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Meet the Makers: P.F. Candle Co.

Posted on May 08 2018

Meet the Makers: P.F. Candle Co.

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Meet Kristen Pumphrey and Thomas Neuberger, the hard-working off-the-beaten-path creative hands and minds behind P.F. Candle Co. Originally founded by Kristen, who picked up and moved from NY to Austin when the 2008 recession hit, P.F. Candle Co. began with her dream of launching a small business. A few years later, after many hours and traveling for brand exposure, large orders started rolling in and Thomas joined her in this dream. Their company has since moved to Los Angeles and expanded to a innovative bunch of 25 employees. Known for their inventive scents, with names such as "laundry day", "teakwood & tobacco", and the new "cannabis", P.F. Candle Co. features soy candles, incense, reed diffusers and more, each combining a range of fragrances that subtly and blissfully fill the room (with great price points). Their products make the perfect gift for both men and women and all occasions from house-warming parties to "just because".

When Kristen and Thomas were asked to answer Maker's Story questions, they sat down and recorder one another (and had fun with it)! See their answers and get to know them more personally below...

Maker's Story: Kristen Pumphrey & Thomas Neuberger

M&G: Describe yourself with three adjectives… 
Tom: I think it's gonna make myself seem conceited, but smart, tall and funny.
Kristen: Those are actually the 3 adjectives I was gonna use to describe you as well! I'm gonna say mine are creative, determined, and also tall. It's really important that people know we are tall, hahaha. 

M&G: How do you start your day?
Tom: Generally it's started for me by our daughter, Poppy. The alarm will go off and I'll wait for Poppy to wake up before I actually get up, unless she decides to sleep in, which is never. I get her ready, and play with her in the morning, and try to get myself ready in the same time. If I'm lucky and have extra time, I'll ride my bike to work, which is nice to get some exercise.
Kristen: I wait until the last possible moment to get up, which is basically when Poppy comes in yelling that she wants breakfast. At which point I get up, make coffee, and my job is to basically prepare our lunches and bags and what not. I'll make myself a cup of coffee first thing I can, otherwise I can really drag, which Tom knows all too well.

M&G: What is you biggest entrepreneurial challenge?
Tom: Right now my challenge with the business is to continue the growth we've had, to figure out how to scale without people overworking themselves.
Kristen: The second is not having a path charted out for me by someone else - the entire reason I'm an entrepreneur, it also really scary, because it feels like you're navigating without a road map.

M&G: When and where are you the happiest?
Tom: I like to garden a lot, I could spend all day doing that even though it doesn't need it.
Kristen: I'd say, since the weather's been so nice lately and Poppy's getting to an age where she can play independently but still wants me around, sitting on the back deck, reading a book or blowing bubbles while Poppy plays, and Tom gardens in the backyard.
Tom: One thing I'd add that doesn't really fit my street cred is Disneyland.
Kristen: well it is the happiest place on earth, so that works.

M&G: What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?
Tom: Leaving California and moving to Texas without ever being there at the age of eighteen. I left my family in California and had no path for me in Texas, but it eventually led me to Kristen, which had a lot of upside. 
KP: Objectively on paper starting a business at the age of 22 and putting all my eggs in that basket is the biggest risk I took, not knowing if it was going to pan out or not - and it did!

M&G: Do you have any fears? If so, how do you conquer them?
Tom: I'm afraid of heights. I keep trying to do a ropes course thinking it'll be fine up there and it's not.
KP: I'm afraid of failing, and I really just try to push it out of my head as much as possible, because fear of failure is a huge obstacle that's gonna stand in the way of your success.

M&G: How do you decompress?
Tom: Probably reading my phone, even though I feel guilty over too much tech. Reading news on my phone allows me to decompress. Watching TV, riding my bike, and I like to play music. Poppy is very demanding of what I do when I take my guitar out, so it limits what I can play.
KP: I will go to a dance class, drink mint tea, and watch a lot of really terrible reality TV.

M&G: What inspires you?
Tom: I think Kristen inspires me because she takes a lot of chances. Besides the cheesy answer, there's a couple people within the music scene I'm into that inspired me. People like Henry Rollins and Ian MacKaye are people who did a lot when they were young and tried to make a difference in the world. It always inspired me not to just have a business to make money, but to try and make a difference while I'm doing it, even if it's just giving people a job that they like.
KP: I would say that what I need to be inspired for always is product develop and what inspires me for that is experiences. So, going to a museum, for a hike, to a different country, shopping in boutiques, smelling things in a garden - those are all experiences that have inspired me.

M&G: Do you have a quote that you live by?
tom: I don't know if i have a quote. I love fake meme quotes.
KP: Mine is "shoot for the moon, land among the stars". It's very cheesy, but it's really the "if you don't try, you will definitely fail." Wait, I think that's a Wayne Gretzky quote - "you miss every shot you don't take". 

M&G: What is your favorite book?
Tom: Ugh, I don't read enough. Maybe Mash or Slaughterhouse Five
KP: Any Raymond Carver short stories book - I think "What we talk about when we talk about when we talk about love". I love Raymond Carver and he's very influential to me in my writing, even if it's just a product description. "After the Denim" is my favorite story in that book.

M&G: What is your favorite restaurant/meal?
Tom: Zinc Cafe - it's a vegetarian restaurant, and I love their potato enchiladas.
KP: I could eat hummus for every meal of the day.
M&G: Of all of the people in the world who would you most like to have a drink with?
KP: I would get a coffee with Martha Stewart. She's probably a tea drinker though.
Tom: Maybe someone cool like Aristotle or Plato, who made an outstanding difference in the world and we still reference 3,000 years later. If it's an alive person - Britney Spears.

M&G: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Tom: I wish I was better at holding people accountable.
KP: I wish I didn't dwell on things, I'm trying not to let things bother me.

M&G: If you could make sure one thing did not change about yourself, what would it be?
Tom: My sense of humor
KP: Dude, I was gonna say my sense of humor, haha! Both of us, sense of humor.

M&G: If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
Tom: I want to go to Mexico City
KP: I really want to go to japan, I think their design aesthetic is really interesting and I'd love to experience a place I've never been before.

M&G: What quality do you find most attractive in others? The least attractive?
Tom: Most attractive: Sense of humor. Least attractive: lack of sense of humor
KP: My most attractive is the same, the person has to be fun. Least attractive, I would say, someone who just likes to brag. Humility is important.
M&G: In what ways do you and your brand like to give back?
KP: We donate 1% of profits to charities we care about, like the Downtown Women's Center - it helps women transitioning out of homelessness in DTLA; the LA Food Bank; and the National Resources Defense Council.
Tom: We're always looking to do more than that. Right now, we have a scent, Los Angeles, that has a direct give back competent. That gives back 20% of all revenue generated to the Downtown Women's Center, in cooperation with the LA Mayor's Fund.
 

Shop P.F. Candle products & Gift Boxes on Makers & Goods

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 Terra Collection Say Candle | lavender or olive $42

housewarming-gift-makers-and-goods

pf-candle-golden-coast-reed-diffuser-makers-and-goods

Golden Coast Reed Diffuser $22

copal-incense-by-pf-candle-co-makers-and-goods

No. 26 Copal Incense $8

To learn more about P.F. Candle Co, take a virtual factory tour, dive into their unique scents, and meet the whole team, visit their website.

 

 

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