IN a turn of events described as accidental, three weeks after coming across a Facebook post regarding the sale of Solve It and Escape, Troy and Michelle Crosbie were hard at work preparing for their first opening day as the new owners.
After the previous owners made a post announcing their closure and asking for potentially
interested buyers to get in touch, Mrs Crosbie said she cheekily tagged her husband with no further comment.
‘‘[Troy] replied, ‘are you wanting to go or are you wanting to buy it?’ And I said, ‘either or’.
‘‘Like most Southlanders we didn’t really know much about it,’’ Mr Crosbie said.
‘‘So we thought we’d come and check it out and we did one room with a couple of mates, and we just enjoyed it a lot more than we thought we would.
‘‘We thought, actually, this is a really cool business, and not only would we hate to see it not carry on, but I’m quite creative, Zara’s quite creative, so there’s a lot of things that we could do to put a fresh perspective or put a new spin on things with different rooms in the future.
‘‘So we came and had a look, then we did the other rooms, and three weeks later we’ve taken over.’’
The building, which is next to E Hayes & Sons on Dee St, Invercargill, consists of four individual escape rooms, all centred around a particular theme and consisting of several puzzles which participants are required to solve in order to obtain a set goal.
While taking over the new business, Mr and Mrs Crosbie are continuing to work as contract
accountants, running their screen printing business, and home school their daughter Zara
(8), who is also running her own business, Zees Tees, and helping out with setting up the escape rooms.
Zara said her talent in setting up the rooms was placing items necessary to solving the puzzles, just hidden enough for the participants to discover.
‘‘We’re still just trying to sort out a lot of things and learning a lot of things. There’s a lot to learn,’’ Mr Crosbie said.
‘‘It was crazy but it also sort of fits in with our lifestyle.
‘‘As accounting contractors we can set our own pace, we can work from home and our own hours as well. I can set up in the office here and work and be back up for the other two,’’ Mrs Crosbie said.
While preparing to take over the business, the family attempted all four rooms at the location, to varying degrees of success.
‘‘It’s quite interesting, because the three of us work quite well together because we all think completely differently, and that’s the thing about team building, everyone thinks differently and has a different perspective so yell often see things in a different light,’’ Mr Crosbie said.