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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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Shatter Rage Room: Break dishes, make a breakthrough

Shatter+Rage+Room+owner+Caitlin+Nelson+smashes+an+assortment+of+jars+and+keyboards+Sept.+22.+Ultimately+it+takes+some+time+to+deconstruct+what+you+know+about+yourself+in+order+to+change+and+in+order+to+move+on%2C+Nelson+said.
Collegian | Milo Gladstein
Shatter Rage Room owner Caitlin Nelson smashes an assortment of jars and keyboards Sept. 22. “Ultimately it takes some time to deconstruct what you know about yourself in order to change and in order to move on,” Nelson said.

At 101 E. Stuart St. is a small, unassuming building that allows those who walk through its doors to release their emotions. 

Opened in December 2020 in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Shatter Rage Room has become a safe place for those who need to alleviate their burdening emotions, and they offer a multitude of packages to do so. 

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Caitlin Nelson, the owner of Shatter Rage Room, said she and her brother started this business at a time when they saw a need for people to release those untapped emotions and stress felt during the pandemic.

“My brother and I actually lost our jobs and had a little money saved up, so we wanted to start a business, and it just kind of clicked: rage rooms — let’s give that a shot,” Nelson said. “It really was helpful as far as, like, people needed an outlet, and we were able to give it to them during that time.”

For a little over a year and a half, Nelson has been running the business on her own after buying her brother out with some help from her wife, Corina Lee, who volunteers on weekends along with two part-time employees. 

Most of the people who seek the therapeutic destruction that Nelson’s business offers are women in their 20s or 30s who need to let a little bit of rage out, Nelson said.

“I learned that with a lot of people’s emotions — especially women — they tend to hide that anger portion and that emotional portion, and you kind of have to destroy that thought process and … break through those barriers in order to grow and to become more emotionally stable,” Nelson said.

Nelson’s business is one that thrives off of customer interactions and feedback. She said she enjoys the engagement of customers and enhances her business to suit people’s needs that she did not originally think of. When asked about the emotional impact she has seen in her customers, Nelson recalled a time when she realized the true range of impact that a business like a rage room could have.

“Some of my first customers that pointed it out — they were a family,” Nelson said. “Two out of three of them had cancer, and the more they started talking me through their experience and how there’s nothing really like this for them, you could hear it in the parents’ voices: There was a certain amount of hate that they’re not allowed or can’t express.”

One of their most popular packages — the Good Grief package — was inspired by this interaction and many like it. Aside from the heavier emotions, both Nelson and Lee agreed that Shatter Rage Room has also seen the lighter side of things.

“That’s something really enjoyable too, just to sit there and listen to people laugh,” Lee said. “When people come in for more of a good time, it’s a giggle fest, and it is so fun to watch that or listen to it.”

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Nelson’s business has become an integral part of the community and a safe space. There are multiple packages offered, ranging from the 15 minutes you get in the Self Destruction package to the Blacklight Splatter option without any breakables — instead you get a mixture of small objects to paint a canvas with.

“We’ve had a lot of support from friends and family and the community, and I 100% wouldn’t have been able to do it without that,” Nelson said. “Thanks to everybody who’s helped us because I’m learning myself that I’m not capable of doing it alone, and it’s hard to ask for help. But this place, this business, Corina and people around us have stepped up, and it’s shown me that a community can really help each other.”

Reach Ayla Sanchez at life@collegian.com or on Twitter @CSUCollegian.

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About the Contributors
Ayla “AJ” Sanchez is an editor for the news desk at The Collegian starting the fall semester of 2023. She hopes to bring accurate and positive news to The Collegian and get coverage on the things that matter to Colorado State University and Fort Collins as a whole. Sanchez is new to CSU and The Collegian, having no experience in news writing before joining. A transfer from the Community College of Denver, Sanchez hopes to learn more about university life and the traditions surrounding CSU. Her goal is to thrive in this new environment and make a new start for herself. Sanchez is a double major in journalism and political science with a minor in history. Her goal is to become a representative of Colorado to bring change within the state and the country as a whole. She hopes to gain experience while at CSU that will help her reach her goal. Outside of work and school, Sanchez loves to hike, visit various bodies of water — City Park’s lake being her favorite — and walk to 7-Eleven for a nice cold Slurpee. She's excited for the winter since building snowmen and snowball fights are her favorite activities. Sanchez is excited for the kick-off of the new school year and to be one of this year's news editors.
Milo Gladstein
Milo Gladstein, Photo Director
Milo Gladstein is a fifth-year senior majoring in journalism and media communications. He is currently serving as one of the two photo directors for the 2o23-24 school year. Gladstein's work focuses on long-form stories diving deep into what it means to be human and sharing people's passion and story with the community. He did not begin as a journalism major and has worn many hats while at CSU. He began as a conservation biology major, moving to undeclared and then horticulture therapy before finally landing in the journalism department. He seeks stories about community members who are impacting the world around them in positive ways and shares those stories. Working at The Collegian has taught Gladstein about working on a team, how to develop a story and the best ways to present said stories. Most importantly, he has grown from a photographer into a photojournalist. As co-photo director, he hopes to pass that knowledge on to the next group of journalists rising through The Collegian. When not working at The Collegian or in class, Gladstein can be found reading a book or in the outdoors climbing, camping, exploring and getting lost in the mountains.

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