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Axe Play, from the creators of epIQ escapes, will be an axe-throwing bar in downtown Jackson, offering unique entertainment and drinks.
138 backers pledged $15,650 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$15,650

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Axe throwing is like the cheeky, rebellious lovechild of bowling and darts; more high-stakes than bowling, and far more exhilarating than darts. Forbes recognizes the growing popularity of axe throwing as a group activity. At Axe Play, we’ll have five lanes, consisting of two targets each, that can be rented by the hour. With the help of a coach, called an Axe Master, groups will take turns throwing axes at a target. Axe Masters can facilitate round-robin style tournaments, or allow players to free throw. 

Axe Play is already a member of the World Axe Throwing League, which is the global governing body for the sport of urban axe-throwing, as well as the exclusive partner of ESPN. Our seasonal leagues will give participants weekly access to a target at a discounted rate. Leagues will be a great way to make new friends, connect with old ones, or even qualify for the World Championships, which airs on ESPN2! 

At our bar, we’ll offer fresh squeezed, fair-style lemonade, soft drinks, beer, wine, and artisanal cocktails. So, even if you never throw an axe, you have to come try our Lizzie Borden! Have you ever tasted a cocktail made with aged balsamic vinegar and fresh basil? It’s axe-tremely delicious! 

lumbersexual (slang, sometimes used attributively): A male hipster who affects a rugged, outdoorsy look, typified by plaid shirts and a full beard.
lumbersexual (slang, sometimes used attributively): A male hipster who affects a rugged, outdoorsy look, typified by plaid shirts and a full beard.

Axe Play isn’t just for men with fabulous beards in flannel shirts. It’s great for everyone, and ages 14 and up will be welcome! We’ll cater to bachelor or bachelorette parties, corporate or academic team building, and other private events, as well as friends looking for a unique night out. No prior throwing experience is needed. So, if you can throw that axe in a circle or are a lumbersexual, we’ll be hiring soon, and it won’t hurt to include that on your application! 

 We are the creators of epIQ escapes, and we are on a mission to bring another new and thrilling form of entertainment to Jackson.

 We make such a great team that people think we're married or a couple. We are NOT.  You can see we take ourselves very seriously. Photo cred: Tiffany Marie Photography
We make such a great team that people think we're married or a couple. We are NOT. You can see we take ourselves very seriously. Photo cred: Tiffany Marie Photography

My business partner, Savanah, and I have been friends for more than twelve years. If you aren't familiar with us, we are the escape room people! Nearly four years ago, epIQ escapes was the 4th escape room company to open in Michigan. Sure, we could have opened in Lansing, Ann Arbor, or Kalamazoo.... but we believed in the vision set in motion by the Anchor Initiative in 2014 to revitalize our city. As Jackson natives, we’ve heard all our lives, “There’s nothing fun to do around here!” We know that’s not true, and Savanah and I are eager to continue to prove otherwise. 

Let's be honest, we took a risk opening an escape room business in Jackson. Most companies are found in metropolitan areas or tourist destinations -- places with larger populations, higher disposable incomes, and bustling city centers. Our belief in Jackson’s potential and commitment to achieving it was our motivation, and we found support and success within our community. We started our first business with elbow grease, sheer will, and broken piggy banks, but now it's time to introduce another on-the-rise activity to Jackson... and we need your help! 

 Axe throwing is a unique form of entertainment that isn’t offered in every city. Currently, there are only a handful of Michigan venues that offer axe throwing to the general public with the closest being in Novi and Ferndale. People travel to experience new, exciting things, and we will be attracting adventurers. Axe Play will be downtown Jackson’s hottest destination.

Savanah and I are already forging the path to unconventional entertainment in Jackson with escape rooms. As I mentioned before, epIQ escapes has received overwhelming support from Jackson and the surrounding areas. Our attention to detail and unparalleled customer service reflects in our reviews on social media. These set us apart from escape rooms in bigger cities, making epIQ escapes consistently listed as one of the top 3 escape rooms in Michigan on TripAdvisor. This inspires people to choose Jackson over Lansing, Ann Arbor, or Kalamazoo. Over 45% of our social media followers are from outside of Jackson County. When people come from out of town, we recommend locally-owned restaurants like Chilango’s, Grand River Brewery, Dirty Bird, and Klavon’s; menus they wouldn’t have tried otherwise. More importantly, we love to hear them say that Jackson has way more to offer than they thought. 

