pat Cherubini (03:39):
Sure. Were not the only ones I hope

Kim Workman (03:42):
You were not the only ones. That’s good. Um, a challenge could even be getting into the building even when the door is unlocked. So

Angie Cherubini (03:51):
Really?

Kim Workman (03:52):
Yes.

Angie Cherubini (03:54):
You’ve a lot of people

Kim Workman (03:55):
They have to pull and by code the door is actually a push.

Pat Cherubini (04:02):
Oh,

Angie Cherubini (04:03):
Oh, interesting. Well, that’s pretty cool. Well, Kim, how, tell us, how, how did you get started? What made you decide, Hey, now is the day that I want to start an escape room?

Kim Workman (04:19):
Well, all my life, I, and to start my own business played the devil’s advocate for myself, could never come up with something that I thought would be a success. And then about seven years ago, I went on a vacation, a family vacation, and we went to an escape room, which was something I had always wanted to do once I started seeing them coming up and be coming popular and I absolutely fell in love with it. So I came home and drove 21st street, drove 79, looking for the perfect location and kinda got frustrated and gave up a little bit. Then I realized that there was a building for sale, um, in my own family that my dad had a building for sale that he and his brother had worked to put up. It was a building that had been used as a lawn Mo repair business. So it took me a year to clean it, but I did turn it into the tape room that it is currently got, had a lot of the grass and oil off of the ground and gasoline after

Pat Cherubini (05:28):
Here. If I, I think I told you once, I don’t know if you remember, I actually was a customer of your dad in that, in that shop. I was a boat mechanic in a previous life and he was one of the few that could actually do the machine work on the engines that we need. And I was in that a few times. I remember how, how much grease was in there.

Angie Cherubini (05:49):
Yeah. It seriously took you a year.

Kim Workman (05:52):
What’s that?

Angie Cherubini (05:53):
It seriously took you guys a year to clean it up.

Kim Workman (05:56):
It did my dad and I spent some time with blow torches and scrapers and on the floor and patching holes, cuz things had hung from the ceiling getting machinery out of the building. Um, I like to say it was kind of like getting a little boy to clean his room because dad didn’t wanna move a lot of this stuff. I bet he did.

Pat Cherubini (06:16):
So rid of much

Kim Workman (06:17):
Constant pushing it out the door so that he could make way for my stuff.

Pat Cherubini (06:24):
Well, I think you succeeded at that cuz it doesn’t look anything like a machine shop anymore.

Kim Workman (06:28):
It doesn’t look like a machine shop and it doesn’t even smell like a machine shop. And that was that

Angie Cherubini (06:33):
That’s key. So does your, does your family work with you?

Kim Workman (06:38):
Absolutely. My dad does all of my building for me. Whenever I say I need this. He steps right up and is able to make it for me. I didn’t

Angie Cherubini (06:48):
Know that. That’s awesome.

Kim Workman (06:50):
Yep. Occasionally when I am not available to run a group, my mom will step in and run the group for me.

Angie Cherubini (07:00):
Fantastic. So they’ve supported you the whole step of the way in this from the very beginning.

Kim Workman (07:06):
Pretty much normally mom is the one that will tell me no. When it comes to an idea that is usually the one that tells me yes. When it comes to an idea. However, when I propose the idea of, so an escape room, they flip flopped on me. Um, mom said yes and dad said, no,

Angie Cherubini (07:25):
Really?

Kim Workman (07:27):
Yeah. Later on I found out that dad didn’t want to do all of the work involved, but he got suckered into it because mom said, yes. So here we are. Six years later, dad, I are running it. And every once in a while get a phone call from my mother saying, don’t you have something for your dad to do.

Angie Cherubini (07:49):
That’s funny. That’s

Pat Cherubini (07:51):
Awesome. A lot of dads get handed jobs like that.

Angie Cherubini (07:54):
Probably. Yes, probably. So you know, in all this time that in the six years that, that you’ve been open, what is one of your most memorable moments?

