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.
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.
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.