“When we started Jackson Escape Rooms in the spring of 2015, we had no idea what we were doing. Frankly, we had no business being in business.” Lee Wilson, owner of Jackson Escape Rooms, attributes much of his business success to his time in CO.STARTERS.
Lee and his team had just completed a three week pop up version of Jackson Escape Rooms. They faced an interesting dilemma - huge success. According to Lee, “we had all this success we never anticipated. No knowledge. No information. No way of knowing what to do next.”
So he began to search for something to help him during this strange crisis. He found out about CO.STARTERS and decided to participate.
Lee says the most vital session for him was focused on marketing. Up to that point, he felt like his role was simply to educate people on what an escape room is. But the class helped him come to a new realization - people don’t always care about what the product is. Rather, they care about what the product will do for them.
And it clicked. Lee’s job was “to stop educating and start celebrating escape rooms.” They were no longer rooms that he locked people into for fun. He saw them for their true value - for the experience and memories that friends, families, and coworkers would carry around with them forever.
When Lee reflects on his life as an entrepreneur, he says there are times when he can feel very alone and isolated because so much of his life is consumed by work. According to Lee, “you get so narrowly focused on the task at hand that you forget to come up for air … the community with CO.STARTERS is such a value … we’re all in the thick of it together.”
After finishing CO.STARTERS, Jackson Escape Rooms had a month-long pop up. That pop up then opened every weekend. Soon after, they opened a location in Waco, Texas and Murfreesboro, Tennessee. And today, they have several rooms as intellectual property for other escape rooms to use around the country.
For Jackson Escape Rooms, CO.STARTERS was phase one of a rollercoaster ride of excitement and expansion. He jokes that his business is “an experiment gone horribly right.”
He calls CO.STARTERS “an absolute lifesaver” for his business. And in the larger picture, theCo as a whole is “the single most valuable asset to the growth and development of small businesses in Jackson, TN. If you have an idea, a hope, or even a dream to create something - you have to go to theCo … Everything is housed in one location.”