Kim Workman (08:07):
My customers lot laughs to me and I would say the most memorable couple came in one night with a group of, with two other friends and they called it Goodwill night. They had gone to Goodwill shopping together. The ladies picked out the clothes for the men and the men picked out the clothes for the ladies. They were told that they had to wear them out in public. So they’d not only gone to dinner in their garb, but they had also come to escape it. And every one looked nice, but you could tell that there was something going on. And so when I ask that’s what they explained to me was it was Goodwill night and they were out on the town in the outfits that the significant other had picked out

Pat Cherubini (08:59):
That is awesome. And terrify

Angie Cherubini (09:01):
Is a great idea. I hope it’s a great idea, but I hope the heck our friends are, are listening

Pat Cherubini (09:07):
To this. That’s a scary thought.

Kim Workman (09:11):
I absolutely loved it. And recently they back in just dressed in normal street clothes for a date night with the same couple. So they were doing the same exact thing, but just in, you know, what they had actually pulled out of their own personal closets to go out in

Pat Cherubini (09:28):
That is awesome.

Angie Cherubini (09:29):
And they’re a local couple or local people.

Kim Workman (09:31):
Yes.

Angie Cherubini (09:33):
That is a fantastic, I idea. I love it. Love it. Love it, love it. So, you know, sometimes

Kim Workman (09:43):
Fun around here and everyone’s welcome to come as they are.

Pat Cherubini (09:48):
Oh yeah. What a fun business cuz everybody’s there for a good time, you know it’s entertainment. Yes. Yeah, yeah. I guess that brings us to the question. What have you done the last couple years? You know, how terrible has everything been? Oh

Angie Cherubini (09:59):
Yeah,

Kim Workman (10:01):
It really did a number on us, especially because we were in one of the businesses that had to close during that mandatory shutdown. Um, a lot of people are not coming out based on the masks mandate and things like that. But being off of the main drag being off of 21st street off of 79, the rent in this building is so much more reasonable that it made it Not profitable. Yeah. But we were able to break even and pay, continue paying the bills even with a lot fewer customers coming in through the door. Now that we’ve seen the mask mandate change, we’ve also seen our numbers increase as far as customers.

Angie Cherubini (10:50):
Oh, that’s fantastic. Are they repeat customers or new?

Kim Workman (10:55):
We get a lot of repeat customers. We even have customers that’ll say done all three rooms. When are you gonna change? ’em again, let us know. Those are the kinda customers that we like to keep in contact with and let them know, Hey, we’ve changed a room. Would you like to come in for free and test it for us? Oh, because every room run test groups through to see how long it takes them to see what trips them up, what doesn’t trip ’em up. What might be too easy. What might be too hard to get a good indication of if we’ve built the room well or not.

Pat Cherubini (11:28):
Where does one learn? How to play all these tricks on people? Is there an escape room association it’s in Kim’s

Angie Cherubini (11:35):
Head

Kim Workman (11:37):
It’s

Angie Cherubini (11:37):
All’s a very good,

Kim Workman (11:39):
I don’t use any of it though. It’s all right here.

Pat Cherubini (11:41):
Yeah. Many other escape rooms. Have you been to, besides your own,

Kim Workman (11:46):
Maybe a dozen really? In the past six years, six or seven years, maybe a dozen

Pat Cherubini (11:51):
In and out and laughing at people all the way.

Angie Cherubini (11:56):
That would be fun though.

Pat Cherubini (11:57):
You can see us when

Angie Cherubini (11:59):
You’re,

Pat Cherubini (11:59):
Is there other cameras in there? Yeah, I knew it

Kim Workman (12:05):
Even. Do you think,

Pat Cherubini (12:07):
Look at that idiot, he can’t even get in the room, how they gonna get out? Uh,

Angie Cherubini (12:14):
So that was, you know, obviously the last two years have been a challenge for you as a small business and really for everyone that’s been a small business, almost everyone, some people thrived, but um, are there any other challenges when you, when you guys started up, you know, what were the challenge like? How did you in the very beginning, how did you get people in there?

