By Allie Rohlfs
The human brain and body have a heavy workload day in and day out. The brain processes every tiny detail, from sitting up straight to the temperature of the surrounding air, which can leave the body feeling stressed. That’s why this brother and sister business duo wanted to bring a way to let all that tension float away…literally.
Matt and Kelsey Elston, co-owners of Central Coast Floats, started their business two years ago and recently opened up shop in June in San Luis Obispo. Central Coast Floats is a spot to relax; the space offers float tanks and an infrared sauna, both of which are designed to help the body reach a deep state of relaxation and wellness.
The float tanks are heated to 94 degrees, the same temperature as the skin, and filled with 1,100 pounds of Epsom salt. Along with the quiet and dark environment, the body and brain are allowed to find complete tranquility.
“It’s a super unique environment where all the external stimuli that your brain normally has to process gets very limited and minimized,” Matt said. “When your brain doesn’t have to process that additional input, it’s free to drop into this really deep state of relaxation.”
As for the infrared sauna, the infrared light deeply penetrates the tissues of the body about one to two inches, which causes people to release more sweat and remove more toxins from a much deeper level in the skin.
Promoting health and well-being is a core mission behind Central Coast Floats. Matt, who is also a dentist, and Kelsey, who quit her tech sales job to start the business, had a passion for bringing the power of relaxation to San Luis Obispo.
“It was either I do this, or someone else is going to do it,” Matt said. “So seeing the responses from the customers that we get and our clients and members, it really drives home that this is why we did this.”
One of the first steps in starting Central Coast Floats was contacting the Cal Poly CIE Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for assistance with funding, accounting, legal considerations, marketing and connecting with other local small businesses.
“The SBDC was critical for us to get our funding; they were basically the key to getting the start-up capital that we needed through the consultants that they bring in,” Matt said. “They’ve just been an incredible resource for kind of everything that we’ve done so far. I’ve been really impressed and happy having them as a resource.”
As far as taking the plunge into opening a small business, Matt and Kelsey found that having the passion behind Central Coast Floats gave them the confidence to work hard and do whatever it takes to succeed.
“There is no proper experience. This has changed my whole outlook on a life philosophy, it’s literally learn by doing, so just do it,” Matt said.
Learn more at the Central Coast Floats website.