What do you call a studio that isn’t just a studio?
From the very first day we opened our doors here at The Pharm; we have struggled a bit with what to call ourselves. Wellness Studio sort of encompasses the general idea; Community Center highlights our commitment to the world outside our doors; but both of these terms come packed with implied associations and limitations that still don’t quite fully explain what we seek to create.
In a nutshell; The Pharm is a collaborative studio space that not only offers daily classes and ongoing events and workshops directed at self-care and healing; but it is also a hub for Community care. It is a place where fellow businesses, organizations, non-profits, individuals, and activists can connect to build new ways of caring for and healing our community as a whole. It is where resources can be shared, ideas can be born, and collaborations can flourish.
The Pharm is the heart centered project of owner and founder, Buffy Castillo; who found herself constantly in search of a space that didn’t just offer wellness classes for mind and body; but that also felt welcoming, inclusive and accessible within and beyond the confines of a class. A space that built community through mutual care and respect rather than hierarchy and exclusivity.
Although The Pharm opened its doors just six months before the county went into mandatory lock down; the team at The Pharm have held steadfast to not only maintaining our vision, but expanding it. While pivoting and shuffling through bringing the studio classes online and navigating ever changing COVID regulations; we have also started a weekly community podcast, designed and launched a clothing line centered around community, and partnered with over half a dozen different local organizations to fund, support, and uplift their work.
To know Buffy, is to know someone who loves the words “Yes” and “How can I help?” and in the past year, our collaborative team of managers and incredible teaching staff have taken that energy and exploded it into focused actions. From expanding offerings into multiple languages, to donating money and supplies and volunteer hours to as many local mutual aid efforts as possible, to changing our pricing structure completely to be more inclusive; every day is a new opportunity to ask “How can we help?”
It can be a challenge in the world of taglines and scrolling through Instagram pics to really simplify the explanation of who and what The Pharm is; but through our efforts every day, we’re consistently working to build that explanation piece by piece through action and engagement; so that perhaps one day, rather than try to explain, folks will simply just smile and say, “Come join the Phamily; you’ve just got to experience it for yourself.”