Kim Workman (12:39):
It was really word of mouth. We try to make sure our customers are having a good time and encourage them to post or comment on Facebook or Instagram or anything that they’re using. Um, another technique has been, if they’re going out to dinner them, inviting them to the escape room first. So that if you go to dinner with folks that you don’t necessarily know very well or you have trouble starting conversations with the escape room is a wonderful topic to discuss at dinner. That’s how everyone comes form. Yeah. So it really helps. And sometimes we’ll just give a couple business cards out and say, leave this with your tip on your table so that the wait staff at the restaurant can pick up that there’s an escape room here in town. Um, just anybody that we pass or large promotions, downtown Newark, setting out some business cards, things like that because you either know and love and escape room, or you don’t know about ’em and some people can’t stand ’em because they’re claustrophobic or something like that.

Kim Workman (13:50):
But yeah, for the most part, people are falling in love with them because they’re finding their three year old can do ’em and so can their a hundred year old great grandma or aunt, right. Everyone has a different style and we can, the grandma can sit down and the three year old can run over to the corner and pick something up that she tells ’em to go get and bring it back to her and she can understand it and send that three year old back out to be the move her in the shaker in the room. But she is the brain.

Angie Cherubini (14:21):
Yeah. That’s, that’s a great idea. Can people, um, I know that probably some couples and small families wonder, you know, do you do the escape room by yourself? Or are you in there with other people? Can you be in there with other people too, that you don’t.

Kim Workman (14:38):
We stop doing blended groups when COVID hit. And a blended group is when you’re paired with someone that you don’t necessarily know, someone can book the same room, same time be in there with you. We stopped doing that when COVID hit. So now if you book it, you can bring whoever you want with you. As long as you don’t reach the maximum capacity for the room, a lot of people will just do it as a couple. I had a couple come in last week and they said they did not want anybody else in the room with them because they’d already done a room with some of their friends and their friends at your more than helped.

Angie Cherubini (15:15):
Uh, at least they’re honest. Yeah.

Kim Workman (15:19):
Others of them they’ll come in with their friends and they’ll come out, shaking their head cuz they didn’t win. And they’ll say we need smarter friends.

Pat Cherubini (15:26):
Get better friends.

Kim Workman (15:28):
Yes.

Angie Cherubini (15:30):
Most definitely. No, come

Kim Workman (15:31):
Out high fiving, everybody. Cuz they’ve had a great successful time in there. Um, we’ve heard families fight in there. We’ve heard families get along in there. Any scenario that you can dream up in the six years we’ve we’ve probably seen it or been pretty close to it.

Angie Cherubini (15:49):
That’s how

Pat Cherubini (15:50):
Often do you change the rooms?

Kim Workman (15:52):
We like to change them every six to 12 months. However, with COVID we haven’t changed them for about two years. Um, but some of the customers are starting to mention that we haven’t changed them. So within the next few months, I’d say by the fall, at least two of the rooms will change. Cool.

Angie Cherubini (16:11):
Yeah. So I’ll be hearing from again, I do like I, I do really like when you guys take the pictures of people at the end, that’s that’s kind of fun and that gets people to share it.

Kim Workman (16:25):
Yes. Yep. And they, a lot of times they like to write their own personal message about how they succeeded or didn’t succeed. Um, some people even make a note that they did succeed when they really didn’t and It’s fine with me. Whatever you choose to say is perfectly fine. I just want people to have fun with it.

Angie Cherubini (16:46):
Yeah.

