E-Street Interview with Driftaway Float Center's owner, Jeff Spinks
Driftaway Float Center, 227 E. Palmer Ave.
I bought two passes to experience my first float experience when Driftaway Float Center first opened. I gave one to a friend for her birthday, and used the other for a restful, relaxing hour of doing ... nothing . I met Jeff who made me comfortable and showed me through the immaculate facility. After I took a shower in the room with the tank, put on a swim cap (foolish choice and shouldn't have bothered)
I crawled into the dark, warm, soothing salt water and concentrated on meditating to the sound of my breath and heartbeat. The sound and other sensation deprivation was ideal for freeing my mind and I literally drifted around, sometimes pushing off on one edge to slowly jettison to the other side. I knew immediately why Jeff advised me to not get salt water on my face - delicate tissues around your nose, eyes and mouth definitely smart when the water washes over them, but of course, I couldn't help it.
I will purchase more for myself and friend gifts, and excited we have this opportunity in Tallahassee, especially now that they have two tanks.
Here are a few interview questions for Jeff:
How do you give back to your community - through your work and beyond?
Right now the biggest way I give back are through donations to all of our wonderful community partners. Over the two years we’ve been operating, we have donated to the Tallahassee Roller Derby, The Alzheimer’s Project, and Fun4TallyKids to name a few. As our business grows, we’re always on the lookout for new opportunities to partner with local businesses and support our community.
What would we find you doing when you aren’t at work?
Being a sole owner/operator makes it tough, but you can usually find me shooting hoops at one of Tallahassee’s many local parks, or at one of our amazing breweries with family and friends.
What ONE word do you think your friends would use in describing you?
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given? (Personal or professional)
You’ll never grow unless you step outside of your comfort zone. How do you get through your worst times? I am fortunate to have an amazing partner and an unbelievable group of friends and family I can lean on. It’s hard to imagine where I would be without all of them. Floating 2-3 times a week to keep my stress down doesn’t hurt either.
What do you believe is responsible for your success? I hate to say it but dumb luck. I injured my back back in 2011 which led me to try out floating in 2013. If I never hurt my back, I don’t think I would have ever considered opening up a float center. I would probably be sitting in a cubicle right now working on an Excel sheet. It’s funny how the worst parts of your life can end up being the spark that create the best parts.
What type of collaborator do you love to work with? Someone who plans and sticks to it. I tend to be a big dreamer but sometimes time management gets in the way of my plans. You can have all the best ideas, but without a plan and strategy they won’t go anywhere.
What do you think is your strongest leadership or parenting skill? I consider myself very level-headed. It takes a lot to get me riled up, which I think is a good thing in this crazy world.
Tell us a little about your next business or professional adventure? It’s way too early to start thinking about the next thing, but I’ve always wanted to open up a second float center on the Northside. We have clients coming from all over, whether it’s South Georgia or Lake City. I’ve loved being part of the Southside community, but I think opening up a second location on the Northside would be more convenient for many of my clients.
What do you love about Tallahassee? What makes it special? Hands down it’s the people. I always say Tallahassee is a big, small town and it seems like everyone here wants to help you succeed no matter what you’re trying to do.
Bonus round: What does Tallahassee really need? More Southside love! We’ve been here off South Monroe for over two years and it’s been great to see how things are changing. Proof really kicked things off and I can’t wait to see the future of Southside!