SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: HERBIVORE BOTANICALS

For our first small business spotlight, we reached out to Seattle's Herbivore Botanicals and found out how owners Julia & Alex created their spot in the skincare and beauty world. What we learned from them: a good product made by even better people is the perfect formula for a great business.



Tell us a little about yourself!

J: We are a married couple who started Herbivore from our kitchen 5 years ago. At the time we started we had just moved in together. Neither of us had the intention of starting a business. We just realized that we had a lot of fun making things together and Herbivore was born. We are both really interested in design and have always had just as much fun designing packaging and styling photographs as formulating products so I think that gave us a strong brand identity from the start. 

Before starting Herbivore Botanicals, what did you do? Did you have any experience or education in running a business? 

J: Before starting Alex was a videographer and always had a strong interest in art and creating. I was a counselor and was very un-tapped into my own creativity. Alex helped me to tap in - it was actually a really magical time for me. Neither of us had any experience in running a business. 

Your packaging is so iconic and high end – what was the inspiriation behind that? Do you have any “first draft” packaging lurking behind the scenes? (I know we do!) 

J: Our inspiration was definitely minimalism, we wanted to keep the packaging and labels as basic as possible so that the products could really shine through. We noticed right away with natural ingredients that the colors and textures were really naturally beautiful and we wanted to make that the focus. So, we kept everything else as minimal as possible. It sounds a little cheesy but our motto when designing a label has always been “when in doubt cut it out”. 

What would you say is your market differentiator? 

J: I think our biggest differentiator is authenticity - not that we invented minimalism by any means but we have always stayed very true to our vision, we try not to mimic other brands and to really do our own thing. Its hard with so many images flooding Instagram and so much competition in the beauty industry, but our most successful products are always the ones that come from a very personal place. We consider our products to be our little works of art, so they are very personal to us and come from our hearts. 

What’s your best selling item? Do you find that item cannibalizes other products, and if so, does it affect the way you introduce other items so that they compete? 

A: Our best selling item is still our charcoal soap. It was one of our first products and I can’t imagine the line without it. We totally freaked out our friends and family at first with our “black soap” but they also seemed intrigued. It’s such a simple effective product and I think people find it interesting. It really sets the tone for our entire line. We try our best to keep our line diverse so cannibalism is at a minimum. 


What systems or software could your business not survive without? 

A: Julia and I have stepped away from the systems side of our business and left in the hands of people far better at it than we are but I will give a piece of advice that I wish didn’t take me two years to learn from the early days of Herbivore. If you are shipping merchandise, get a scale and a shipping label printer (DYMO) and print your labels at home. You can schedule pickups with USPS and they will just come to your door and pick up your shipment. I used to spend so much time loading our van with packages and driving them to the post office and unloading them. 

When it comes to creating body care items, my biggest fear would be skin sensitivities. How do you account or test for that when you’re developing a product? 

A: I have super sensitive skin so I test everything on myself, each and every ingredient we use. I will rub it in my eyes, taste it, you name it! Yes, my face has turned red before and no we did not release that product. We really have not had any major issues with the products irritating people’s skin. We formulate with super gentle natural ingredients so it should never be a problem. 

What’s the most difficult part about running your business? 

A: When you start a business you are everything. You are production, shipping, R&D, IT, accounting, customer service, art director, photographer, designer, web developer, you get where I am going. The most difficult part is to know when to delegate each one of those rolls to somebody else. You will burn yourself out if you try to do everything. Finding the right person is important and training your new department leads to be self sufficient and self managed is also important. Julia and I are now the creative directors / formulators because that is where our hearts are

What’s it like working with your significant other? What advice do you have for others who are in the same position? Do you each have your own specialty? 

A: I love working with Julia. There is definitely a learning curve to working together in bliss and harmony but it can be done. We definitely each have our strong points and those were especially important to keep the business running in the early days of Herbivore. We are both passionate about the brand and naturally talk about it all the time. It’s great. There is no business formality that needs to exist between us and no judgement with even the craziest ideas. We can just be hanging out in a park chatting and we may come up with our next big idea. That to us is a successful day at work.

How many people currently work at Herbivore? What’s your tip for hiring key staff? 