Speaker 8 (16:48):
Well let me ask you, um,

Angie Cherubini (16:55):
When you start, were there any resources that really helped you to get your business online and to get your business moving? What kind of resources did you use? I mean, did you get, you got Facebook and so that helped you, is that pretty much the only, only thing that you used, Facebook,

Kim Workman (17:15):
Instagram, the website that you guys created for me, I’ve driven a lot of people just to the website, um, business cards t-shirts but really word of mouth has been the most fantastic thing that we’ve done so far. Um, and the website, because anything else that we really pay for a, as a billboard or something, even in a sporting event, those little booklets that you have at sporting events that show business card size or half sheet size advertising, those don’t seem to bring in the customers for us. It seems to be the word of mouth, the website, Facebook, social, Mar social, online marketing.

Pat Cherubini (18:02):
Have you noticed any less reach on your Facebook post? Cause I know we talk about it all the time. They keep changing. How many people see it? Have you noticed a, a downward trend or does it seem to be the same for you when you post something? How many of your fans do you think are seeing it?

Kim Workman (18:20):
You know, I don’t know for certain, because that number varies all the time. It can be like a single digit clear up to a triple it as far as people that have seen it. I think maybe it has to do with who the person is in the picture and how much they’re sharing some of that information or not sharing that information. And when I do ask people are not specific about Facebook or Instagram or anything like that. They’re but they’ll say social media. Right.

Angie Cherubini (18:54):
Okay.

Kim Workman (18:55):
And as we go along, that becomes so large of a category anymore, I think.

Pat Cherubini (19:01):
Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. Definitely. It’s a bad more. And I know cuz we talk about a lot. People think not that long ago, when you made a post on your business, Facebook page it at all your fans, now they say it’s like one to 3%. So you know, it’s hard to gauge the better content you put out. And like you said, if it’s somebody that has a big following themselves, it can go further, but it it’s hard to get Facebook to cooperate without giving ’em money.

Kim Workman (19:28):
Yes. Yes it is definitely.

Angie Cherubini (19:30):
Hey Kim, do you, um, I know, I, I know obviously because I created the website, um, through your, your booking system that you have, are you able to then recontact people? I mean, do you have a list that started or, or not?

Kim Workman (19:47):
Yes. If they give me if they check a box that says they want to be part of the mailing list, that I can contact them in the future. Yes.

Angie Cherubini (19:57):
Good.

Kim Workman (19:58):
But if they do not click that box, then they are not bothered in any way, shape or form.

Pat Cherubini (20:04):
Awesome.

Angie Cherubini (20:06):
Do you find most people click the box?

Kim Workman (20:08):
Yes,

Angie Cherubini (20:09):
That’s good. I would think so because you’re an event. Yeah. They wanna, they wanna see when you have new things come out, they

Kim Workman (20:15):
Wanna know what’s going on. They wanna know when the room changes. They wanna know if there’s a discount available to them. Even if it’s a $2 savings. If they bring in a group of six, there’s a good savings right there for ’em.

Angie Cherubini (20:29):
Yeah.

Pat Cherubini (20:31):
How often do you contact them?

Kim Workman (20:33):
Maybe once a year, when I flip up a room, I’ll say something to them. Um, but I don’t contact them every week, so it’s not like they’re getting a lot of, you know, spam emails or anything from me and they get irritated with me and shut me off. I try to make sure that if I send something out, it has a really good, valid point that most of them have indicated. They’re interested in hearing from me.

Angie Cherubini (21:02):
Have you ever worked with, um, this is just a thought, have you ever worked with like a local restaurant or you know, something, somebody like that and, and done something together as a promotion together.

Kim Workman (21:15):
I’ve really encouraged it with a few people. Um, I’ve worked with some of the school districts. Oh. So, um, let’s say they wanna do, I know one of the local schools has done their Renaissance has done an escape room right in their building. Oh. And kids put all of the clues together or made up all of the clues and figured out how to work them. They did not know how to put them in order though, that would make some sort of sense as you went through the room, trying to get your way out. So they called me in, gave me all of the information they had created and then I put it together for them so that they could go start. As soon as you walk in the door, making your way through the room, trying to get out. And it all made sense. It had a good flow to it.

