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Letter to Sauna Collective Shareholders...A letter to you :)

Hi Sauna Collective team,

 

Below is a letter I have entitled;

 

"Letter to Sauna Collective Shareholders."

 

The reason I have entitled it this way is that I believe everyone who has come to experience the sauna, shared their experience online, told a friend, family member, or colleague, signed my petition, followed me on Instagram or Facebook, in my opinion and from my perspective, is a shareholder in my Sauna Collective mission. You have invested your time, energy, thought, or money in helping my vision for Sauna Collective to progress person by person... sauna by sauna. For that, I am very grateful. Thank you.

 

I see Sauna Collective like a seed at the moment. Each one of you I see as caretakers and gardeners who water and nourish the dream so it can first become a seedling, then a sapling, and continue to grow and one day be a mighty strong tree that can, in return, support and nourish you and our community forever... yes, forever. If you have the time, I would be truly honored in our fast-paced world of bite-sized tiks & toks, tweets, and posts if you would take the time to read my words and hopefully feel my words and gain more insight into how Sauna Collective is progressing and where we are sailing to.

 



 

Dear Shareholder,

 

It is now 502 days since the sparks of Sauna Collective began on December 16, 2022. This was the day that I became redundant and faced an opening in my life where I had two paths to choose from: Path 1, look for a new job and fall back into a similar routine with a similar feeling, or Path 2, go all in on this sauna idea that had been brewing away... keeping me awake at night. It wasn't an easy decision, however, I had an overwhelming feeling in every atom of my being that all the ingredients were there, and if I was going to go all in, this was it. So that's what I did... well, that's what we did because Sauna Collective would not exist without my wife & queen being on board and up for the challenge.

 

Since then, it has been a process... getting clear on the vision, continually taking action, and always learning. When you start out on a journey like this, there is so much you simply don't know and even more you didn't even know you didn't know. The real learning comes from the "doing of a thing." Right?

 

This is what I did know at the very start:

 

Sauna Collective has the potential to become an iconic part of Auckland beach culture and transform people's mental, emotional, and physical fitness through sauna and community connection. I knew there were shocking statistics to support the real need for sauna... 1 in 8 Kiwis were on anti-depressants (200,000 plus Aucklanders, not including people self-medicating with alcohol or other drugs), 27% were not feeling mentally well (432,000 plus Aucklanders), not to mention all cancers, cardiovascular disease, dementia, and Alzheimer's are on the rise, and I knew the research overwhelmingly supports that sauna can have powerful positive effects. Sauna Collective could be a part of a healthy, accessible solution. People just simply needed to be exposed to it and experience it.

 

Sauna Collective will grow to have a fleet of sauna stations located around Auckland that will become a normal part of Aucklanders' wellness puzzle. We will normalize sauna and embed it in the fabric of our city and make it universally accessible for all. From the 18-year-old rugby player to the 80-year-old grandfather, or the fitness queen & friends to the menopausal woman moving into the next phase of womanhood, all can come and feel the soothing health benefits and sense of community.

 

Sauna Collective will price itself to be affordable and accessible to all members of society, starting from the budget of a pensioner, and we will always strive for ways to be more efficient to maintain prices and yet still grow to have a greater positive impact.

 

Sauna Collective will become the leader in educating and inspiring people to integrate sauna into their lives no matter where they choose to sauna or what style of sauna, as long as people use the sauna and have an opinion on it based on experiencing it properly.

 

Collaboration... From the very first thought of bringing the sauna revolution to Auckland, collaboration with people, businesses, council, organizations, and government agencies in the wellness and mental health space is a prime component of how we create long-lasting positive systemic progress... and more fun.

 

Once established with a fleet of sauna stations and one specialized events station, Sauna Collective as a company would become a supportive incubator for entrepreneurs in the wellness space, whereby people who work with the company will be encouraged to work on their vision and dreams while working with Sauna Collective.

 

Sauna Collective would be solely Auckland-focused for the first five years... unless an opportunity presented itself elsewhere that would be irresponsible not to explore.

We would always do our best to build and manufacture everything right here in Auckland, supporting and building stronger, deeper relationships.

 

What has Sauna Collective learnt along the way so far?

 

  • Stay focused and be persistent.

  • There are things you don't know you need to know.

  • Often things take longer than you think.

  • Often things cost a lot more than you think.

  • There are angels out there.

  • Problems provide lessons that often provide value that exceeds the cost of the problem.

  • People love the wood-fired sauna experience... they really enjoy it.

  • Working with the council is a process in patience & persistence.

  • Auckland is filled with cool, kind, interesting and supportive people.  


Construction on the Sauna Mothership was a fascinating four and a half-month learning experience, and I am glad I was a part of every element. Construction took place in Silverdale at Cashmore Industrial Yard after a friend, Wendy, came to the rescue and offered me part of her space to get started. Sam, a Kiwi builder, brought my outer vision to reality, and then Kazu, a Japanese carpenter, came on board like an angel and worked his magic inside. We sourced all materials locally, with all the beautiful Redwood and Macrocarpa coming from Jim at Cypress Sawmill. The electrics for the solar and lighting were installed by a legend of a man, Zeb, a local Hibiscus electrician. The furnaces that heat the saunas were designed and fabricated by a young welder, Felix Garcia. I am very impressed with this young man and wish him all the success. Felix went over and above and came to the rescue when the trailer got into trouble on its first weekend of operation; this I will never forget. There will never be a Sauna Collective sauna built that doesn't have a furnace built or designed by Felix. The process of being intimately connected with each part of the build means that Sauna Collective's future saunas will be easier to build, take less time, cost less, and be an all-around upgrade. The vision is to actually design and build a variety of options that will give Sauna Collective more agility and flexibility depending on what sauna type, style, or size is required.

