Opening Day, Opening Year


In my mind I was surrounded by my failures. Sandra was still working full time as nurse while spending every free moment working on the Shoppe, and I felt the weight of completing construction on my shoulders. All around me I saw walls without sheetrock, unfinished tiling and rooms with no electrical; literal physical representations of the failures that had manifested in my mind. Beyond that, there was a greater issue – we were running out of money. If we didn’t open soon, we would run out of finances and never have a shot at opening. We put all of our energy into the two float rooms that were closest to completion. With the weight of failure on my shoulders, we opened The Float Shoppe to the public on December 14th, 2011.

Floatarium Plumbing
Trying to rebuild a broken pump system days before opening

We were astounded by the amount of foot traffic that entered our business. We began floating people hours after opening our doors, and weeks later we were further buoyed by a Groupon sale. All the while, our two float tanks supported the business so that we could pay rent and our utilities. Every day we were meeting and making connections with incredible, inspiring people, while offering something valuable to each individual who stepped through our doors. I worked 14 hour days almost every single day we were open and continued construction on weekends. Sandra would often times take over for me after working 12 hour shifts at the hospital and any days she had off from the hospital were spent at the Shoppe.

While each step forward felt like a massive hurdle, we continued to spend any free time we had towards building out our center. Looking back now, it all happened so quickly.

Sandra proudly shows off our Infinity Tank during construction
Sandra proudly shows off our Infinity Tank during construction

Within the first year of opening, we finished our third float tank (a custom-built lidless float tank), found an incredible acupuncturist who is still with us today, and brought on several massage therapists. On our one year anniversary we installed a giant foot bath in our Zen Room that created a perfect space for customers to relax in before and after their floats, massages & acupuncture. The foot bath also marked the completion of major construction at the Float Shoppe. We had finally arrived. We could finally rest (at least from construction).

During that time we also expanded our hours, hired employees and Sandra quit working at the hospital. We are now Float Shoppe full time!

While construction has been minimal since our one year anniversary; refining and improving the experience at the float shoppe continues to be our passion. In fact, as of writing of this, we are just about to start offering meditation classes at the shoppe, a request from our community. We are also about to have a major expansion by taking over the first floor of the building next door. Finally, I am working on developing this site with the vision of creating an inspiring and technically valuable online resource for anyone starting, running, or looking to refine their own float center.

This is our story so far, and we’re just getting started.

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9 responses to “Opening Day, Opening Year”

  1. David Wasserman Avatar
    David Wasserman

    Enjoy reading your posts and congrats on your center’s success

    1. Dylan Schmidt Avatar
      Dylan Schmidt

      Thanks David! I really do feel like we are just getting started!

  2. Sandra Avatar

    Wow. This takes me back! It’s hard to hear about you feeling the weight of potential failure, and looking around with so much self-criticism… Even this long out. I love you so much and I’m deeply thankful to have walked through the dry, thirsty desert with you.

  3. Christian in Whistler Avatar
    Christian in Whistler

    Thank you so much for the site Dylan! Your honesty and openness about the struggles and triumphs of running your The Float Shoppe are inspiring (and, if I’m honest, also a bit terrifying!). Looking forward to reading lots more!

    1. Dylan Schmidt Avatar

      Thank you for your kind post Christian. This really helps my drive to keep creating!

  4. Lee Perry Avatar

    Each of our stories inspire the rest of us in the floating world which I see as a very special place, with the special ingredients of intentions pursued, caring in general and specifically for the experiences of others, and communicating about it all. If we can keep this atmosphere in our industry,- what a blessing! Share and care.

    1. Dylan Schmidt Avatar

      Thank you Lee! It will be wonderful to see you again at this years conference.

  5. mark Avatar

    wow – #inspirational

    1. Dylan Schmidt Avatar

      Thanks mark! I love hearing that my sharing is helping others in this industry, whether its technical information people find of value or the sharing of a common/difficult experience. Thanks for posting!

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