Main Street Business Floats Away

More than 4 years ago, David Conneely made a life-changing decision. He moved from Brooklyn to Westport, to own and operate iFloat.

The Boston-area native did not know anyone here. He had never owned a business. But he loved floating — a method of reducing stress and feeling relaxed, using warm salt water in a quiet place — and wanted to make a difference in people’s lives.

He put his life into his business, on the 2nd floor of Main Street above Oscar’s. He educated people about the benefits of floating. He hosted events that enhance mind-body connections. He solved his own problems, like retail neighbors playing loud, pulsing music.

“It’s been quite a ride — a lot of blood, sweat, and tears,” David says.

“But I look back and see a positive impact on people’s lives as a result of what I have done here. I’ve made a difference, developed friendships, a community, people whom I love and who love me.”

David Conneely iFloat

Yet just as David helps folks relax and feel better, he’s come to understand himself and his own needs too.

At the end of March, he planned to use his one day off — a Monday — to hang out with a client, who has since become a good friend. But a business issue arose, and he canceled.

Anne told David that she felt his life was unbalanced. As they talked, he realized she was right. He did not have much of a life outside iFloat. He was unhappy.

He said, “If someone walked in and wrote a check for the place, I’d walk away.”

She encouraged him to sell.

One of the iFloat relaxation tanks.

One of the iFloat relaxation tanks.

He started the process. He de-cluttered the place, wrote a valuation document, met with his accountant and friends. It was not easy.

When a suitable arrangement could not be found, he decided to just shut down.

But David could not simply walk away. He stayed open a month longer than he planned — through July 31 — so that people could use any gift certificates or pre-purchased floats they had.

“I’m glad I gave everyone a month’s notice,” he says. “I’ve received a lot of support, by email and in person. It’s been an honor to own and run iFloat. I’m grateful to have met so many wonderful people.”

iFloat logoDavid realizes that he and iFloat have impacted many lives. “I’m happy what I’ve done here,” he says. “And I’m happy to be moving forward.”

David plans to publish a book about floating (it’s almost done). He may go back to teaching high school biology — his previous profession — or do some life coaching or counseling.

He may resettle in Boston or New York. He also looks forward to spending 3 months on an island off Thailand.

Small businesses frequently come and go in Westport. Seldom, though, do they impact so many lives — or leave with such grace and class.

5 responses to “Main Street Business Floats Away

  1. Jamie Walsh

    David is one of the nicest and most gracious people I have ever met. As a friend, neighbor and Master of the Float, we are very sad to see him leave but remain confident that whatever David ends up doing…will only effect positive change for all involved as he continues his journey in life. Thanks for all that you have done for so many and not just here in Westport!

  2. This is one sweet man. I wish you good times in wherever you land.

  3. David is an amazing person, gentle, knowledgeable and open. It will be a big loss for Westport when he goes. He was innovative in how he taught people about floating and he had a collaborative relationship with artists of all kinds. More than once, he allowed Frederic to bring his advanced DPS retreat participants to iFloat, where they floated for an hour in place of their usual meditation activity and it was quite an experience for them! David, you are wonderful — best of luck in your future journey!

  4. David, you were a great partner to Beechwood, sponsoring my Level II workshop students for a special meditation/discussion session numerous times. Your space is beautiful and your attitude as well. We’ll miss your space and your business, but we hope we will be in touch with you, wherever you go and whatever you end up doing.

  5. Stacy Prince

    All best wishes to you, David, and may you find another CSA wherever you land!