If you haven’t experienced our escape rooms, yet, be sure to check out our reviews on our Facebook, TripAdvisor, and Google

                                                        Plumbing, Electrical, Drywall,  it's all happening!
Plumbing, Electrical, Drywall, it's all happening!

Axe Play will be located at 133 W. Michigan Ave. Suite D, Jackson, MI, in the same building as the new Lean Rocket Labs, and next to what was formerly Lenny’s Subs and Sultan’s Mediterranean Cuisine. The space is 3,300 square feet and will include 5 throwing lanes, a bar, 2 bathrooms, our office, and a small lounge area. Our decor is what we have dubbed as “lumberjack chic”. With no hiccups and a successful Kickstarter campaign, we are aiming for an opening date in summer 2019!

This isn’t a fleeting idea: we started the journey to opening Axe Play in May 2018! We looked for the perfect spot for months, and even though we found a bigger location off of Wisner St., we were adamant about being part of the revitalization of downtown Jackson.  In September 2018, we heard about a spot downtown. The space needed A LOT of work, but the landlords recognized our vision, shared our passion for developing Jackson, and believed in us enough to put in the investment to make the space move-in ready!  After a lot of discussion, planning, and patience, we received our building permits and began our construction in February of this year. 

                                          This colorful artwork will be featured on our t-shirts!
This colorful artwork will be featured on our t-shirts!

The money that you pledge will help us with start-up costs. Costs include a POS system, tablets and monitors for efficient score-keeping, commercial bar equipment, bar stools, leather couches for our lounge, and more professional training for our management team and Axe Masters.

Our plan is to give Axe Play a clean, comfortable ambiance with a communal vibe. Unlike most other axe throwing venues, we want a finished look that makes people feel invited to stay for a while. And just like we do at epIQ escapes, with a welcoming space and impeccable customer service, we will create enthusiasts, not just customers.

 Our vision is just beyond our reach, but with your help we can make it! 

Did you see how awesome the rewards are?

You can get this cheeky t-shirt and feel as great as Annie in it with the Black Willow, Weeping Willow, Slippery Elm, Mighty Oak, and Giant Sequoia reward tiers!
You can get this cheeky t-shirt and feel as great as Annie in it with the Black Willow, Weeping Willow, Slippery Elm, Mighty Oak, and Giant Sequoia reward tiers!

We put a lot of thought into the reward tiers because we want you to feel good about pledging to our Kickstarter! We know we excel at facilitating fun, so, from the $25 "Sapling" tier and up the rewards include tickets to Axe Play, epIQ escapes, or both, giving them a higher value than your pledge! Although many of our tiers include swag items, we are much more focused on providing memorable experiences for our backers and future patrons. 

Consider making a $250 pledge so you can become a lifetime member of our Axe Club! The Axe Play Axe Club includes a World Axe Throwing League inspired personalized art piece engraved by local artist, Seth Allison, that will be displayed behind the bar. Members of the Axe Play Axe Club also receive these perks: 1st dibs on league membership, $7 off admission and $1 off drinks whenever you visit Axe Play. At this time, the Axe Club can only be joined through our Kickstarter, perks and privileges of the Axe Club are subject to change.  

DISCLAIMER: *It is important to note that no alcohol will be rewarded through this Kickstarter project*

Risks and challenges

As you may know, Kickstarter's policy is all or nothing. If we do not meet our fundraising goal, backers are not charged anything. As a Kickstarter supporter you have very little risk associated with this project as we have already made major commitments to make this business a reality and learned a lot from our previous endeavors. However, challenges that will come involve timing. We are excited to open the Axe Play doors, but waiting on inspections and approvals could delay us. Our electrical installation has been successful and recently received approval from the City. We are still waiting on a plumbing inspection. After our plumbing is approved, we will need a health inspection and approval for our liquor license through the MLCC. There are many moving parts that rely on the schedules of other people, we are eagerly waiting in line for our turn!

