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Defend Your Kickstarter: An Urban Spa Made Out of Shipping Containers

Nell Waters wants you to soak with other "healthy hedonists."

A rendering of SOAK. 

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SOAK's proposed interior.

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Nell Waters with Blaine Merker of Rebar

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Defend Your Kickstarter is a weekly look at the wild, wacky, and just plain wonderful world of Kickstarter. Today's project: SOAK, an "eco spa for healthy hedonists" made out shipping containers.

Kickstarter defender: Nell Waters, a wellness expert who owns Whole Body Tonic, a Dogpatch bodywork studio.

SF: Why shipping containers?
Waters: Shipping containers were sort of the missing puzzle piece for our design ethos as a smart and green building material, and the perfect urban aesthetic. It also meant our eco-spa could be self-contained so what we build into the containers stays in the containers and moves with us from one site to the next. SOAK is paragon of portability.

Who do you see going to SOAK?
Anyone who wants to warm themselves against the fog and soak, but especially healthy hedonists. A healthy hedonist is the person who works hard, cares about being healthy, is perhaps, like me, a bit rewards-driven, but doesn't shy from a bit of vice. Somewhere between the dogmatic new ager and the luxury seeker, rests the healthy hedonist. If you spent the weekend checking out the new cocktail menu at Bergerac or tasting bourbon at Hard Water (one of my favorites), but got up this morning at 5 a.m. to ride into the Marin Headlands, then chances are, you are.

So, social bathing: Do you think Mark Zuckerberg will SOAK? Is he a healthy hedonist?
Unclear, but maybe he'd like to invest in SOAK-Park, the site specific version of our eco-spa. I'd like to have a few of these on office campuses in Palo Alto. It's a great new twist on employee wellness. That said, I haven't researched Zuckerberg’s lifestyle enough to gauge his level of healthy hedonism.

Okay, let’s say I’m at SOAK. What can I expect when I get there?
The top floor solarium is my personal favorite, but for any soaker he/she can expect to hear Wilco coming through our speakers, to run into friends who are on a mission to recharge, and experience that coveted ideal: an outdoor garden protected from the wind.

So instead of cucumber water will there be beer?
From day one, I wanted to serve beer at SOAK as they do at most European bathhouses. I'd be thrilled if the Biergarten wants to open another cargo-bar near us. What better way to spend a chilly afternoon than with a soak followed by a crisp pilsner in a 10 oz glass? Done!

So it’ll be like those cool Turkish bathhouses in the East Village but without the borscht and 150% more eco friendly?
Ahh...not exactly like the old Turkish Baths. Although we will largely be co-ed with time set aside for women-only, men-only hours as they do.

What do you get if you kick in cash on Kickstarter?
Well, pledging at the $125 level will get you bragging rights and two passes to SOAK during an exclusive preview week just for backers, a set of Healthy Hedonist coffee mugs, and your name added on SOAK's website. I like to think of donating to SOAK as killing two birds this holiday season: Doing your good deed by donating to the city’s future and investing in the healthier and happier version of your 2014 self.

Check out SOAK on Kickstarter.

 

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