Angie Cherubini (22:06):
So there is where they create Kim. That’s like a, that’s like a whole nother business Kim in

Pat Cherubini (22:15):
Your spare time.

Angie Cherubini (22:17):
That’s cool. That’s cool. That’s really, really cool. You’re a, an escape room consultant. Yes. Yes. That’s fantastic.

Pat Cherubini (22:26):
So I don’t have any idea how many escape. I know they’re I think you’re the only one in Newark, right?

Kim Workman (22:33):
I’m the only one in licking county. As far as I know, I’m the only one in all of the surrounding counties around licking county, except for Franklin county. Franklin county

Pat Cherubini (22:43):
Had several, several. When

Kim Workman (22:45):
I, my research last, they had six to seven. There seemed to come and go.

Angie Cherubini (22:50):
Yeah.

Kim Workman (22:52):
So I it’s really hard to keep track of where they’re at and what they have. They’re usually at about six or seven in Franklin county in different locations.

Pat Cherubini (23:02):
Is there a major player? Is there like a franchise or a big resort area? There

Kim Workman (23:07):
Are a lot of franchises all across the United States.

Angie Cherubini (23:11):
Ah,

Kim Workman (23:12):
Yes. There are big players in this industry. Um, But everyone that I’ve talked to that has played several games elsewhere and then comes here has told me that this place is just as good. If not better than some of the games

Pat Cherubini (23:33):
Good for you really kick their butts.

Angie Cherubini (23:35):
What’s the difference?

Kim Workman (23:38):
Clean limits, hospitality, customer service. Um, the way my rooms are set up, they’re they’re more logical. They’re solvable. Whereas some of the larger chains there’s, they’re saying there’s they can’t follow them. They’re not as logical. Some of them are not even solvable. It’ll get to a certain point. And then even the clues don’t make sense anymore. The hints that they get don’t

Angie Cherubini (24:06):
Huh?

Kim Workman (24:07):
I vote, um, somebody just recently said the materials that were needed to solve the room were not even present in the room.

Angie Cherubini (24:18):
Really?

Kim Workman (24:20):
Yes.

Pat Cherubini (24:21):
Is that up to fail?

Angie Cherubini (24:22):
Yes. Huh?

Kim Workman (24:23):
Exactly.

Pat Cherubini (24:24):
That doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun. No,

Angie Cherubini (24:27):
He doesn’t

Kim Workman (24:27):
Know. No. So that’s one of my, my key points around here is that I have plenty of time to flip the room from one customer to the next, to clean it, to make sure it’s set up and properly functioning so that if there is a change that I need to make, I can make it. Or I can advise you a ahead of time that there is a point in this room that I will step in and shoot you through to the next area that you need to be in, because it’s not fair to the customer.

Pat Cherubini (24:58):
Like those people that can’t even get into the door.

Kim Workman (25:01):
Yep.

Angie Cherubini (25:05):
We would’ve been, I I, no, we would’ve been standing there for,

Pat Cherubini (25:09):
It has been a long time ago, but it wasn’t just me. It wasn’t just Angie, there were like 10 of us. We couldn’t get in the freaking room.

Angie Cherubini (25:15):
And if you’re listening, those people know are watching those people know who they are. Oh

Pat Cherubini (25:22):
My God. I don’t remember. We didn’t. Did we get, we didn’t get out? No, we couldn’t get in. We couldn’t get out. So we didn’t make it. We’re lucky. We’re not still there.

Kim Workman (25:31):
And once you figured out how to get in, was it a fairly reasonable?

Pat Cherubini (25:36):
Yes, it was.

Angie Cherubini (25:37):
Yes.

Pat Cherubini (25:37):
Okay. It was, it was the way I live my life. I was making everything way too complicated. Hmm

Angie Cherubini (25:44):
Huh.

