In the span of just a few short months, Olga Schoonmaker and her husband Ryan welcomed two “babies” into the world: their beautiful daughter and their co-owned wellness center, Zephyr Float, located in Midtown Kingston.
Of course, starting a new business while pregnant was no easy feat. Pre-entrepreneurship, Olga had spent more than 12 years working at General Electric as a project manager in different modalities. When she married Ryan, an Ulster County native, the pair relocated to the Hudson Valley. One of their many reasons for opening Zephyr Float in 2016 was to give back to the community they had grown to love.
"Kingston has changed in some amazing ways over the past years. It’s a place where anything is possible right now. We knew that this community needed support in order to continue thriving."
The main offering at Zephyr Float is sensory minimization, also known as floatation therapy. A room is filled with 1,000 pounds of epsom salt dissolved into 10 inches of water, creating an extremely buoyant environment that allows your body to float on the surface without any effort. The water is heated to average body temperature, seeming neither hot nor cold, and you have the option to turn off the light and shut the door to the room. All of these factors add up to an experience that is as free from unnecessary sensory input as possible, allowing you to completely relax in a way that you may never have thought possible.
“Floating,” as Olga and fellow floatation therapy buffs call it, offers a litany of health benefits, including relief from chronic pain, anxiety, and even creative mental blocks for writers and artists. When paired with classic therapeutic massage techniques, clients can truly experience the mind-body benefits of floatation therapy.
“Many times, clients have come out of the float tank with joyful tears in their eyes, saying this is the first time in years they are pain-free,” says Olga. “For many, prescription painkillers don’t work, and they have to find other means to deal with the effects of their illness.” For first-time floaters, Olga recommends the “New In Town” package, which includes three 60-minute float sessions for just $130. Three is the magic number, Olga explains, because it allows new customers to adjust to and fully embrace the unique sensation of floating in a body of water. Each time you float, your body relaxes more and your mind goes “deeper.”
“Many times, clients have come out of the float tank with joyful tears in their eyes saying this is the first time in years they are pain-free.”
– Olga Schoonmaker, co-owner
“Floating” offers a litany of health benefits, including relief from chronic pain, anxiety, and even creative mental blocks for writers and artists.
She also sings the praises of Zephyr Float’s 60-minute massage and 60-minute float package, which combines a standard float session with a blissful massage, starting at $135.
As first-time business owners, Olga and Ryan love meeting the diverse range of clients who come through Zephyr’s doors. Their regulars run the gamut, pursuing floatation therapy for physical, mental, and sometimes even emotional needs. One thing’s for certain, though: In Olga’s words, “No matter what your walk of life is or why you find yourself in a float center, it’s almost guaranteed that you’re a really interesting person. I don’t know what it is about our clients, but I love it.”
111 Greenkill Avenue, Kingston