Without small business, we’re nothing. TheLatch— and GoDaddy have teamed up to rally behind local businesses and entrepreneurs during this unprecedented time of change.
We’re speaking to small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country to better understand how they’re adapting to stay open, how they’re keeping their community safe, and how we can support them now during this time, and beyond. We’re focused on keeping Australia open for business, even if doors are closed. #OpenWeStand
Neil O’Sullivan is the co-founder of Nimbus & Co, an infrared studio that has three locations around Australia. O’Sullivan and his wife Su created the business with the hope to become the first infrared studio in New South Wales.
The unique idea was met with open arms from the public, which surprised O’Sullivan.
“It’s been a big surprise for us since opening to see how this has developed and how much we treasure that community spirit,” he told TheLatch—.
Like many businesses, the team at Nimbus & Co had to close their doors for the time being.
“It’s been a little harder for us as the core of our business has been about coming in and getting your sweat on,” O’Sullivan said.
“The service itself isn’t really the danger and in fact, heated environments are beneficial in such circumstances but the risk is simply too high.”
While O’Sullivan admits that the last few weeks have been “a rollercoaster”, he remains positive for the future.
“We have a bunch of amazing new digital offerings coming. Watch. This. Space,” he said. “But finally, we just wanted to say thanks for all the love and support we’ve gotten over the past six weeks.”
TheLatch— spoke to Neil O’Sullivan about riding the wave of coronavirus as a business owner and what the future looks like for Nimbus & Co.
Alexandra McCarthy: Hi Neil! Can you tell me a little bit about Nimbus & Co and the service it provides?
Neil O’Sullivan: Sure. Nimbus & Co started three years ago by my wife, Su, and I.
We started our vision as being the first exclusive infrared sauna studio in New South Wales. Fast forward over three years and we now have three studio locations in Bondi, Byron and Melbourne. Each studio has its own personality but our core values remain the same.
Our ethos is to give back to the community, to create a safe space for people to come, and yes experience the sauna and its benefits, but also to come to unwind and get away from the hustle and bustle of our every day lives.
To be honest, it’s been a big surprise for us since opening to see how this has developed and how much we treasure that community spirit. We have created a safe place for our clients; somewhere to come and be at one with themselves, our staff, to be vulnerable, to be you.
Each of our studios also offers multi-modality therapies depending on location, everything from acupuncture to meditation, massage and myotherapy.
“Our ethos is to give back to the community.”
AM: Has Nimbus & Co been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
NOS: It certainly has. Many tears have been shed in what has felt like a lifetime since it all started but it’s really only a matter of weeks still since it all started to have a true impact. It has been a rollercoaster, that’s for sure.
We closed our doors on all studios about a month ago and we’ve had to let go of virtually 90% of our staff, which is awful. We have, and we still see it this way, a great team of staffers and hopefully this is all just a sojourn.
Over the past three years, we’ve been lucky to build a fantastic team of, largely women, who have been driving our success.
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Introducing our guided meditation series with @laurakelly_yoga We originally planned to launch this series within our studios but due to our temporary closures we’ve adapted to launch these online. We are delighted to be able to share these with our community, so you can experience these guided meditations from the comfort of your own home. The past few weeks have certainly been a challenge for us and the wider community. Many tears have been shed and we have felt an overwhelming sense of anxiety, mixed with intense gratitude for what really matters. This is a time where we must learn to be present, be kind, release control and recalibrate. We hope these short guided meditations may support you through this period of change and adaption and bring a little light to your day. Laura is a yoga teacher and content writer based in Sydney. She’s passionate about sharing yoga and meditation practices that encourage us all to slow down and create a sense of calm and space. These meditations have been recorded by her for our Nimbus family, with love. Episode 1 is now live. To listen, click the link in our bio
Whether it’s Su my amazing wife, who is the real boss of Nimbus, or Katie our artistic director, Alex who owns [the sauna in] Byron, Eva down in Melbourne, plus all our therapists, and even our cleaners, and vendors, and everyone that goes into making Nimbus what it is.
We’d simply be nowhere if we didn’t have good people, great people. We’re so lucky.
We’ve really felt the pinch financially. It’s great to see many businesses move to digital and be able to still provide services to their clients online.
Our close friends at Peaches Pilates and Agoga in Bondi have shown how successful you can be in the current climate — I’m fresh off a ‘Booty Camp’ earlier this morning with Tori from Peaches, my lord the burn. But I just love seeing that innovation and how brands are thriving.
It’s been a little harder for us as the core of our business has been about coming in and getting your sweat on. The service itself isn’t really the danger and in fact, heated environments are beneficial in such circumstances but the risk is simply too high.
We’ve been lucky in Australia to see the curve starting to flatten and social distancing seems to be really working. But we’ve lost souls along the way, which is awfully sad. Our thoughts and sympathies are with those who have lost anyone during the pandemic.
“We’d simply be nowhere if we didn’t have good people, great people.”
AM: Has Nimbus & Co had to implement immediate plans in order to pivot the business at this time?
NOS: Absolutely. We’ve had friends, loved ones, partners, colleagues, pets and all sorts lend their love and support to get us through these tough times.
As mentioned, it’s made us pivot at a rate we would never have been able to do under normal circumstances. We’d have time to think, rethink even, and redefine our vision for the future and what our business can offer. And after a lot of initial angst, I am delighted to say we feel we’re on the upward scope.
I can’t say too much but we’ve got a few major products/projects/collaborations launching soon — one coming next week in fact so keep an eye out for that.
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Nimbus Rewards ~ Let your ongoing commitment to yourself reward you two-fold. As a thank you for being a part of our community, every dollar you invest in yourself at Nimbus will be rewarded with redeemable points. You will receive points for every sauna appointment, every friend you refer and every time you book online for your appointments – all of which you can track through your current MindBody account.
We have launched our meditation audio service recently and our fantastic Nimbus family member, Laura Kelly, is the voice behind the sessions. We can’t wait to roll these out further.
It’s funny, although, with all the impacts to society with COVID, it’s been very much a reset, or maybe a pivot is a better term, for us. It’s forced innovation in us all, it’s fast-tracked product roadmaps and ideas we had in the pipeline and it’s made us work in an entirely new way.
And above all, what COVID has given us is time. And not just us, but everyone.
People are rethinking their careers, what their lives are looking like, and what serves them. How many generations, if any, have had that opportunity? So we’re certainly looking at the positives.
AM: Is there anything we can do to support Nimbus & Co in the short term during this health crisis?
NOS: We’re similar to many other retail locations. Whilst you might not be able to come to get your sweat on at present, if people do want to book a sauna pack for the future, we’ve set all bookings with no expiration date to be used at any time.
And as mentioned, we’re launching a big digital project next week where our Nimbus community can access some exciting new elements online.
AM: Has Nimbus & Co experienced a financial hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
NOS: Yes. Initially, our revenue was cut almost entirely. But we have a bunch of amazing new digital offerings coming. Watch. This. Space.
But finally, we just wanted to say thanks for all the love and support we’ve gotten over the past six weeks. We’re humbled by all the messages and communication we’ve received.
Yes, it’s been tough for us but it’s been even tougher for us all, the entire planet. We’re just grateful to be safe and we hope everyone out there can be the same.
But for now, let’s look to a new and brighter future for Nimbus.