A/J: We have around 50 wonderful employees. I am so thankful for every one of them - we work as a strong collective. Most people are promoted internally. Many people have created the job or department they run on their own. We try to give everybody the freedom to make Herbivore a better place to work. Our tip for hiring key staff is to pay attention to them, take notice of their strengths and interests and put them where they excel and are happiest. Happy people make the best employees. 

How do you deal with competition in an increasingly saturated marketplace? 

J: Again, I think just staying true to yourself and your vision is important. As far as competition goes we really try to look at other natural skin care companies as our allies - we all have the same goal of spreading natural skin care into the mainstream so it helps to look at ourselves as part of the collective rather than competition.

Lastly, if someone was starting a business, what advice would you have for them?

J: Do something you love, don’t just do it for the money.

A: Aim for the stars but set realistic goals to get yourself there. Write down your first goal and then write down every step you need to take to achieve your goal. There is your first checklist. Get used to them haha. But seriously though, make lots of checklists. Oh and plan your day. With checklists and plans you get the organization you need to keep your brain open to creative ideas instead of it stressing out trying to remember everything you need to do. 


Check out the full Herbivore Botanicals line and follow them on Instagram to keep up with what's new!

DATE
Care / Shipping




SHIPPING
Please allow 1-3 business days for your order to be processed and shipped.

Once a package is picked up and scanned in by our carrier, the delivery status is no longer within our control; we are unable to replace missing or stolen packages at this time.

DOMESTIC CUSTOMERS
Orders shipped within the contiguous U.S. may take 2-5 business days to arrive, dependent on location. AK, HI, and outlying territories may take longer. Ship time does not include in-studio processing.

INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMERS
International orders are shipped via USPS First Class International or USPS Priority Mail International, and typically take 1-3 weeks to arrive. For rush shipments, please email our Customer Care team at hello@pfcandleco.com.

Please note that shipping fees do not include any additional import fees to which international shipments may be subject, including customs, duties, or fees calculated by country. Unfortunately, P.F. has no control over this, and the customer is responsible for paying any and all additional fees. We are not able to mark any international packages as zero value or as gifts to avoid customs duties or fees.

RESTRICTED PRODUCTS
Due to DOT restrictions beyond our control, we are unable to ship products from our unisex perfume collection outside the contiguous U.S., including to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, outlying territories, Canada, Mexico, or other international addresses.

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P.F. Candle Co.

OUR COMPANY

ABOUT P.F.

P.F. Candle Co. is a Los Angeles-based fragrance company owned and operated by wife-and-husband team Kristen Pumphrey and Thomas Neuberger. Our line is meant to make life smell better through candles, reed diffusers, room sprays, incense, and unisex perfume.
P.F. Candle Co.

OUR STUDIO

MADE IN CA

All of P.F. Candle Co. products are designed, produced and shipped out of Southern California. Our mission is to create high quality fragrance for both the home and body at accessible price points, while supporting the lives of our staff of 50.
P.F. Candle Co.
P.F. Candle Co.

Our History

DIY GROWTH

P.F. Candle Co., born Pommes Frites, was founded by Kristen in 2008. She lost her job when the recession hit, and relocated to Austin with the dream of making things by hand to pay the bills. The P.F. Candle Co. signature amber jar line was launched in 2012 after hours spent on the craft fair circuit and another cross-country move. P.F. got its big break in 2013, when the line was picked up by West Elm following an Etsy pop-up. The demand from this big break inspired Tom to join the business full time, after years of behind-the-scenes help. Since 2013, P.F. has expanded from two people to a team of 43. From a studio apartment operation to globally recognized brand, P.F. is a completely bootstrapped enterprise. With no formal business degrees or experience, this company has been built by the spirit of grit, passion, DIY, with a huge help from our independent boutique partners and customers that have continued to support us along the way.
P.F. Candle Co.

The Founders

About Kristen

Kristen’s been creating things, even candles, since a young age. She poured her first candle at the age of 12. After graduating from college, Kristen found herself at a publishing company, writing about the burgeoning maker movement. An early byproduct of the recession, Kristen lost her job in 2008 when the magazine folded. So, she did what any normal person would do: she uprooted to Austin (from New York) to start a small business. After several years scrapping together a living, the opportunity came up to relocate to California.



