I took the decision to start The Float Spa in October 2014 and opened the doors in February 2015.
My daughter Dali suffered a serious illness in 2014 which led her to spend time in St George’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.
Fortunately, she made a full recovery but the experience was incredibly traumatic for me. I had to juggle my daughter’s recovery with a full-time stressful job and found myself suffering from PTSD, anxiety and depression. My father suggested trying floatation therapy to alleviate the symptoms.
Opening my own business
After floating several times I was so impressed with the results I decided to open my own floatation centre here in Brighton and Hove as there wasn’t one in the area at the time.
Since opening the spa on Third Avenue in Hove, I float regularly and have discovered the wonders of yoga too.
My experience of yoga has also been so positive that I helped to set up the Brighton Yoga Foundation charity, which endeavours to bring the benefits of yoga to as many people as possible.
Floatation therapy spa
The Float Spa is an award-winning health and wellbeing centre, the first of its kind in the UK when we opened in 2015.
We wanted to bring the wonders of floatation therapy to Brighton and Hove and to complement floating, we have yoga classes, and a wide range of holistic therapies too. All tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city and a stone’s throw away from the sea.
I decided to build the therapies to support floating. Yoga is a mindful and calming practice (we do have super strong classes too) and Brighton has a wonderful range of highly experienced teachers. Prior to Covid-19, we had 40 yoga classes in a studio with a 25-person capacity, nicely grounded and with a view of a lovely hidden garden.
We added an infrared sauna in 2018, mainly due to customer demand, plus an infrared sauna before a float is incredible.
The rest of the therapies grew naturally. As our reputation and popularity grew, so did our therapy offering. We now have acupuncture, coaching, massage and nutrition, among others.
Running my own business
I think it was one of my bosses in 2009 who said ‘one day you will own your own business’. Before that, I was happy in the corporate world.
I think when I was at school, it was designing pupils for employment and not empowering entrepreneurship. But now I get to educate my children and empower them to achieve what makes them happy.
Why it is important to take the time to relax
When we are on an aeroplane and the stewards make the announcement about what would happen in a crash landing, they always advise putting on your own mask before helping others.
We should use this in everyday life. How can we be the best version of ourselves for our family, children or others around us if we do not look after ourselves?
We are trapped in a society that makes us think we must be busy all the time, and always achieving. But if we just take a step back you can see and hear ten times more. So we must look after ourselves, so we can help others.
Advice I would give my younger self
Do not take things personally. This is something I’ve struggled with. As an individual, comments have never bothered me. But throw in a business when you ‘need’ people to like you, or like what you do, there were times when a client said something and I took offence.
When I opened Float Spa, I was still troubled with mental health challenges which could easily escalate. But now, I am older, wiser and more experienced and I have such a strong self-care programme. I know what calms me, I know how to look after myself. So I am much better at looking after others. The result is a much happier person.
What I enjoy about my job
Everything. I transformed my life due to floating. Seeing people’s lives transform in front of your eyes, week by week is totally mind-blowing.
You cannot bottle up and sell what we offer. It’s something very unique and special. This is from all the therapies we offer.
I am now trained in behavioural science, meditation and CBT. I offer coaching to clients too and seeing them transform and change their lives is humbling and rewarding.