by Sheila Julson
Most business leaders concur that entrepreneurship and risk taking go hand in hand; a philosophy that Chase Howell, owner of The Float Spa at Classen Curve, believes in and eventually wants to instill in his 2-year-old son. “I consider things I can teach my son,” Chase says. “Sometimes I might fail, but how can I set an example for my son if I don’t live it out? That was one catalyst to launching this business.”
Chase opened The Float Spa at Classen Curve with his wife, Mandy, this past September. Chase became enthralled with float therapy, or floating—a way of experiencing deep relaxation by spending time in a tub of shallow water with more than 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt—last year after taking snowboarding lessons in Colorado.
“I told the snowboard instructor that after two days of snowboarding, I’d likely be sore, and I wasn’t looking forward to it,” Chase recalls. “The instructor suggested floating. After hearing about it and researching the benefits, it immediately got my attention.”
Chase was born and raised in northeast Mississippi. He was an athlete during his college years, and he holds a master’s degree in business administration from Mississippi College. A work opportunity brought him to Oklahoma City in 2012, where he met Mandy, and they were married in 2014.
Mandy was also athletic during college and has taught Zumba fitness classes. The Howells have always held a strong interest in physical fitness and noticed that as the body ages, recovery after strenuous workouts or injuries takes longer. So when Chase returned home to Oklahoma City after his snowboarding excursion and tried floating, he was amazed by how much better he felt, mentally and physically.
“As soon as I walked out of the float center, I called my wife and said, ‘We’re going to open a float spa,’” Chase reflects. They scouted locations and chose the central area of Nichols Hills. There were some build-out challenges, but Chase and Mandy put much effort into designing a warm, inviting ambiance, and careful selection went into choosing the float tanks, tile and wall colors.
Instead of float pods that may create a claustrophobic feeling for guests, The Float Spa at Classen Curve has three 4-by-8-foot float rooms. “Floating is still very new, and people are just starting to become curious about it. The biggest hesitation is whether or not they will be claustrophobic by being trapped inside a little pod,” Chase notes. “In a float room, one can stand up, and there’s a full door that swings open, so it really reduces the chances of feeling trapped.”
The water levels in the float rooms are kept at 10.5 inches, with 1,200 pounds of Epsom salt. Floats are fully customizable; guests can choose from a lighting palette of blue, purple, green or amber tones, or no lighting at all. Relaxation meditation soundtracks are available, or guests can bring in their phones and use an auxiliary cord to their playlist through the sound system. The lighting and music can be controlled from inside the tanks so one doesn’t have to get out of the water.
“Once you’re settled, you don’t realize you’re in water. You experience pure weightlessness, so it gives you a chance to de-stress and relax,” Chase explains. “You can truly relax and let go. It gives you a chance to refocus and recharge.”
Benefits of floating include mental clarity, improved sleep quality, decrease in stress and tension, relief of aches and pains, and facilitation of recovery from injuries. Chase notes that The Float Spa at Classen Curve’s team is passionate about floating, and they thoroughly explain the benefits to first-time floaters and what they can expect.
The Float Spa at Classen Curve offers running discounts for military, police and firefighters, and they’ve partnered with some local gyms. Although he’s been open a short time, Chase notes that the experience of operating a wellness-related business has been a blast.
“The majority of our guests are first-time floaters, and their response has been excellent,” he says. “Mandy and I are passionate about helping people and doing what we can for them to improve sleep quality and reduce stress.”
The Float Spa at Classen Curve is located at 5730 N. Classen Blvd., Ste. 5, in Nichols Hills. For more information, call 405-608-1950 or visit FloatTheCurve.com.
Sheila Julson is a Milwaukee-based freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country.