About Tom

Tom’s background in hardcore and punk bands isn’t the normal path to running a candle company, but that background helped shape the DIY and inclusive ethos of P.F. Tom took a circuitous route to business owner: high school dropout, reluctant college grad, and eventually, Operations Director. Tom always helped behind the scenes, but when Kristen had a large PO looming on the horizon, and job opportunities were limited, Tom made a promise: if Kristen landed that PO, he’d help make all the candles. The rest is history!
P.F. Candle Co.
P.F. Candle Co.

welcome

a tour inside p.f. candle co. HQ

Step into our warehouse in Los Angeles. Special thanks to Jared Bedrejo and Grant Puckett for the video. Images by Grant Puckett.
P.F. Candle Co.
P.F. Candle Co. P.F. Candle Co. P.F. Candle Co. P.F. Candle Co.
P.F. Candle Co. P.F. Candle Co. P.F. Candle Co. P.F. Candle Co.

Customer satisfaction is our number one goal. If you're experiencing any issues at all, we want to hear about it, and most importantly, we want to make it right!

Check out our FAQ below for answers to common questions or if you’d like to chat with us directly, feel free to reach out by filling out the form below or sending an email to hello@pfcandleco.com.

We’ll respond with a personal email from our Customer Care team in 24-48 business hours (we’re really nice, we swear).


Contact Us



Bulk Order Inquiries

For one-time bulk discounts (corporate gifts, weddings, etc.) please see our bulk discounts page.


Wholesale Inquiries

For wholesale opportunities please see our wholesale page.

Already a stockist? Wholesale inquiries can be sent to wholesale@pfcandleco.com


About P.F. Products

What makes P.F. products different?

Since our 2008 Etsy shop days, we've prided ourselves on making high-quality products that are easy on the environment and your wallet. Taking scents inspired by personal memories, our team of 50+ develops these into home goods that elevate your everyday. The result is luxury fragrance you can feel good about.

What ingredients do you use?

All of our ingredients are thoughtfully sourced to create safe, sustainable products that are vegan, cruelty-free, and phthalate-free. Our Classic line products are made using a fine fragrance oil blend that consists of natural and man-made materials. Terra is made using all-natural fragrance oils. Each product page has a complete list of ingredients.

Why do you use synthetic fragrances?

Great question! We use a premium blend of man-made and natural fragrances in our Classic line, as they 1) allow us to create more complex scent profiles; 2) are oftentimes, more sustainable to produce; and, 3) allow us to offer our products at accessible price points.

If you’d prefer an all-natural product, Terra is the perfect line for you.

How fragrant are your products?

Our products were designed to elevate - not overpower - your everyday. Because of this, their scent throw will be more intimate than other products on the market.

To ensure your space is well-scented, we suggest using each product in the appropriately-sized space. For Fine Fragrance, start with 1-2 spritzes, then layer as you see fit. For the rest of our products, please refer to the guide below.

Small Spaces: mini candles, room sprays (best used on linens!)

Medium Spaces: standard candles, 8 oz Terra, reed diffusers

Large Spaces: large candles, 17.5 oz Terra, incense

What's the best way to care for your products?

Products need love too! To care for our candles, trim the candle’s wick to 1/4” before or after every burn session and allow the candle to burn for 3-4 hour intervals, or until a full melt pool has formed. To prolong the lifespan of our reed diffusers, keep them out of direct contact with sunlight, heat and humidity, and flip the reeds weekly, or when the fragrance becomes faint. Our other products care for themselves, but that doesn’t mean you can’t say “I love you” every once in a while.

Can your jars be recycled?

Yes! They can also be repurposed into vases, storage containers, and more. To recycle or repurpose your jar, we recommend thoroughly cleansing it with your favorite dish soap or a 1:1 solution of water to vinegar. As of now, we do not have a recycling program, but all Los Angeles residents are welcome to drop off their used, clean jars at our warehouse in Commerce or flagship in Echo Park.

Orders & Shipping

Can I change/cancel my order?

