E-Street Interview with Driftaway Float Center's owner, Jeff Spinks

Thu Oct 31st, 2019

Driftaway Float Center, 227 E. Palmer Ave.

FloatTally.com 850.320.6080,

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeff-spinks-b7aa2089/

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?

Relaxed.

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!

It is believed that the first Christmas celebrated in the United States was celebrated at the site of the DeSoto encampment in what is now Tallahassee.
Tallahassee has the honor of being the only capital city of the south that is positioned east of Mississippi to never be taken by Union Forces during the Civil War.
In 1988, Money Magazine name Tallahassee as one of the top three cities in the southeast to live in.
In 1992, the National Arbor Tree Foundation awarded Tallahassee the tile of “Tree City USA” and in 1999, the National Civic League awarded Tallahassee the All American City Award.
In 2006 the National Recreation and Park Association honored Tallahassee with the award of Best in America for Parks and Recreations.
Tallahassee residents celebrated a white Christmas in 1989. This is a rare occurrence in this sub-tropical climate.
Tallahassee has ninety five square miles of land and over two square miles of water.
Tallahassee is home to the third tallest capital building located in the United States. The building is a twenty three story one that was designed by Edward Durell Stone.
The city is home to the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, which is the world’s largest magnet laboratory and also the highest powered. The equipment in the laboratory is capable of generating a magnetic field that is one million times stronger than the magnetic field of the earth.
“Tallahassee” is a Muskogean word approximately meaning “old fields.”
Tallahassee was founded in 1821 and it became Florida's capital city in 1803. It was selected because it was roughly centered between Pensacola and St. Augustine, the capitals of West Florida and East Florida, two former Spanish colonies.
Tallahassee came close to losing capital status in the 1960s with a push to move it to Orlando, which is considerably closer to major growth spots in the state like the Tampa Bay and Miami areas.
The city's second and current capitol building, built in 1977, is the third-tallest capitol building in the U.S. (after Washington, D.C. and Austin). It's 22 stories high.
If you go to the top floor, there's an art gallery and large windows all around providing panoramic views of the city.
While camped out in what's now Tallahassee in the winter of 1539, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto and his group are believed to have been the first people to celebrate Christmas in the continental U.S.
Florida's capital city is known today as a college town, but it's been that way for well over 150 years. In 1843, the Tallahassee Female Academy was founded and in 1854, The Florida Institute was founded. Two seminaries were also built in the early 1850s.
All these schools eventually became part of Florida State University, the city's largest college.
Tallahassee is also home to the country's biggest historically black university by enrollment, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, AKA Florida A&M or FAMU.
Tallahassee is one of the hottest places in the state in the summer. It's one of the few Florida cities that hits temperatures over 100 from time to time.
However, it's also one of the coldest places in the state during the winter.
In 1899, Tallahassee temps hit -2 degrees during a historic blizzard. It's the only recorded instance of a below-zero reading in all of Florida.
The city's record snowfall accumulation is 2.8 inches on February 13, 1958.
On average, Tallahassee gets a measurable quantity of snow once every 17 years.
The city, and Leon County as a whole, consistently has one of the highest voter turnout percentages in all of Florida's 67 counties.
For the general election in 2008, the county set a state record with an 86 percent turnout.
The Tallahassee Police Department is the third oldest in the nation. Founded in 1841, only the Philadelphia and Boston PDs predate it.
FSU's Doak Campbell Stadium holds 82,300 spectators. It's the biggest Atlantic Coast Conference football stadium.
FSU's Doak Campbell Stadium is the country's biggest continuous brick structure.
The university also offers students the opportunity to tour the world as circus performers if they join the extracurricular FSU Flying High Circus.
FSU has a long history of student activism and is believed to be where streaking was invented.
The highest powered magnet laboratory on Earth is at FSU's National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
FSU's National High Magnetic Field Laboratory's magnets can produce a magnetic field one million times more powerful than our planet's magnetic field.
Tallahassee hosts one of the world's top equestrian eventing competitions. It's called the Red Hill Horse Trials.
Tallahassee hosts one of the largest, most attended festivals in the South, Springtime Tallahassee, which has been running annually since 1967.
The Tallahassee Automobile Museum has Abraham Lincoln's horse-drawn hearse on display.
The 68,000-acre St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, founded in 1931, is one of the nation's oldest wildlife refuges.
You can see the historic St. Marks Lighthouse there, which was completed in 1842.
In the early 20th century, the St. Marks railroad transported cotton and other products to the coast for shipping. The route's been paved and is now a 20.5-mile long nature trail.
The John G. Riley House, built in 1890, is the last remaining piece of history from the middle-class African American community that thrived in downtown Tallahassee at the beginning of the 20th century. Today, it's a museum.
The Tallahassee Automobile Museum is home to the real Batmobiles from "Batman Forever" and "Batman Returns," as well as replicas of a number of other Batman-related vehicles.
The Tallahassee Automobile Museum has steam-powered cars and amphibious vehicles.
You can see Tallahassee's oldest resident- an approximately 10-foot tall mastodon skeleton named Herman- at The Museum of Florida History. He's over 12,000 years old.
Lichgate on High Road is a little-known fairy tale cottage and historic site open to the public. The land was bought by FSU literature professor Dr. Laura Pauline Jepsen in large part to protect a majestic, ancient live oak now known as the Lichgate Oak.
The Railroad Square Art Park district hosts the monthly First Friday gallery hop. About 2,000 people usually show up for the three-hour event.
Creed, one of the biggest bands of the late 1990s and early 2000s, was formed in Tallahassee.
Singer-songwriter, rapper, producer, and actor T-Pain also comes from Tallahassee. In fact, that's what the “T” stands for.
Wally Amos, founder of Famous Amos Cookies, was born and raised in Tallahassee, too.
Ted Bundy was indicted in Tallahassee.
The Mission San Luis de Apalachee was one of the first Spanish missions in North America. It was built in 16. It was destroyed in 1704.
Today, The Mission San Luis de Apalachee is the state's only reconstructed Spanish mission and it operates as a museum.
Tallahassee has Florida's most educated population. About half the residents have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Elizabeth Budd-Graham's final resting place is the most visited tomb in the City Cemetery. She died in 1889 at the age of 23, and her elaborate grave is marked by a very large, expensive tombstone that instantly attracts attention.
Local lore claims that Elizabeth, better known as Bessie, was a witch. Hers is the only grave in the cemetery facing west and the tombstone bears an inscription quoting part of Edgar Allan Poe's poem “Lenore.”
Unlike most Florida cities, Tallahassee isn't generally associated with the beach. However, it's only 20 miles away from the Gulf of Mexico and several popular beaches are within a couple of hours' drive.
Though by no means mountainous, Tallahassee is one of the hillier spots in Florida. Its highest peak is a little over 200 feet above sea level.
The State of Florida employs more than 11 percent of Tallahassee's population.
FSU is the city's second-largest employer, with almost 14,000 people on its payroll.
Tony Hale grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, where he attended the Young Actors Theatre and participated in numerous theatrical and musical productions.