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STORIES

COMMON PEOPLE #5

Kristen Pumphrey, Los Angeles

From humble beginnings to global success, PF Candle Co founder Kristen Pumphrey brings a whole lot of love to her unique candle and fragrance line with thoughtful consideration; gathering inspiration from places and experiences rather than things. With her partner in life and business, Tom, by her side and their daughter Poppy, they continue to collectively conjure up a range of depth with candles that represent those sweet Californian vibes from the heart of it all in Los Angeles.

STORIES

COMMON PEOPLE #5

Kristen Pumphrey, Los Angeles

From humble beginnings to global success, PF Candle Co founder Kristen Pumphrey brings a whole lot of love to her unique candle and fragrance line with thoughtful consideration; gathering inspiration from places and experiences rather than things. With her partner in life and business, Tom, by her side and their daughter Poppy, they continue to collectively conjure up a range of depth with candles that represent those sweet Californian vibes from the heart of it all in Los Angeles.

Hi Kristen! So nice to meet you. Here in Australia, particularly at Noel & Gladys we have so many PF Candle Co. fans! We’d love to know more about the people behind the brand.

Thank you! Well, I’m Kristen, and I own P.F. Candle Co. with my partner in life and business (and parenthood) Thomas – aka Tom. We live in Los Angeles with our daughter, Poppy, Max the shop dog, and Seymour the cat.

Can you tell us more about the background of PF Candle Co. and how it all came about?

After graduating from college, I got a job at a magazine in New York. It was 2008, right when the recession hit here in the US, and the magazine ended up folding and I lost my job. This was right when Etsy was starting to take off, and there was a huge handmade resurgence. I said, I want to own an Etsy shop and work for myself! So I left New York and moved to Austin, where cost of living was cheaper. It took about 4 years of making different items (like hollow book safe and magnets) but I finally settled on the amber jar candle line. It really took off in 2013, which is when Tom – my husband and now business partner – came on board.

Do you have any particular process for developing new scents in the range?

Our scents are inspired by memories and feelings – so a lot of time, experience is what inspires them! We will come up with a concept – say, our desire to create a unisex rose scent – and build from there, going through dozens of revisions on the fragrance oil before it’s “done”. I work with our Development Lead, Jade, to make all the new scents and products. It’s my favourite part of my job!

 I got a job at a magazine in New York. It was 2008, right when the recession hit here in the US, and the magazine ended up folding and I lost my job. This was right when Etsy was starting to take off, and there was a huge handmade resurgence. I said, I want to own an Etsy shop and work for myself!”

 I got a job at a magazine in New York. It was 2008, right when the recession hit here in the US, and the magazine ended up folding and I lost my job. This was right when Etsy was starting to take off, and there was a huge handmade resurgence. I said, I want to own an Etsy shop and work for myself!”
We love the uniqueness of the scents in your range, where do you draw your inspiration?

Hiking trails, visiting new cities, botanical gardens, memories, boutiques, and our own backyard!

More on you Kristen, what do you love about California and living where you do?

Ask anyone – I’m obsessed with California! I’ve wanted to live here since I was young. I was obsessed with California culture of the 90s, like Vans, No Doubt, and that whole surf/skate vibe. Being a kid from Virginia, it seemed like the height of cool. Los Angeles is 20 cities in one – it’s so big, you don’t have to leave the city to experience something new – you just change neighbourhoods. Just an hour away you have access to the beach, the mountains, and the desert, and some of the best hiking in the world. I love our National Parks, like Sequoia and Channel Islands. I also love the sunshine – good for the winter blues! I love the diversity of Los Angeles – in scenery, industries, and people.

 “Ask anyone – I’m obsessed with California! I’ve wanted to live here since I was young. I was obsessed with Californian culture of the 90s, like Vans, No Doubt, and that whole surf/skate vibe. Being a kid from Virginia, it seemed like the height of cool.”

 “Ask anyone – I’m obsessed with California! I’ve wanted to live here since I was young. I was obsessed with Californian culture of the 90s, like Vans, No Doubt, and that whole surf/skate vibe. Being a kid from Virginia, it seemed like the height of cool.”
Do you have any weekend rituals?

I try not to work on the weekends, since that’s the time Tom and I get with Poppy. We always go grocery shopping together, which has become more and more of an adventure as Poppy gets older. We like to garden in the backyard, clean the house, burn incense, and one thing I love to do is stay in my sweatpants for as long as possible. I usually make it until 8:30, haha! Poppy hasn’t discovered that weekends are for sleeping in yet, so we’re all up by 6:30.

What’s on the horizon for you and PF Candle Co.?

We’re really excited to be opening our first retail shop in Echo Park, Los Angeles, this fall! It’s always been a dream of mine to open a store, and we’re learning so much as we go.

Learn more about Kristen here.


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COMMON PEOPLE #4
Alex & Xanthe, Port Kembla NSW

A creative power-couple redefining the industrial stereotypes of Port Kembla. They recently opened Bike Park Gallery, which has become a supportive space for sharing stories and ideas.