Any order can be changed or canceled, so long as it hasn’t left our warehouse. If you haven’t received your shipment confirmation email and would like to change or cancel your order, please reach out to our team at hello@pfcandleco.com.

Can I send my order as a gift?

Heck yeah! P.F. Candle Co. products make the best gifts, but that’s our unbiased opinion. Orders sent as gifts do not come with an invoice and can include a gift note - just leave one during checkout. Please note all shipments include P.F.’s return address and branding on the exterior carton.

Do you offer gift cards?

P.F. gift cards are available in $25, $50, $75, and $100 increments only, with no additional processing fees. Gift cards are delivered by email and contain redemption instructions. If you’d like the gift card sent directly to the giftee, please include their email during checkout. Personalized gift notes are also available at checkout.

Do you offer wholesale opportunities or reduced pricing for bulk orders?

We sure do. Please visit our Wholesale page to apply for an account with us or our Bulk For Events page for more information on bulk orders. Please note bulk discounts begin with quantities of 24+.

Where can I buy P.F. products in my area?

To find your new favorite scent(s), please visit our Stockist Map for a list of P.F. stockists in your area. If there’s a local shop you’d love to see us in, let us know by emailing hello@pfcandleco.com.

Where do you ship?

Worldwide! Seriously. Just add products to your cart and proceed to checkout for a selection of shipping rates. To receive a rate quote directly from us, please email our team at hello@pfcandleco.com with the products you wish to order and your postal code. To shop our scents in person, please visit our Stockist Map for a list of P.F. stockists in your area.

How long does it take for my order to ship?

Please allow 1-3 business days for your order to be processed and shipped. For rush shipments, please email hello@pfcandleco.com.

Do you offer rush shipping options?

Want it fast? We don’t blame you. That’s why we offer Fedex 2-Day and FedEx Priority Overnight for domestic orders and DHL for international orders. Pricing is dependent upon destination/weight of package. For more information + rate quotes, please email our team at hello@pfcandleco.com.

Can I use a parcel forwarding service to ship my order internationally?

International customers are welcome to use the parcel forwarding service of their choice, so long as the order is shipped to the forwarding service’s domestic address - we are not able to coordinate pick-ups from our warehouse. Due to strict shipping restrictions, certain products are unable to be shipped via air transport. Before placing your order, we suggest verifying your forwarding service’s shipping restrictions.

Returns & Exchanges

U.S. Customers

If you aren’t happy with your purchase, please reach out to our Customer Care team at hello@pfcandleco.com and we’ll help get the process started. As a growing small business, we aren’t currently able to cover shipping costs, but are always happy to ship exchanges at no extra charge. Exchanges or returns must be made within 30 days of delivery and require proof of purchase (e.g. your P.F. order number, order confirmation email, store receipt). Refunds cover the cost of the item returned and do not include shipping fees. Unfortunately, we cannot accept returns on gift cards and third party products.

International Customers

We apologize for the inconvenience, but are currently unable to offer exchanges on international orders. If you’d like to return your order for a refund, please note shipping costs for international returns are the customer’s responsibility. To process a return, please email hello@pfcandleco.com. Returns must be made within 30 days of delivery and require proof of purchase (e.g. your P.F. order number, order confirmation email, store receipt). Refunds cover the cost of the item returned and do not include shipping fees. Unfortunately, we cannot accept returns on gift cards and third party products.

Do you offer store credit?

If there’s one thing we know, it’s that there is no such thing as too much P.F. If you’d prefer store credit instead of a refund, let us know and we’d be happy to help. Store credit is issued as a gift card in the amount of the product and does not include shipping fees.

P.F. Subscription Orders

How do I start a subscription?

You know your signature scent and never want to run out - we support that. To start your subscription, search the P.F. product you’d like to subscribe to, select “Subscribe”, choose how often you’d like to receive it, then checkout as usual. You will receive an email reminder 3 days before your next shipment and will also receive an order confirmation email once your order has been placed.

How do I manage my subscription?

Easy! Simply create and log into your P.F. customer account and select “Manage Subscription.” Here, you will be able to change your order frequency, product quantity, and billing and shipping information, swap scents, or cancel your subscription. Changes to orders must be made 24 hours before the next scheduled shipment date.


