Voss Babe Female Entrepreneur Series – Melissa Eapen, Co-Owner of Improbable Escapes + Wonderland

For many entrepreneurs and small businesses, social media can be an absolute game-changer! All it takes is one viral post and a business can suddenly take off.

At Like A Voss Social Media, we’re highlighting local businesses and entrepreneurs who are killing the online game. This week’s spotlight is on Melissa Eapen the Co-Owner and Director of Business Development at two super fun and successful business in Kingston – Improbable Escapes & Wonderland!

Improbable Escapes was Kingston, Ontario’s very first escape room experience. From our formation in 2015 we have only improved and grown. While we initially started with two escape rooms, we now offer four indoor escape rooms, two outdoor escape room experiences, and countless pop-ups and partnerships throughout the Kingston at different museums and historic sites such as Fort Henry National Historic Site, Bellevue House National Historic Site, Military Communications and Elecronics Museum and more.

While not all the games we offer are fully accessible we do have a game available for everyone. Some games are wheelchair accessible, service dogs are welcome, service helpers and translators are welcome and play for free, any games that have strobe lights or elements that may affect players can be toned down or turned off completely. If there are any other needs that have not been listed or met we are always open to and willing to make arrangements based on customer needs.

Wonderland is Kingston’s NEWEST escape room experience, and boardgame lounge. Adventure and fun collide at Wonderland Escape Rooms + Lounge, a full-service board game lounge and escape room facility in the west end of Kingston. At Wonderland philosophy is that fun should always be top of mind…so Kingston, it’s time to get your game face on.

Our CEO Mandi interviewed Melissa about her secret to success in business and in life. We also got some awesome insights into what they think makes social media such an effective tool in business.

A Little Bit About Being a Female Entrepreneur 

1: How long have you been in business?

We’ve been in business since 2015, so we’re about to hit our 5th birthday which is super exciting!

2: What made you decide to break away from the 9-5 and start Improbable Escapes?

We started Improbable Escapes right after post-secondary, so we both didn’t have a traditional 9-5 for long. I probably worked in a 9-5 environment for about 2 months before running to Kingston to start Improbable Escapes, and I definitely don’t regret it!

3: What do you love most about being a female entrepreneur?

I love the connections you can make with other female entrepreneurs. In my experience, other women have been more open and helpful, understanding the same barriers we all have

4: What is the hardest thing you have had to overcome as a female entrepreneur? Something you did not foresee when you decided to start an escape room business?

I think it’s hard starting a business as a young female – a lot of people don’t take you seriously. Whether it’s at the bank, at a networking event, etc., you kind of have to “fake it til you make it” to garner that respect.

5: What is one thing about building and executing escape rooms (and adventures) that people would be interested to learn?

I think people would be surprised to learn about how much time and effort it takes to make an escape room. We have an entire team dedicated to games now, ranging from electrical planners, game designers, builders, set designers, and a graphic designer. People often ask us to make a customized game for them, but it would take us months and tens of thousands of dollars to be able to do so!

And Now Onto The Social Media Questions!

6: Do you have a favorite social media platform? Why?

I actually hate social media on a personal level. I think it affects a lot of people’s self-worth and esteem in negative ways. If I had to pick, I’d choose Pinterest because it’s more of an educational tool than a comparison tool.

7: What made you decide to start using social media as a way to promote your company?

I think businesses need to be on social media to make general consumers aware of their products or consumers. Everything now needs to be “instagrammable” for customers to engage with. For us, it’s a great tool to educate consumers on our products and services.

8: How has social media impacted your business? Would you say that it’s an effective marketing tool?

It definitely is an effective marketing tool! It has helped us a lot, especially with our new business, Wonderland Escape Rooms & Board Game Lounge. When we come out with a new drink, game, or meal, people get really excited about it and come in to experience it on their own!

9: What advice would you give to other businesses and entrepreneurs who want to use social media as a way to connect with customers?

Use it healthily- don’t overpost, make each post with purpose. Don’t get sucked into comparing yourself with your competition. Learn, and grow.

A Little More About Melissa

Melissa’s professional and personal journey is a great example of what happens when you merge the power of creativity, the love for business and the thirst for adventure into one. An established business owner, international traveler, a passionate adventurer and inspired writer, Melissa is always on the lookout for ways she can continue to inspire, empower and encourage others.

Having switched university programs three times before graduating from university in psychology, Melissa has always lived life on her own terms. From being a psychology student to a firefighter, she soon discovered her passion for entrepreneurism. With her business partner Emma, she turned a love for adventure into a full-time career by co-founding three businesses that are all about helping people experience exciting adventures and create cherished memories.

Today, she serves as the Director of Business Development for Improbable Escapes. Inspired by a Times article about how the best value for your money comes out of experiences and time spent with loved ones, Improbable Escapes helps people come together and discover their next adventure.

Know Any Voss Babes?

Do you know a female entrepreneur who loves social media as much as we do? Contact us today – we’d love to tell her story!


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