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.
As I drove Sandra home the night of my second float I turned to her and said, “Why don’t we do this? Why don’t we open a float center?”. She looked at me and nodded. “Absolutely”. Our minds were working in such unison that to this day I don’t think we even needed to exchange words, we still would have known what was next. I had assumed that our parents would warn us about going into business together, but the warnings never came. Instead, we were filled with encouragement and excitement from both sides of our family.
As the idea of opening our own float center began to take root, Sandra let me quit work and focus full-time on opening our float business.
What was next? Research. A LOT of research. Costs of parts, potential rent costs, electricity estimates, staff wages, maintenance. How much does salt cost!? For months our thoughts were on floating; nothing else entered our minds.
Approximately three months after my second float we had a business plan that was dialed in to the pennies.
I had been working in IT for about 5 years and was absolutely sick of it. I would listen to podcasts throughout most of my day to stay sane. One of those podcasts was The Joe Rogan Experience. Joe Rogan would talk about this sound and light isolated “float tank” he owned that was filled with salt water. It sounded amazing and the introspection that he got out of his experiences sounded like something I wanted for myself.
I looked online to see if there was anywhere in Portland that had a sensory deprivation tank. I found one gentleman named Chris who had a float tank in his home. He let people float in his tank for a small sum of cash, so I called him and booked an appointment. When I told Sandra about getting naked into a float tank all by myself in someone else’s apartment, she basically told me that it wouldn’t be happening. I cancelled my appointment.
What seemed like just a few weeks later (it may have been months now that I think back on it) Sandra surprised me with several Groupons for floats at an official float center called Float On. We scheduled our appointments and took the plunge. I’ll save you from the story of my first float, as it was actually not very special. In fact, it was actually largely disappointing. “Well” I thought to myself “that was a lot of hype” and was done with it. What I hadn’t realized was that Sandra had bought about a dozen Groupons and really wanted to try it again. Eventually she convinced me to go in for a second attempt, and that float changed my life forever. [Read more…] about My Second Float
Years ago I had moved several times within a year and a half and I was getting sick of it. I was in my mid twenties and I felt like I didn’t have stability. I decided I wanted to find a living situation that was permanent, or at least one that would work for a good long time. Although I never did find permanency in my living situation, this quest did lead me to find permanent purpose, passion and love.
I hopped onto Craigslist and quickly found a well written, very warm post from a girl looking for a roommate. I gave her a call and she let me know that she was only looking for female roommates. For some reason though, she said she may make an exception for me. We agreed on a date for her to show me around.
Her name was Sandra. We immediately knew that we were simpatico and agreed I would move in. In the following months we became very close. Enjoying eachothers company to the point of waiting at home, simply hoping that the other wouldn’t go out with friends after work and instead would come home so that we could continue sharing, laughing and connecting.