The burning orange sun was sinking into the sea as the warm breeze blew gently up the beach and over the veranda of our bamboo bungalow. I was dozing in a hammock and Krysta was reclining in a deck chair as we listened to the soft sound of the waves lapping at the beach.
“Calm Water”, I said as we relaxed in the early evening on the beautiful island of Ko Phayam off the west coast of Thailand. It was November 2006 and Krysta and I were into the fourth month of our ‘round the world’ trip.
Living and working in London for many years had been exciting, challenging, exhilarating, draining and non-stop. I was working in the music industry as a DJ and Producer, recording studio Sound Engineer and part time Lecturer in Music Technology, whilst Krysta was Headteacher of an inner city primary school.
We had found our own way of escaping from the hectic commutes on the crowded tube and long working hours a few years earlier when, in 1999 we reconnected with an old friend Tim Strudwick, who had running a revolutionary therapy centre called ‘Floatworks’ and had just reopened his business in bigger premises, right in the heart of London. When Tim first described ‘Floating’ to me I couldn’t have been more sceptical…£35 for bobbing about in a luke-warm salty ‘bath’ for an hour? In the dark? Doing what exactly? ‘Nothing’ he explained. ‘Absolutely nothing, but how it makes you feel is awesome. You’ll never have felt so relaxed!’ Tim invited us down to have a session and still full of scepticism, we accepted.
Tim had been running a commercial float centre since 1994 and Floatworks had become the largest floatation tank centre in Europe and what we discovered was an amazing sanctuary of quiet, tucked in behind London Bridge and a stone’s throw from the hurly burly of Borough Market. Our very first float was both strange and wonderful, exciting, but relaxing and something we really enjoyed. A week later, we returned for our second session and that was completely different from the first. Deeper, more relaxing but the after effect was most profound. We slept better and breezed through the following week at work. By our third visit we were converts and brought ourselves a membership package there and then! We had both found floating to be the most amazingly relaxing and restorative experience and had quickly become hooked on our regular hour of ‘sensory deprivation’.
However the time came when we realised we wanted something different and so decided to leave London and do something truly life changing. We decided there was a whole world outside of Europe and we decided we’d like to go see it! This entailed resigning our jobs, selling our apartment, packing and storing all our belongings and planning a once in a lifetime trip to all our dream destinations.
It was during this trip that we daydreamed about the future and what we would do when we returned to the UK, but one thing was for certain, we didn’t want to return to London. So as it turned out we decided to move to Nottingham as Nick took his degree here and we still had many friends in the area.
It was amongst the quiet and serenity of the Thai countryside that we had first ‘floated’ the idea of opening our very own Float Centre. If I’m honest I think this idea first came from the desire to be able to float as often as we liked, however we also knew that once we introduced floating to the people of the East Midlands they would become as hooked as we were. Once our travels were over one of the first people we went to see was our friend Tim, who as it happened had a little surprise for us…Whilst we were away he had designed the i-sopod and had the first prototype installed and running at Floatworks. Game changing was an understatement! We loved Floating in the earlier Float Tanks, but the i-sopod was something else. Beautifully designed, bigger than any other float tank and full of cutting edge design features, but our first ‘Float’ session in the i-sopod itself was life changing! That was it, our minds were finally made up – we were opening a Floatation Therapy Centre, and it had to be equipped with i-sopods.
We relocated to Nottinghamshire and following a year of research, planning and development we started the search for the perfect location. It took 3 months of hard work from picking up the keys of an empty shell of an ex-plumbing warehouse to building our centre and accepting our first clients in January of 2012.
So now in our fourth year we have built a successful business and introduced thousands of people to the amazing power of floatation and made many new friends who we met as our clients…all from the fleeting thought that first came to mind, whilst laying in a hammock, on a tropical island, in the land of smiles – Thailand.