Building our passion: oGoFloat's first anniversary
Updated: Jul 19, 2020
On November 13, 2019 oGoFloat celebrates 1 full year in business. This date marks the 1st anniversary of something special, but it’s very far from the beginning.
Like so many others, Devon and I learned of float tanks from the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast. When we were finally able to experience a float, we fell in love hard and fast. We knew that floating was a practice and would improve the more we did it – and did it ever! We started chasing the float dragon! Devon and I traveled to Kelowna every weekend to float and quickly decided that we wanted to be the people to bring floating to Penticton. We became friends with the [then] owner of Float Space and hang around after our float for salt talk. On the drive to/from Kelowna we would listen to float industry podcasts, usually the Art of the Float Podcast. On weekends I would volunteer at Float Space moping floors, folding towels, and hosting floats to absorb all the information I could about running a float center.
August of 2015 we attended our first Float Conference. This was a game changer for us, and we came back mega inspired and motivated to open oGoFloat. I worked for hundreds of hours building the business plan and painting the financial picture. I enrolled in Bookkeeping classes and the Community Futures Business Development Program. We scouted commercial locations for well over a year. In April 2016 an opportunity arose to purchase a Samadhi float tank and we dove in! We set up the float tank and began hosing floats for friends and family.
We continued to float as often as we could, and once we owned a float tank it became our reality. We made gradual improvements to the float tank and became more familiar with the daily operations and maintenance. Devon tinkered, materials were tested, and upgrades installed.
Devon and I continued to work on oGoFloat and did everything we could to convince everyone we knew to float. Looking back, over the last 6 years, I calculate we’ve introduced floating to someone new at least once a day. We conducted surveys, sourced supplies, and cold called float centers for advice and market research, making many good friends along the way. We floated at many different centers and experienced as many different styles of tanks possible.
The 2016 Float Conference was even more monumental than the previous year. This was the year Devon’s name was drawn as the winner of an entire float cabin! No manufacturer had ever been so generous to give away a float tank, and it hasn’t happened since. This was a moment that dreams are made of, bigger than we could have ever imagined. Now we owned 2 float tanks and there was no stopping us! When we came home from this Float Conference we made the decision that a home based float center was better suited to our needs and budget.
But we didn’t own a home, so we set about finding one that would fit our family and a 2 tank float studio. We searched for about 6 months before deciding on 144 Chambers Place, and it was another 2 months before we took possession. We moved into our first home and packed up our float tank – knowing it could be a long time before we next slipped into it’s salty warm waters. We immediately took action installing new windows and doors, adding insulation to the attic, replacing the hot water tank and old baseboard heaters with more energy efficient heating options (which we learned of at the Float Conference).
Fresh off the 2017 Float Conference we started demolition of what is now oGoFloat. The carpets were pulled up, walls came down, windows removed and filled. The first focus was setting up the new laundry room, bathroom, and post float lounge, then moving into the renovation of the actual float rooms. We hauled in so many sheets of drywall and Devon spent hundreds of hours after work and on weekends building the studio.
Not having an available float tank during this time made the whole process so much harder. We floated in Kelowna as often as possible, but we knew the 4+hour journey was time we could have spent inching oGoFloat forward. We were working day and night to build the center. On one hand, an operational float tank was the carrot dangling in front of us, and on the other hand, it was hard to maintain momentum when we couldn’t do the thing that had supported and motivated us for so long. There were many days when I would detail elaborate plans to install the float tank in the basement, a bedroom, or a garden shed, but Devon would lovingly remind me how impractical that would be.
After almost a year and a half of construction, and not long after the 2018 Float Conference we were finally ready to install the float tanks. In case you’re wondering - we didn’t receive the float cabin that we won but, in the end, everything worked out for the best. We found a float tank nearby and enlisted amazing friends to help us get it here.
As we were installing and filling the Samadhi tank we closed the building permits, received approval from Interior Health and finally the business licence from the City.
Devon and I faced many hurdles on our journey to open oGoFloat and will continue to face challenges. After 6 years of living the #SaltLife, I know that we have the passion, resiliency, and tools to thrive.
We’ve attended the How to Start a Float Center Workshop and 4 Float Conferences. We’ve floated at 17 float centers, visited 4 more, and experienced 18 different styles of float tanks. We’ve listened to virtually all 170 Art of the Float episodes and 380-some Daily Solutions podcasts; some episodes 2 or 3 times. We’ve watched webinars, opined on industry boards, and had countless salty conversations. We’re Pool Smart certified, First Aid, and Mental Health First Aid trained and most importantly, we have spent hundreds of hours floating.
Not a day has gone by over the last 6 years that I haven’t said, thought, or lived the word FLOAT.
We’ve only been open for 1 year, but the opening date wasn’t the beginning, and it’s no where near the end. The journey continues, and the path is paved with salt.