 

Will Sauna Collective build saunas for people in the future? Maybe, but at this time, it's important to stay on mission, which is to expose all 1.6 million plus Aucklanders to proper wood-fired sauna and help to make a positive dent in those horrendous health statistics I discussed.

 

Since beginning operation in September 2023, there have been many teething problems. From the mechanics of the trailer itself, council, and uncertainty around how the sauna would be received over summer... it's been a wild ride... all while expecting a baby and now having a newborn. Well, you know what they say... "bite off more than you can chew then chew like ?#@!" Reflecting back though, these challenges were part of a "school tax" in my opinion, where the lessons are valuable and will serve Sauna Collective well into the future. It has led to developing more creativity, resourcefulness, and patience, all things you simply can't buy... you have to pay the price.

 

Since starting operation and despite the challenges, we have delivered more than 1500 plus wood-fired sauna sessions, collaborated with The Emerald Inn & Icemunity with "In Good Company," Harcourts Swim Series, People Tri, F45 Silverdale, Yogaroots, Flow with Freya, BFT Takapuna, Strong Pilates, Breathe Ananda, Northern Arena, Torbay Business Association, Reconnection Training, Wellme & Welltess, the Awareness Academy and more. sauna Collective will continue to build stronger collaborative relationships for decades into the future and look forward to all the fun and feel goods we will share. Our corporate wellness programs are still in there infancy but our very first session taken up by the Webguys team was a success and I look forward to growing into this space and directly helping businesses to have the healthiest happiest staff in the game. Definitly watch this space some big announments to come.

 

The monthly Sauna Collective Feel Good Sessions are fast becoming a very popular, unique experience for people who are really searching for a complete reset or recalibrative experience that can be found with the combination of yoga or breathwork or movement followed by a sauna & ice bath session. This is something that will continue and grow, and the ideal vision is for it to grow into a full day of offerings for all tastes, from yoga to animal flow to shamanic journey, etc. Again, this we feel will simply provide more positive options for people to invest in their health. Down the line, we will look to ideally transform this into a free event that is sponsored by large businesses that like to invest in the wellness of our community. An Auckland based wellness Caravan of sorts ... Imagine?

 

How does the future look and where are we sailing to?

 

The future looks bright due to the support of you, the shareholders. Every sauna helps you feel good, to reset and recalibrate but also helps us to get closer to building the next sauna to have an even bigger wider impact on the Auckland community. Every new person who experiences the sauna takes that experience to their friends, family, teammates, coworkers, etc., and they can become almost like sauna missionaries. I know, that the physiological shift that the sauna can stimulate in the body can be an incredible mental, emotional & physical balm that is undeniable. Now, if you combine that with jumping in the ocean or having an ice bath, it goes to another level, and then if you get to connect with people and have a positive shared experience, be it with existing friends or sauna friends, then wow, you have a recipe for feeeling gooood!, and right in our rapidly changing world now there is a hunger for healthy ways to feel good... and sauna is soo easy, isn't it?

 

Now, for those of us who truly know how good it is, we are ahead of the game, ahead of the curve, but we understand that the vast majority don't know... "yet." That's the real mission... What that means for Sauna Collective, is a massive, massive opportunity to share it, to introduce the people of Auckland to it. What I love is that now, when you invite someone to try a sauna for the first time, you can really increase the chances of them enjoying it by bringing them to the Sauna Collective wood-fired sauna at the beach and give them the most authentic of sauna experiences for them to enjoy. This, we believe, will increase the chances of the new person becoming a lifelong sauna lover and reaping the long-term wellness benefits.

 

The rest of 2024 is going to be exciting because, as of two days ago, Sauna Collective has been given the approval to operate at Orewa Beach Reserve three days per week... It's been a very long road, and I can't wait to kick off on Thursday, the 27th of June. The sauna will operate Thursdays 4pm - 7pm, Saturdays & Sundays 12-6pm. This is such a positive move forward, and we look forward to supporting the health of Orewa and the surrounding area and ideally inspiring more people to make the drive to Orewa to engage with local businesses, etc. This would not have happened without the 600 plus signatures from the petition of support, the crew that showed up at the local board meeting, and a huge amount of patience.

 

This means we are operating 5 days per week from Takapuna, Milford & Orewa, with monthly Feel Good Sessions from Rothesay Bay or Torbay plus other events in the city and surrounding areas. Once we reach a certain business threshold, we will start construction of a second trailer and will be able to share even more of the sauna goodness with the people of Auckland. Watch this space... the new designs are very cool and will open up a range of possibilities.

 

In summary, the Sauna Collective adventure continues, and it is a privilege to share it with you. Will there be more challenges? For sure, but the mission is too important not to continue ahead. Too many Aucklanders could benefit from it... The experience is too good not to share. When you have a mission to build something that is going to have such a positive impact for generations to come, something that is as locally known as Mr. Whippy... to revolutionize beach culture in Auckland, then the challenges are just waves in the ocean... they come, and then they go, and the Sauna Collective boat will continue to sail. Shareholders, I think of you like the wind that fills the sails, and without you, even if I built the best sailing boat in the world, the boat wouldn't move. We really are a team in every sense of the word.

 

Thank you all, and I look forward to seeing you in the sauna.

 

Cam the Sauna Man @ Sauna Collective








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