Pat Cherubini (25:45):
Uh,

Angie Cherubini (25:45):
We need to take, we, we definitely, and we’ve talked about this. Of course, we talked about it before. COVID and then COVID hit, but we need to bring, we need to take the kids in there now that the kids are older and it’d be interesting, except they’d probably yell at us. They they’ll yell at us. Guaranteed.

Kim Workman (26:05):
You see a lot of dynamics and

Pat Cherubini (26:07):
No, I bet.

Kim Workman (26:09):
Yeah. It’s pretty fun. You see brain fatigue kick in. So, and I think it’s great for some of the teachers they come in because you know, these kids get tired taking their tests and the teachers don’t always recognize it or understand it. But brain fatigue really is a true thing. And you can see it around here.

Pat Cherubini (26:30):
You’ve seen enough. Can you tell when they walk in, who can do it and who can’t, is there a type,

Kim Workman (26:36):
You know, almost, yes. I’m not 100% accurate, but the door really helps me.

Pat Cherubini (26:48):
I gotcha. That’s funny pretest. That’s a quiz.

Kim Workman (26:53):
Yeah.

Pat Cherubini (26:53):
So funny.

Angie Cherubini (26:55):
So when you, you know, when you were doing this, did, was there ever a point that you were just like, and you know, obviously around Coke, did you wanna give up? I mean, was there anything that, that you just thought, no, I can’t do this. This is not gonna work. Can’t keep going.

Kim Workman (27:11):
When COVID hit. I considered it. Am I done? Is this it? But I kept going, maybe it’s a little bit of stubbornness. Maybe it was just the successful business that I had built. Um, but I’m glad I didn’t quit. I’m glad I kept going. Another time would’ve been right in the beginning. When I first set up my rooms, it was almost like I had studied really hard for a test. And then you go in and the test is put in front of you and you don’t know if you’re gonna pass or fail. So as soon as I brought in my customers and they, or my test grouped to do the rooms that I had set up, it proved to me that I had passed the test, that the rooms that I had created were a positive thing that I had passed this test with flying colors. And that I could go on and go ahead and open. I did, didn’t need to shut it down and give up the dream. Cuz I had done it. My creativity had come through and it was a success,

Pat Cherubini (28:14):
But here’s yeah, it’s so different than a lot of businesses because it’s coming from your brain. I mean it’s, yes, it’s a service and if people aren’t having fun, they’re gonna tell people. So that’s

Kim Workman (28:24):
Exactly right.

Pat Cherubini (28:24):
You for figuring all out in, in a way that people enjoy it. That’s awesome.

Angie Cherubini (28:30):
So how do you, you know, what do you foresee your future with this getting better or

Kim Workman (28:38):
If COVID can stay on the down low and my customers can come in through the door. Um, I, I would like to change my rooms more often and maybe even get a larger location or a second location, nice get a mobile location. So that go around to schools or I could go around to businesses. Um, I could go around to the different fairs. That’s one of the things I would like to do the most is to get mobile and also have

Pat Cherubini (29:13):
A, is they doing that?

Kim Workman (29:15):
What’s that?

Pat Cherubini (29:16):
Is there anybody doing that in a mobile escape room that you know of? Not,

Kim Workman (29:21):
Not in our area, but they are very big in some of the larger cities.

Pat Cherubini (29:25):
That’s a cool idea.

Angie Cherubini (29:26):
That’s a fantastic idea, Kim, That, uh, that just opens up a ton of possibilities cuz I can see, you know, businesses doing it for, you know, the, the group meetings that they do as just something to break the ice, um, at the schools for kids or for the teachers, because you know, the teachers do things together, you know, after, or even for them kind of like a work work thing too. Oh my gosh. That’s just the possibilities are endless. Or, or even at like the, during the, um, the canal market, the, the district stuff, it’s

Pat Cherubini (30:08):
A farmer market in town.

Angie Cherubini (30:09):
Yes.

