Behind every great business is a great origin story. Twisted Minds Escape Rooms might just have one of the most twisted origins. Founder Jessica Sherman lost her job in September 2017 and decided, at that moment, she was done working for others and wanted to start her own business. She thought long and hard about what she wanted to do and settled on opening a drug screening lab. Easy work, lots of demand, but at the same time, it wasn’t exactly fulfilling.
It didn’t take Jessica long to realize that drug screening was not in fact the future business for her family; but escape rooms was something that she and her family could definitely get behind. It was shortly after Hurricane Matthew headed to Florida in 2016. Jessica and her family evacuated to Tennessee. While in Tennessee, they discovered their first escape room and booked the family for the experience. After playing the game, the whole family fell in love with the thrill of it and the quality time it gave them together. So much so, that every chance they had, Jessica and her family would book another escape room. A year later, she knew opening up escape rooms was going to be a lot more fulfilling than a drug screening lab. She wanted something really twisted and family-friendly; she wanted to give the community that same sensation she experienced with her loved ones, while playing in escape rooms. It wasn’t going to be easy and no one could expect what would happen next.
Jessica’s husband, Steve, had been sick. Really sick. No one could figure out what was happening to him, but his health was deteriorating more and more every day. Eventually, they discovered that their entire home had black mold in the walls from faulty window installations. The Sherman’s had to leave their home in October 2017, and move into a hotel. Jessica and her family were forced to throw away everything they owned, in case of any slim chance that it could be infected with black mold. They couldn’t risk Steve getting more sick. It was the hardest thing Jessica ever had to do. Decades of family pictures, drawings made by their little ones, furniture, wedding photos, clothes, toys, everything. Everything that you could think of to save as memorabilia of your children and their accomplishments…gone. After living in a hotel for two months, the Sherman’s moved into a rental, got new furniture, and started to rebuild their lives. All this was happening while Jessica was trying to fulfill her dreams of becoming a business owner and providing a life for her family.
Months went by before the insurance company decided to send someone in to test for mold and see if it could be related to Steve’s health issues. The gentleman sent by the insurance company got sick, and the black mold was the confirmed cause. Case closed. Things were looking up for the Sherman’s! After months of being homeless and throwing away their entire lives, there was some redemption. The escape rooms were going to happen and their development was in full force. Except, there’s another twist. Out of nowhere, Steve had to go in for his third hernia surgery; a result of the black mold. The surgery was successful, but he came home only to have a heart attack! Jessica didn’t know what to do. They were running out money and she was trying to balance her whole family, with everything going on. The heart attack led to a pacemaker, which you would think would be the end of it, but that’s not twisted enough. Steve’s lung collapsed. Twice. In one week. At this point, Jessica put the escape rooms on pause while she tried to figure out their next move.
The thing is, the Sherman’s are fighters and they wanted these escape rooms bad. In July 2018, Jessica and her family decided to push through all those obstacles and take the leap; she signed a lease for the location of her escape rooms and Twisted Minds Escape Rooms became official. After months of around-the-clock preparation and even more health complications with her husband, including an emergency open-heart surgery, Jessica, and her family, couldn’t be more thrilled to announce that they are finally open to the public with their first official escape room. Beta-testing went phenomenally and everyone who has played the room so far loves the game, and loves Twisted Minds. Don’t be the only one in Palm Coast and the surrounding areas to not try this new adventure. Book your tickets now!
For the entire month of February, a portion of all proceeds is going to the American Heart Association, in appreciation from Jessica and her family for everything they do to promote healthy hearts. Their efforts and research have helped millions of people, including Jessica’s family. Be sure to book your experience this month to help a great cause.