We are moved by the power of scent to shape and navigate the landscape of our memories. We love how a single fragrance or even the weaving of a few can change the atmosphere of an entire room. Our fragrance collections are each unique in their inspirations and creations, though we believe they all share something in common - the ability to enhance, improve, and shift our lives in the day-to-day.
+ Fragrance Menu
Our 3.5 oz mini soy candle is hand poured into apothecary inspired amber jars in our Los Angeles, CA studio. Los Angeles is as complex and rebellious as its hometown with a warm, woody base and notes of night blooming jasmine. Sea salt, coastal sage, and deeply herbaceous yarrow reveal a magnetic heart.
Los Angeles
Mini Soy Candle / Fresh
add to cart
$11
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 04: Teakwood & Tobacco
Mini Soy Candle / Woods
add to cart
$11
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 10: Sweet Grapefruit
Mini Soy Candle / Fresh
add to cart
$11
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 11: Amber & Moss
Mini Soy Candle / Fresh
add to cart
$11
No. 19: Patchouli Sweetgrass
No. 19: Patchouli Sweetgrass
Mini Soy Candle / Woods
add to cart
$11
Our 3.5 oz mini soy candle is hand poured into apothecary inspired amber jars in our Los Angeles, CA studio.
No. 21: Golden Coast
Mini Soy Candle / Fresh
add to cart
$11
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 28: Black Fig
Mini Soy Candle / Spice
add to cart
$11
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 29: Piñon
Mini Soy Candle / Woods
add to cart
$11
No. 31: Cannabis
No. 31: Cannabis
Mini Soy Candle / Botanical
add to cart
$11
Our 3.5 oz mini soy candle is hand poured into apothecary inspired amber jars in our Los Angeles, CA studio. Sandalwood Rose is our almost indescribable take on the sultry florals we love so much, with just enough edge to keep it unisex. Soft rose, earthy sandalwood, and mysterious oud make this scent a new favorite.
No. 32: Sandalwood Rose
Mini Soy Candle / Botanical
add to cart
$11
The P.F. Essentials Mini Candle Gift Set includes: Teakwood & Tobacco, Amber & Moss, and Golden Coast.
P. F. Essentials Mini Gift Set
Mini Soy Candle
add to cart
$33 $32
P.F. Candle Co.'s Host with the Most mini candle gift set makes any place feel more like home with a trio of scents carefully curated by P.F.'s owner Kristen - spicy Black Fig, inviting Piñon, and soft Sandalwood Rose.
Host With The Most Mini Gift Set
Mini Soy Candle
add to cart
$33 $32
Sunshine Pack Mini Gift Set
Sunshine Pack Mini Gift Set
Mini Soy Candle
add to cart
$33 $32
3 fl oz fine fragrance oil reed diffuser packaged in a simple apothecary inspired bottle. Low maintenance and long lasting home fragrance.
Los Angeles
Reed Diffuser / Fresh
add to cart
$22
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 04: Teakwood & Tobacco
Reed Diffuser / Woods
add to cart
$22
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 10: Sweet Grapefruit
Reed Diffuser / Fresh
add to cart
$22
No. 11: Amber & Moss
No. 11: Amber & Moss
Reed Diffuser / Fresh
add to cart
$22
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 19: Patchouli Sweetgrass
Reed Diffuser / Woods
add to cart
$22
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 21: Golden Coast
Reed Diffuser / Fresh
add to cart
$22
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 28: Black Fig
Reed Diffuser / Spice
add to cart
$22
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 29: Piñon
Reed Diffuser / Woods
add to cart
$22
No. 31: Cannabis
No. 31: Cannabis
Reed Diffuser / Botanical
add to cart
$22
3 fl oz fine fragrance oil reed diffuser packaged in a simple apothecary inspired bottle. Low maintenance and long lasting home fragrance. Sandalwood Rose is our almost indescribable take on the sultry florals we love so much, with just enough edge to keep it unisex. Soft rose, earthy sandalwood, and mysterious oud make this scent a new favorite.
No. 32: Sandalwood Rose
Reed Diffuser / Botanical
add to cart
$22
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 04: Teakwood & Tobacco
Room Spray / Woods
add to cart
$10
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 10: Sweet Grapefruit
