PHOTOS BY MARYBETH WELLS
It is not uncommon for business owners and entrepreneurs to talk about how certain things in their careers have just “fallen into place.” Always with a significant amount of hard work, of course, but in my experience there tends to be a definite ‘meant to be’ aspect of many successful businesses. This has never been truer than in the case of the partnership of La Luz and Wildlight Wellness Collective in Winston-Salem.
First, there was Jeremy Grace, yoga instructor extraordinaire and the friendly founder of Wildlight, a yoga studio that fosters community through physical, energetic, and mindful practices. Jeremy transformed another one of Winston-Salem’s hidden gems into a warm, welcoming studio – full of light, warm wooden floors, and exposed beams. This inviting space, combined with the palpable good energy throughout, has grown to include a community of people who are finding exactly what their souls need.
This is where Pamela Luzardo and Bita Salem came in. These two charismatic and approachable women entered Wildlight as strangers, both seeking a place to nurture their own hearts as part of their healing journeys after personal loss and heartbreak.
For weeks, they practiced yoga side by side at Wildlight but didn’t have an opportunity to speak until they found themselves at the same gas station after class one evening in late 2019! That initial conversation was the beginning of a friendship like no other and the two now consider themselves “soul sisters.” With a shared passion for fashion and mindful living, two new friends with diverse backgrounds committed to creating something inspiring in the healing space that first brought them together.
Introducing La Luz which means ‘the light’ in Spanish, a symbol of goodness and harmony. La Luz, inside the Wildlight Collective space, focuses on creating a feeling of “home” and authenticity at the modern boutique and specialty café. More than just a space to shop and connect with the community, it’s also a place where one can become more aware and intentional about the way we consume. The boutique offers ethically-made apparel, accessories, home goods, and more from local designers and artists from around the world. The specialty tea and coffee bar offers unique elixirs, tonics, and handcrafted creations utilizing natural ingredients and herbal remedies.
Some of what you will see in a quick look around La Luz and Wildlight:
- Comfy, inviting furniture set up in conversational circles for enjoying your tea or catching up with a friend
- Gauzy, light curtains that gently delineate between the boutique and the wellness areas
- An array of inspiring jewelry, hats, crystals, herbs, and accessories
- Meditation mats set-up with noise canceling headphones and all the cozy mats and bolsters you need for a comfortable meditation journey
- The most adorable and practical Mochila Wayuu bags. (Don’t know what the heck Mochila Wayuu means? You’ll need to visit to find out!)
La Luz & Co celebrated their Grand Opening in early December 2021 which was a huge success and energized them for a challenging year ahead! One goal for 2022 is a revamped website that will also expand their e-commerce capability and will help to make their global makers more accessible to local shoppers. Pamela and Bita are also confident that this year will give them an opportunity to travel more so that they can meet suppliers face-to-face and experience more unique offerings that might make their way into La Luz.
Back at home on Trade Street in Winston-Salem, they are also dreaming of ways to expand into the charming courtyard space behind Wildlight. With its brick walls, sunshine and oodles of character that can only be found in older buildings, the space is just perfect for Bita and Pam’s creative and intentional flair!
Bita has been in the Triad for 27 years and she and her husband have two children, ages 21 and 17. In addition to her investment of time and energy into La Luz, she is also a high school math and SAT/ACT tutor. Bita hopes to be able to bring mindful meditation practices to the teens she serves in the future.
Upon meeting Pamela, mom to a busy 20 year old soccer player, it won’t surprise you to learn that she has a background in hospitality and marketing. She is thrilled to see how La Luz has evolved into something much bigger than expected in such a positive way!
A place to gather.
A place to discover.
A place to find your light.
A modern boutique and specialty café where ….
Mindfulness is a lifestyle.
The inspirational mission of La Luz & Co is apparent in everything they do at this welcoming and one-of-a-kind space in the heart of Winston-Salem! Give yourself a gift and pay them a visit. Whether to sit awhile and enjoy a glow matcha latte or to pick up a special gift for someone, time spent in La Luz is certain to be time your soul appreciates.
Visit La Luz at Wildlight Wellness Collective at 612 Trade Street NW in Winston-Salem and on Instagram @laluzandcompany.