Dance Floor Cost and Quality, O’Mara Family History

Dance Floor Cost and Quality, O’Mara Family History

We are a full family affair at O’Mara Sprung Floors! My parents started this business 25 years ago, building ergonomic sprung flooring for dance, fitness, and industrial anti-fatigue. A true “mom and pop” shop, all four original founding family members, two parents, and two children (EJ and I were still very young back then), still play key roles. We are dedicated to operating our business in true integral alignment, collaboratively creating a new paradigm made in USA manufacturing company, that supports the health and vitality, happiness, and longevity of our customers, our team, and every person who steps on to one of our floors. Since 1996 we have been manufacturing sprung dance floors in Michigan, with the highest-quality materials sourced as locally as possible. Our floors are handcrafted to exacting tolerances, using precision machinery.

We manufacture the highest-quality, highest-value sprung dance floors and anti-fatigue ergonomic flooring you can buy. The dollar-to-value ratio is extraordinary. And we do it all here in the USA, supporting local humans and local economies.

We value health and wellness in every aspect, above all. We value precision, truth, and authenticity. We value family, relationships, and integral, clear communications.

We are truly a company “built by dancers, for dancers”, since before that was a thing. And we believe that every body is a dancer’s body. The rhythm of life moves through us, and as we express that, as we speak and dance, make music and create art, we are healing the heart of humanity.

Coming out with these words, with these truths of ours has taken such a long time. We’ve been focused first and foremost on creating a quality product and smooth experience for happy customers. Since day one our priority has been precision quality. We have always put our customers and product ahead of ourselves, ahead of our finances. Most years we have broken even. Some years we’ve had extra cash to upgrade our equipment and processes. This year we’ve realized the necessity of supporting ourselves fully, so that we can pour from full cups and serve our community and family both sustainably and better than ever before.

We have been martyrs since the beginning. It’s in our bloodline. Serving others before ourselves, caring for everyone and their health and happiness before our own.

“What kind of a joke was God playing when he put only 24 hours in a day?” read the beautiful marker scrawl my mom wrote on the staircase leading from the hallway accessed only from my childhood bedroom, to the attic which housed the office and our new 1997 Windows Gateway computer. It came in a giant box with cow spots on it, and a pack of CDs containing Myst, a game I loved to wander through, but never solved or understood. This is what life has felt like til now: never enough time, always too much to do, working diligently, hard, continuously, yet still feeling lost, uncertain, and like there’s so much more hiding just beyond reach.

I’ve come to the point now where I realize we’ve been going non-stop, working HARD beyond definition, beyond capability, running our bodies our minds 24/7 with the intensity of anxious Olympic athletes. Even vacations were work, literally. We’ve been working from internet cafés since they first opened, and toiling long days on an up-north farm just to be somewhere different and take an end-of-the-day dip in Lake Michigan.

Beginning in high school, I worked in the office during summers (before that my job description included hours of house-chores per week, counting foam blocks for packaging, matching and paying bills and… the list goes beyond my memory at this moment. I remember clearly sitting in the attic office, addressing envelopes to customers, Mom reminding me to use my best penmanship and to align the stamp squarely, so it all looked professional, and not like a child did it… I was 9, then. I loved hanging out it the office because I got to be helpful, and spend time with my Mom. In the early days, she ran her own dance studio too, which is where this whole story starts. But first, back to me…

I worked summers during high school and college and began full time after I dropped out before my fourth year at a far-away State University, one I thought I’d never attend. When I went back to finish my degree (in French and Art & Design) I was in the middle of a website revamp, so I continued that project during my semester abroad, and my final semester in-state. After college I thought I’d take a break from the family, see what it was like to work for someone else. I did that for a few months before my dad called me to come home and help the business again, employees had been filed, things were falling apart. I had just gotten my very first solo apartment, blocks from Lake Superior, summer had nearly begun. I kept that apartment, paying for my future freedom even though I didn’t visit it once that summer. It’s been a long, rough road, accepting my place in the family business, and I’m nearly fully arrived.

You’ll notice a significant price-increase soon. Our practice floor prices have been artificially low since their release. We’ve wanted to support dancers in creating their own, safe at-home practice spaces. But with “Covid19” and a huge decrease in studio floor sales, our overhead isn’t where it needs to be. We used to run a couple small practice floors in between larger studio floors. Now, it’s nearly all practice floor sales and, at their current prices they wouldn’t have supported us staying afloat, even before all of our material costs increased. With our current economy we’ve seen all our material costs increase, from 30% at the low end, to 300% at the high end! It’s wild. Wild times y ‘all. And, to take care of our customers and employees, to support dancers and artists in the ways we’ve always wanted to, we have to charge more, sell more, hire, expand.

We’ve been operating from a scarcity mindset since the early days. Always ahead of our time, we’re realizing that it’s time to step up and own that. To say, hey, we’re here and we love you, and we love us to. We’ve been running ourselves ragged since 1996 and after all the burnout, injury, and near-death experiences we’ve had in our family over the last…decades, but especially in these past five years, we finally are recognizing it is time for a revamp. It is time to call in our soul-family, our soul-customers and all those who align with our mission, so that we can fully support and serve our families and communities in divine alignment. We’ve been afraid and resistant for so long.

Now, we step forth, into the light with the full force of our divine fires burning. It’s time to truly lead and to shine. To bring in the beings that will support us in going to the next level, and to allow this business and all those supporting it, to flourish.

We are children of God, here to serve the planet in its evolution.

I gratefully enter this new phase of co-navigating my family’s business to the next level. It’s been a spiritual journey the whole way through.

It’s go time! In preparation for hiring new key players and major expansion, we are currently looking at how to reorganize our team so that that each of us are in exactly the right position, utilizing our skillsets to their highest potential, and feeling joyful within our work.