Room Spray / Fresh
add to cart
$10
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 11: Amber & Moss
Room Spray / Fresh
add to cart
$10
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 19: Patchouli Sweetgrass
Room Spray / Woods
add to cart
$10
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 21: Golden Coast
Room Spray / Fresh
add to cart
$10
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 28: Black Fig
Room Spray / Spice
add to cart
$10
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 29: Piñon
Room Spray / Woods
add to cart
$10
No. 31: Cannabis
No. 31: Cannabis
Room Spray / Botanical
add to cart
$10
2 fl oz travel-friendly room spray, perfect for creating a relaxing environment at home or away. Spritz in the air or directly on to linens, apparel, and more. Sandalwood Rose is our almost indescribable take on the sultry florals we love so much, with just enough edge to keep it unisex. Soft rose, earthy sandalwood, and mysterious oud make this scent a new favorite.
No. 32: Sandalwood Rose
Room Spray / Botanical
add to cart
$10
P.F. Candle Co.Hand-dipped charcoal-based incense. Each kraft package includes 15 incense sticks, shipped with care from our Los Angeles, CA studio.
Los Angeles
Incense / Fresh
add to cart
$8
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 04: Teakwood & Tobacco
Incense / Woods
add to cart
$8
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 11: Amber & Moss
Incense / Fresh
add to cart
$8
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 19: Patchouli Sweetgrass
Incense / Woods
add to cart
$8
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 21: Golden Coast
Incense / Fresh
add to cart
$8
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 26: Copal
Incense / Spice
add to cart
$8 $6
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 28: Black Fig
Incense / Spice
add to cart
$8
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 29: Piñon
Incense / Woods
add to cart
$8
P.F. Candle Co.
No. 31: Cannabis
Incense / Botanical
add to cart
$8
Hand-dipped charcoal-based incense. Each kraft package includes 15 incense sticks, shipped with care from our Los Angeles, CA studio.
No. 32: Sandalwood Rose
Incense / Botanical
add to cart
$8
The P.F. Candle Co. home fragrances you know and love are now bottled into a unisex Eau de Parfum collection. We designed a line of subtle, intimate scents to accompany - rather than overpower - your everyday.
No. 04: Teakwood & Tobacco
Fine Fragrance / Woods
add to cart
$48
The P.F. Candle Co. home fragrances you know and love are now bottled into a unisex Eau de Parfum collection. We designed a line of subtle, intimate scents to accompany - rather than overpower - your everyday.
No. 11: Amber & Moss
Fine Fragrance / Fresh
add to cart
$48
The P.F. Candle Co. home fragrances you know and love are now bottled into a unisex Eau de Parfum collection. We designed a line of subtle, intimate scents to accompany - rather than overpower - your everyday.
No. 21: Golden Coast
Fine Fragrance / Fresh
add to cart
$48
The P.F. Candle Co. home fragrances you know and love are now bottled into a unisex Eau de Parfum collection. We designed a line of subtle, intimate scents to accompany - rather than overpower - your everyday.
No. 28: Black Fig
Fine Fragrance / Spice
add to cart
$48
The P.F. Candle Co. home fragrances you know and love are now bottled into a unisex eau de parfum collection. We’re tired of irritating fragrances that introduce themselves before you do, so we designed a line of subtle, intimate scents to accompany - rather than overpower - your everyday.
No. 29: Piñon
Fine Fragrance / Woods
add to cart
$48
The P.F. Candle Co. home fragrances you know and love are now bottled into a unisex Eau de Parfum collection. We designed a line of subtle, intimate scents to accompany - rather than overpower - your everyday.
No. 31: Cannabis
Fine Fragrance / Botanical
add to cart
$48
The P.F. Candle Co. home fragrances you know and love are now bottled into a unisex Eau de Parfum collection. We designed a line of subtle, intimate scents to accompany - rather than overpower - your everyday.
No. 32: Sandalwood Rose
Fine Fragrance / Botanical
add to cart
$48