The dictionary defines a “luminary” as a person who inspires or influences others. So it’s fitting that Cate Luzio gave the name Luminary to her woman-focused collaboration space in New York City. Not only is Cate an influential businesswoman herself, she’s also helping other professional women inspire each other in the space that occupies 11,000 square feet in Manhattan’s Nomad neighborhood. There, women can network with each other at events, get work done in beautiful communal spaces, and enjoy perks like fitness classes and wine on tap. We’re feeling inspired just thinking about it.
In under a year, Cate went from an executive-level role in banking to opening the doors of Luminary. Today, members of the club are creating a community that emphasizes self-development, wellness, and giving back. Cate is clearly going places and bringing other women along with her. We caught up with her to learn more.
What inspired you to launch Luminary?
I didn’t have an “a-ha” moment when I decided to leave banking, but I did have a “what now” reflection point after a pivotal meeting with my mentor. He encouraged me to try something else and then explained “What’s the worst that can happen? You can always go back to banking.” I had spent so much of my free time developing, mentoring, and coaching women, I wanted to be able to continue doing so in more than just one company or industry. I wanted to make a bigger and broader impact, so I created it with Luminary.
What do you find most rewarding?
Our Members. I hear the stories of impact every day: a new job, a new hire they met in the space, a new business opportunity or contact. Building this community is more rewarding than anything I’ve ever done.
What was the best and the worst business decision you ever made?
Best and worst are the same. I ended up joining a company that wasn’t the right fit culturally and it weighed on me every day. But it opened my eyes and eventually led me to starting Luminary. Mistakes are a part of life, but you must keep learning. And don’t get consumed by those mistakes. Get back up and walk it off. Some mistakes or obstacles are the most pivotal moments of your career and can lead to new opportunities.
Let’s talk about “going places.” What’s on the horizon for you?
Let’s hope Luminary continues to grow. We want to create real impact for our community of individual and corporate members. If that happens, there is no stopping us — or me!
Tell us about the last adventure you took:
Belize. It was the 114th country I’ve visited. I love traveling and exploring, and Belize was just amazing — from swimming with sharks to snorkeling in the Barrier Reef. It’s also great to be with my partner on these adventures. He is up for anything!