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  • Clear Light – the Cedar Company Shines Brightly Again

Clear Light – the Cedar Company Shines Brightly Again

Clear Light – the Cedar Company Shines Brightly Again

Business Celebrity joins forces with an Investment Wizard to relaunch the 45 year old company at a downtown urban farm

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Placitas based Clear Light shut it’s doors in March, but the cedar personal care and home goods company has a bright future under the new ownership of Keith Allen West and Adam Ciepiela. The store and manufacturing facility has relocated to West’s Urban Fresh building at 123 Broadway Blvd SE in East Downtown Albuquerque and the duo are relaunching the online store while expanding their list of wholesale accounts.

“These products have been loved for 45 years. It is amazing to get to expand my work in New Mexico and add even more manufacturing jobs,” said West.

The products are still the beloved original formulations with ingredient updates featuring natural, organic and wildcrafted sources. Clear Light has always wildcrafted their cedar needles. from trees grow in Placitas.

“wild·craft /wīldkraft/ – the practice of harvesting plants from their natural, or "wild" habitat, for food or medicinal purposes. It applies to uncultivated plants wherever they may be found, and is not necessarily limited to wilderness areas. Ethical considerations are often involved, such as protecting endangered species.”

West and Ciepiela expect to use the same process at Pinion Canyon Camp the YWCA land in Tijeras. This will provide revenue to the charity and create a jobs program for the formerly homeless female veterans at the charity’s Henderson House.

“I am excited to keep a 45 year old company alive, keep it locally owned and operated and help bring manufacturing jobs to New Mexico,” said Ciepiela, “Being a small business owner allows us to participate in the discussion and advancement that Albuquerque is a great place to succeed in business.”

Once the cedar bows are pruned from the trees and complete the curating process, they’re run through a large shaker, which removes any of the pollen, leaving the needles in their most pure and aromatic form.

Cedar needles have long been used by Native Americans because of the therapeutic and healing properties. Also a natural insect repellent and coupled with its distinct fragrance, cedar has become widely used in homes across the American Southwest and beyond.

Clear Light’s flagship products:
Cedar Mountain Moisture Lotion – Aromatic, soothing hand and body lotion with other varieties like cedar/lavender and cedar/vanilla.
Cedar Incense – Formed out of a daylong cooked cedar tea and then mixed with cedar oil and a proprietary gum. The clay-like substance is then run through a mold, and dried for four days before it’s packaged for the customers.
Green Cedar Needle Sachets – High-altitude Green Cedar Needles wild harvested from the mountain forests of New Mexico; a natural product, lovingly packed in untreated muslin sacks. Store with woolens and othertreasures to absorb odors and dampness, repel insects, and scent closets and drawers.

The story of Clear Light’s long-term success is truly the story of Josh Peine’s legacy, journey, and the land that surrounded him. Peine began packaging cedar needles from the nearby trees in sachets, as gifts for close friends and family. In 1971 the demand for his small gifts grew into a business which he began calling Clear Light, an homage to his love for religious readings, and specifically, a state of being outlined in ancient Tibetan texts.

Peine, who passed away in 2006, will still be the primary influence on operations at Clear Light New Mexico. Peine’s sister Penny took over ownership and operations following his death. She is the one that decided to ensure the legacy of his company instead of just closing it.

Details of the transfer will not be disclosed, but the continuation of Clear Light was extremely important to West and Ciepiela.

For more information please contact Keith West at 505-514-1800 or

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About Clear Light New Mexico
We create products that treat your mind and body to the natural pleasures and benefits of fragrance—Green Cedar Needle Sachets, Cedar Needle Essence, Cedar Mountain Moisture Lotion, Cedar Mountain Mist, Cedar Blend Potpourri, and handmade Cedar Incense. We also produce soothing and aromatic soaps, bath & shower gel, shampoo, hair conditioner, a variety of special lotions, and unique aromatherapy candles.

The History
After building a successful acting career in Hollywood throughout the 1960’s and armed with a handful of film and television credits, Peine grew tired of auditions, rejections and head shots. So, he did what thousands of actors did before and after him, and in1970 he left it all behind. Peine, an avid biker, climbed on his Harley Davidson and headed north, looking for opportunity or chance, not sure which would show its face first. He rode through California and into southern Canada, before looping around and making his way south to New Mexico and the small community of Placitas.

A dynamic people person with a knack for making friends, Peine forged a relationship with members of the Navajo and Hopi tribes nearby and by chance, it provided the opportunity he was looking for when he left Hollywood. He learned from the Native Americans the properties and uses of cedar, something that piqued his interest from the very start. Peine had found exactly the place that he didn’t know he was looking for. An adventurer with a love for all things outdoors, Peine soon felt at home.

“When he got on that motorcycle, I don’t think he had any idea. He wanted to take a break, and see where it took him,” his sister says. “It was by chance he wound up with the lore, and a fluke that he wound up with the information. It captured his interest, and that’s how it started.”

“He was a very rare person, you could love him and hate him within the space of five minutes,” Penny says. “But at the heart of it, was that sweet nature that came through. He believed in it, he really believed in its positive properties."