LET'S BUILD A SAUNA SOCIETY. TOGETHER.
The story of the 612 Sauna Society began in an expedition tent called The Surly. Camped underneath the mighty auspices of the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, right there on the century old trading floor, the tent was often used by Members of COCO (a collaborative coworking space) for lunch ideation sessions. There, future Sauna Meister John Pederson tossed out the idea that he might pivot his current tiny house project, instead creating a mobile sauna.
In that single pregnant moment, you could feel the flames of tradition rekindled, completely reimagined. A movement was born.
John (JP) went on to finish that little mobile sauna with the help of Hack Factory tools (a non-profit Makers’ space in South Minneapolis) and a ton of Community support. It would be called The Firehouse. Rollerblading ahead of his brother’s truck with a 15’ measuring pole, JP made sure The Firehouse made its way safely to its next home, and immediately began hosting sessions that would grow in frequency and depth - each magical night producing at least one new Sauna Enthusiast, and memories forever.
In the winter of 2014 it was obvious that something special was happening. Architects Molly Reichert and Andrea Johnson designed and created Little Box Sauna - bringing striking design to cool places throughout the Twin Cities. Restaurants, cafes, breweries, Lake Como - even Nicollet Mall. But soon, the thirst for bench time outgrew the available seats. The Sauna Society would grow to over two thousand participants in the winter of 2015-16!
AND SO... HERE WE ARE.
This year, dozens of volunteers have been working hard to lay the groundwork for a Sauna Cooperative - a business model designed to bring the joy of Sauna to as many people as possible throughout the Twin Cities. Through this planning and discussion, it became evident that in order to become a workable reality, the 612 Sauna Society would first need to own its own Sauna while simultaneously building a core of strong financial and volunteer supporters. It also became evident that there would be no better way to do this than to build our very own Sauna - together. Cooperatively.
The available expertise in our group of Volunteers is staggering. Maybe you'd like to join this cadre of volunteers as they put together a new 8 person unit with sweat equity and smiles? We expect to be up and running before January of 2017 . . .
BUT RIGHT NOW, WE NEED YOU.
Right now. In order to have the funds necessary to purchase the building materials, this Kickstarter Campaign has to fund. We know we have the volunteer strength to get it done, but without the funds, our love and commitment doesn’t mean much.
HOW DOES THIS ALL COME TOGETHER?
Good question. We know that if 150 people donate $200 or more, together we can build an epic mobile Sauna, and those 150+ people will not only have access to the Sauna they built, they will be the foundation of a noble social enterprise that can bring Sauna to 100s and 1000s of Twin Citizens for generations to come.
In the end, the goal is to keep making Saunas, and to make the experience cost-effective so that we can include everyone, every day.
Please give at the Level you can afford, and know that your gift is only the beginning. As this movement continues forward, more saunas (both mobile and brick & mortar) will populate the Twin Cities. We simply need to leap this initial hurdle, and only YOU can make it possible.
Risks and challenges
The only major risks we face would be volunteers not showing up, or a catastrophic early winter burying the Twin Cities. Our core Volunteers have a proven track record of 3 years of showing up, and we wouldn't be here but for them. If a catastrophic winter hasn't beaten us yet, it never will. We are The North.
An inverse risk is that during the Campaign we may be gifted a trailer or some other major building materials that are currently written into the cost structure. This could leave us with a surplus of funding. In that event, we would leverage those funds to make the Sauna available to lower income individuals who may not be able to afford it. Our core value in this endeavor is that Sauna is a gift, and we're coming together to share the gift with as many Twin Citizens as possible. It is our sincere hope that this Kickstarter Campaign will inspire a broad base of generosity, continually expanding the possibilities for more individuals to enjoy the health benefits of Sauna.
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