We will be open and transparent about any bumps in our road. For updates follow our Facebook and keep an eye on this Kickstarter page.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Seedling

    As a Kickstarter Supporter you deserve a shout-out! We'll give you a virtual high-five on our social media accounts with over 5,000 followers.

    Includes:
    • Social Media Shout-Out
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    4 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Sapling

    A unique axe throwing experience! Keep the ticket for yourself, or gift it to someone else!

    Includes:
    • One-Hour Walk-In Axe Play Ticket ($25 Value)
    • Kickstarter Exclusive Axe Play Sticker
    • Hand Written Thank You
    • Social Media Shout-Out
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    25 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Quaking Aspen

    This reward encompasses what we're all about... axe throwing and cold drinks! Your RESERVED Axe Play ticket will help you book a guaranteed private experience. The tangible items of this reward are pick-up only. *No alcohol will be awarded through this project.*

    Includes:
    • Two-Hour Reserved Axe Play Ticket ($40 Value)
    • Axe Play Logo Pint Glass
    • Kickstarter Exclusive Axe Play Sticker
    • Hand Written Thank You
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    22 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Black Willow

    Admit it, our cheeky mascot, Jack, is adorable! You know you want to wear him on your t-shirt! The tangible items of this reward are pick-up only.

    Includes:
    • 2 One-Hour Walk-In Axe Play Tickets ($50 Value)
    • Axe Play Logo T-Shirt
    • Kickstarter Exclusive Axe Play Sticker
    • Hand Written Thank You
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    9 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Weeping Willow

    Don't think you're up for Axe Throwing, but you still want to support making Jackson even more fun? That's okay! Choose this reward and we'll deck you out in an epIQ escapes logo t-shirt and give you 2 tickets to play an escape room at Jackson's first and only real-life escape games, our sister company, epIQ escapes! The tangible items of this reward are pick-up only.

    Includes:
    • 2 epIQ escapes Tickets ($50 Value)
    • epIQ escapes Logo T-Shirt
    • Kickstarter Exclusive Axe Play Sticker
    • Hand Written Thank You
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    1 backer
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Sassafras

    With this awesome reward, you'll get to experience the best entertainment Jackson has to offer - throw axes and make an epIQ escape! The tangible items of this reward are pick-up only.

    Includes:
    • 2 One-Hour Walk-In Axe Play Tickets ($50 Value)
    • 2 epIQ escapes Tickets ($50 Value)
    • Axe Play Logo Pint Glass
    • Kickstarter Exclusive Axe Play Sticker
    • Hand Written Thank You
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    22 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Balsam Fir

    As an Axe Play Backer you deserve some recognition! We'll include your name, or your business name, in a woodsy art piece created by local artist, Seth Allison. The art piece will be installed in Axe Play, so everyone will know that you supported us through our Kickstarter. (Limit 32)

    Includes:
    • Name Displayed in Axe Play
    • Kickstarter Exclusive Axe Play Sticker
    • Hand Written Thank You
    Less
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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 8 backers
    $
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Slippery Elm

    Your choice of an Axe Play koozie or an eco-friendly stainless steel reusable straw. Whenever you visit Axe Play, bring it with you and you'll get the Drink Club perks! Our Drink Club is very similar to a Mug Club you might have seen at popular breweries. The tangible items of this reward are pick-up only. *No alcohol will be awarded through this project.*

    Includes:
    • 2 Two-Hour Reserved Axe Play Tickets ($80 Value)
    • Your Choice of an Axe Play Koozie OR Stainless Steel Straw
    • Lifetime Drink Club Membership
    • Axe Play Logo T-Shirt
    • Kickstarter Exclusive Axe Play Sticker
    • Hand Written Thank You
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    8 backers
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  9. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Blue Spruce

    Come throw your axe in a circle with up to 7 of your friends on your own private lane for 2 hours! You'll get a short introduction to throwing with tips on safety and technique from one of our WATL trained Axe Masters.