Kim Workman (30:11):
Yep. Cool.

Angie Cherubini (30:12):
That, that is great

Kim Workman (30:13):
About all these fairs around here where it would kind of be set up like the haunted houses or something that the kids go into and things like that. You know, you go into a, a mobile air conditioned place and you’re in there for a few minutes trying to get yourself out, solving different puzzles.

Pat Cherubini (30:34):
What kind of vehicle would it be? Just like a semitrailer or something smaller than that.

Kim Workman (30:39):
Maybe a semitrailer, maybe an RV of some sort, you know, anything that We’ll just say my dad can remodel. Just don’t tell me

Pat Cherubini (30:53):
More, more jobs for dad Here. Turn this bus into a escape room.

Kim Workman (31:00):
Yes, exactly.

Angie Cherubini (31:01):
Sorry dad.

Kim Workman (31:03):
Yep.

Speaker 9 (31:05):
Well,

Angie Cherubini (31:06):
You know, what kind of advice would you give to other people that were thinking about, you know, they had a dream like you did and wanna start a business. Do you have any, any pointers for them? I,

Kim Workman (31:20):
I would say think about it. I would say talk to pat Angie about it. I would say,

Kim Workman (31:31):
Um, there’s a lot of websites out there even through the state of Ohio that will give you good startup information. I went to a class to help me start up this business. I, there was a, a lot of different ideas for business startups in there. So, and I really just played my own devil’s advocate, but it was because I had do have a business background. So what makes common sense to me might not be common sense to someone else and they’d have to really use different resources to figure out what might work and what might not.

Angie Cherubini (32:09):
Right.

Pat Cherubini (32:10):
I’ve I mean, because we know you and we know it we’ve been to your place, your business, you are one that people could learn from because you’re not in a really prominent location, which right. A lot of people might look at as a downside. And you said that that’s probably what saved your business when COVID did, is not paying retail rates.

Speaker 9 (32:32):
Yes. You,

Pat Cherubini (32:34):
And when you started, you know, if people that don’t know, it’s, it’s really in a neighborhood, you know, and it’s, it’s,

Kim Workman (32:41):
It’s, it’s in a residential neighborhood, there’s a few commercial zoned properties in this residential neighborhood. Um, so it, it was

Pat Cherubini (32:53):
Didn’t and you didn’t use that as an excuse. You had to go out and market yourself and you know, which is what we do. You know, whether it’s handing out business cards, talking to waitresses, you know, or running ads or whatever you had to do, you can’t just, I think, I think we see that a lot of people, people, even if they get the website, they put it up and then they sit back and they wait for the business to come in and it just doesn’t work that way. You have to go out and sell yourself and your business. Yeah. And obviously you did that because you are nobody. I mean, not no offense, but nobody’s gonna just drive by and see your place.

Kim Workman (33:29):
You’re exactly right.

Pat Cherubini (33:30):
Unless they’re a neighbor, but

Kim Workman (33:31):
You know, you’re exactly right. Well, and even my neighbors that do come in, they say, I’ve seen this place for years. I never knew what it was until today. You know? And they may have been here last week.

Angie Cherubini (33:42):
That’s crazy. Really?

Pat Cherubini (33:44):
Yeah. People live in their own little worlds. Yes. Which is why you had to go out and tell ’em, you know, invite ’em in and, and see what they think. And I’m sure you’ve got a great, uh, customer service rate, a review rate that everybody loves to go there. So

Angie Cherubini (33:57):
You do get reviewed. Yeah.

Kim Workman (34:00):
They’ll drive down the street and they’ll pull up to the building. I’ve even seen people open my front door and kind of like peek in and then answer, turn around and look back at the car and be like, yeah, it’s safe. You can come on in, come on, come on. This is the

Pat Cherubini (34:13):
Place it’s it really is a business. It’s not just a

Angie Cherubini (34:15):
Seriously

Pat Cherubini (34:16):
A van offering candy.

