Caution: If you are claustrophobic or have a fear of dark and small spaces, then escape rooms may not be for you. But for the rest of us that are obsessed with figuring out riddles and clues and ofcourse, escaping, then Exit Strategy is the holy grail of escape rooms! Exit Strategy is providing locals a new way to experience date night, birthdays, team building and more and we couldn’t be more hooked.
Exit Strategy Q&A: Mylene
Question: Introduce yourself and your team!
Mylene: My name is Mylene Labrie and with my husband, Jelani Patterson, we own Exit Strategy. We have a team of about 25 game masters ready to lock you up!
Question: When did Exit Strategy open? Was Exit Strategy your first business?
Mylene: Exit was the first business for both of us. We used to have real jobs. I was a teacher and trainer and Jelani worked for the city. We opened our 1st location in August 2015. We were, as far as we know, the first escape room in the south east.
Question: Why did you decide to open an escape room?
Mylene: We had experienced the concept while traveling in Europe and loved it. We failed miserably but had such a great time that we couldn't stop talking about it. There was nothing like it in the Charlotte area so we decided to create a room, in our house, for friends and family. I guess we wanted to test the market. They loved it so we thought we could start Exit Strategy and see where that would take us. We never imagined that we would be able to make it what it is today. Turns out that we were offering an experience that people were ready for.
Question: Which is your favorite room?
Mylene: That's really impossible to answer. We currently have 6 rooms (soon to be 10) and all of them are completely different, both when it comes to the theme and the game play. We have rooms that appeal to people who are more hands on, others that are more logical or visual. We think of our rooms as movies: they have to all be different to appeal to different customers.
Question: What does your brand mean to you?
Mylene: For me, it means innovation with a purpose of helping our customers create memories. Ultimately, that really is what Exit Strategy does: help people create memories.
Question: If someone were to start to begin the entrepreneurial process, what advice would you give them?
Mylene: Don't try to do it all yourself. We quickly realized that hiring experts was a must when it came to areas that we knew little about and didn't really want to become experts at. Hiring an accountant for one, was a great decision! But first and foremost, it's about having someone who supports you. Neither Jay nor I would have been this successful without the other. We could rely on each other and divide tasks trusting that we had the same goal and investment. Naysayers or self-doubt couldn't get to both of us at the same time. When one of us got scared, tired or started doubting, the other is there to pick them up and move forward.
Question: A message for locals?
Mylene: Thank you! Without the support of our customers, we wouldn't be where we are today. Also that they can count on us to continue innovating and offering Charlotteans world-class escape rooms!
Interested in solving riddles and clues at Exit Strategy or just want to try something new? Check out Exit Strategy's every day offerings here and if you’re looking to plan an epic team outing or private event, you can check out their private event offerings here!