    Includes:
    • Private Lane for 2 Hours for up to 8 People ($240 Value)
    • Kickstarter Exclusive Axe Play Sticker
    • Hand Written Thank You
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
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  10. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Blue Spruce - EARLY BIRD!

    Come throw your axe in a circle with up to 7 of your friends on your own private lane for 2 hours! You'll get a short introduction to throwing with tips on safety and technique from one of our WATL trained Axe Masters. ****As a reward for pledging to our campaign early on, this tier saves you some major dough! After Friday, May 17th, this reward tier will no longer be available!****

    Includes:
    • A Private Lane for Two Hours for up to 8 Players ($320 Value)
    • Kickstarter Exclusive Axe Play Sticker
    • Hand Written Thank You
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Reward no longer available 4 backers
    $
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Silver Maple

    This is the reward you want if you know you're going to love axe throwing... Welcome to our Axe Club! At this time, the Axe Club can only be joined through our Kickstarter! Your name will be displayed in Axe Play on a World Axe Throwing League inspired art-piece personalized by local artist, Seth Allison. If you're planning on joining a league, or know someone who is, this is the reward to choose. This reward would also make one bad axe gift. (Limit 20) *No alcohol will be awarded through this project.*

    Includes:
    • Name Displayed in Axe Play
    • Lifetime Axe Club Membership
    • 2 Two-Hour Reserved Axe Play Tickets ($80 Value)
    • 1st Dibs on League Membership
    • Kickstarter Exclusive Axe Play Sticker
    • Hand Written Thank You
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    Limited 17 backers
    $
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $265 or more About $265

    Blue Spruce

    Come throw your axe in a circle with up to 7 of your friends on your own private lane for 2 hours! You'll get a short introduction to throwing with tips on safety and technique from one of our WATL trained Axe Masters.

    Includes:
    • A Private Lane for Two Hours for up to 8 Players ($320 Value)
    • Kickstarter Exclusive Axe Play Sticker
    • Hand Written Thank You
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    1 backer
    $
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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Mighty Oak

    Our invite only soft-opening will give our Axe Masters the opportunity to get into the swing of facilitating fun and our bartenders the opportunity to make and sell drinks! This Kickstarter reward is the ONLY way you can get an invite to the VIP event! We'll also put your name on our wall to show you were an Axe Play supporter. Worried you can't make it to our soft-opening? Don't sweat it! We'll allow you to schedule your private lane for two hours for up to 8 people anytime we're open! (Limit 10) The tangible items of this reward are pick-up only. *No alcohol will be awarded through this project.*

    Includes:
    • Name Displayed in Axe Play
    • Invitation to our VIP Soft-Opening
    • A Private Lane for Two Hours for up to 8 Players ($320 Value)
    • 4 epIQ escapes Tickets ($100 Value)
    • 2 Axe Play Logo T-Shirts
    • 1st Dibs on League Membership
    • Kickstarter Exclusive Axe Play Sticker
    • Hand Written Thank You
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 1 backer
    $
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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,200 or more About $1,200

    Giant Sequoia

    This is a great option for businesses interested in giving their team an enjoyable time while building relationships. Or if your wedding is coming up, plan your joint bachelor/bacherlorette party! This private party does not include refreshments. The entire package is valued at over $1,800. (Limit 5) The tangible items of this reward are pick-up only. *No alcohol will be awarded through this project.*

    Includes:
    • Name Displayed in Axe Play
    • A Kick Axe Private Party!
    • Entire Place to Yourself - Up to 40 Players ($1,600+ Value)
    • Party Can Be Thrown Outside of Regular Business Hours
    • Great for Celebrations or Corporate Team Building
    • 6 epIQ escapes Tickets ($150 Value)
    • 2 Axe Play Logo T-Shirts
    • Kickstarter Exclusive Axe Play Sticker
    • Hand Written Thank You
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 1 backer
    $
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Funding period

- (31 days)