Kim Workman (34:19):
Right, exactly.

Angie Cherubini (34:21):
Goodness. Oh my goodness. Well, I like, um, I like your t-shirts. I said that before, uh, earlier when we were talking those, those are pretty cool. How long have you been doing the t-shirts?

Kim Workman (34:34):
We’ve probably had the t-shirts going on four years now.

Angie Cherubini (34:38):
Nice.

Pat Cherubini (34:40):
And we’re getting Now that we’re recording, tell the people what you told us about how your designer works for your next t-shirt design.

Kim Workman (34:52):
Well, you use posted notes

Pat Cherubini (34:56):
And you keep ’em in a safe place, right?

Kim Workman (34:59):
Safe place. That’s correct. So that you don’t lose them. Otherwise you find yourself recreating the wheel again, starting over from scratch. So you really do have to keep them safe and, and posted really helps.

Pat Cherubini (35:16):
I gotcha. It’s a high tech situation. Yes.

Angie Cherubini (35:20):
Do a lot of people. Well, I guess if you’ve had ’em for four years, do a lot of people get the t-shirts when they’re done.

Kim Workman (35:26):
Yes. Whether they escape out of the room or not, they did, they seem to love the t-shirt. Um, and I even in some of the schools that I’ve been in have seen kids wearing them around the school. So I know that people are out there in the community wearing them.

Angie Cherubini (35:43):
That’s fantastic. Was there anything else that, that you wanted to tell anybody?

Kim Workman (35:49):
I can’t think anything. I think we’ve covered it all.

Pat Cherubini (35:52):
So if somebody wanted to find out more about escape it, where would they go to look?

Kim Workman (35:58):
They can visit the website, www dot escape, newark.com. They can also, our phone number is listed there. They can call. And I’m pretty much the only one that answers. So if I don’t answer, leave a message and I will return your phone call as soon as possible.

Pat Cherubini (36:16):
Awesome.

Angie Cherubini (36:16):
Well, we’ll make sure that those are in the notes. Yeah.

Pat Cherubini (36:19):
We’ll include show notes episode and send everybody that link. And we’re gonna share this out for you. So

Angie Cherubini (36:24):
Now before you go, what we wanted to do is, you know, we wanted to kind of make it fun at the end too. And so we have, we have this little deck of question that we’re gonna put a question out and you gotta answer the question. So are you game

Kim Workman (36:46):
I’m game for it? Let’s go.

Angie Cherubini (36:48):
No pun intended. Ah, Which of your personality traits would you like to change?

Pat Cherubini (36:57):
Ooh, deep.

Kim Workman (36:58):
Ooh. Um, my giggle.

Pat Cherubini (37:04):
Oh, come on. Why?

Kim Workman (37:06):
I don’t know

Pat Cherubini (37:07):
It’s gonna be famous now.

Kim Workman (37:09):
Everybody seems to enjoy it, but I find it annoying.

Pat Cherubini (37:15):
So you don’t want other people to enjoy you? I think that’s the trait that needs,

Kim Workman (37:19):
I dunno, I do. I find it annoying that in the hair, but we that’s another day. Yeah.

Pat Cherubini (37:27):
Can

Angie Cherubini (37:28):
We all, we always tell, we always tell everybody it’s good to giggle.

Pat Cherubini (37:32):
It is good to giggle.

Kim Workman (37:33):
It’s good to giggle. You are. Yes.

Pat Cherubini (37:36):
That’s my t-shirt.

Angie Cherubini (37:38):
Yeah, I think we’ll wrap it up. Unfortunately, something happened with the camera and it shut off. So, um, of Kim, so I guess it kind of ended at the right time since we were on that last question, but we hope you guys have enjoyed this episode, episode number two with Kim Workman at the escape room.

Pat Cherubini (38:03):
That’s right. So until next time see you later.

Angie Cherubini (38:07):
Bye.

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