P.F. Candle Co. Founders: Fragrance Is The Final Layer in Home Design

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Image Credit: Thomas Neuberger and Kristen Pumphrey
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Being Home With Hunker is a podcast where each week we chat with designers, artists, and creatives in the spaces that express and shape their identities: their homes.

"Using fragrance and being thoughtful about it, it's a form of taking care of your space and taking care of yourself and being thoughtful and intentional," says Kristen Pumphrey. "It's a form of self-expression, and you can weave in your personal stories. And it can make you feel better, without even getting into the benefits of aromatherapy, that's a whole 'nother topic. Really just using fragrance as that final layer expression in home design — it can be really powerful."


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On the Being Home With Hunker podcast, we feature the co-founders of P.F. Candle Co., Kristen Pumphrey and Thomas Neuberger. If you're a candle or incense lover, chances are you have one of their products in your home right now. Kristen started the company from their second bedroom, with Tom joining when they got their first 4,000 purchase order from West Elm — and the rest, as they say, is history.


They are DIY to the core: if they don't know something, they figure it out. They talk about how they choose scents and tell stories through their candles; they share learnings on how to start your own business; and finally, they share their top candle care tips — ​and​ rescue care tips — so you can have healthy, long-lasting candles. These are expert candle ideas, folks!

Kristen and Tom's P.F. Candle Co. Picks

In this episode, we also talk about:


  • How Kristen was obsessed with California while growing up in Virginia. (And this obsession is now reflected in their company's design.)
  • Their DIY sensibilities: Kristen has been making candles since she was 12; Tom's DIY background comes from the DIY punk scene.
  • How every scent they release has a point of view that they can relate to. (The Golden Coast candle was the beginning of this story after a trip to Big Sur, California.)
  • How they are getting to live the lives they've dreamed of as they grow their business.
  • How more people are burning more and more candles during and since the shutdown/pandemic.
  • How scents help control the feeling in our homes – and how certain scents have benefits such as rosemary (for cognition) or jasmine (anti-anxiety benefits). They trigger different responses in your brain. Kristen also suggests how you can use fragrance for different on/off switches for your daily routines.
  • How they balance life and work – especially as married co-founders.


To learn more about Kristen, Tom and P.F. Candle Co.:

Being Home With Hunkeris a new podcast where we explore the idea of "home" – not just as a place where you live, but as an expression of your identity. Each week we talk with designers, creatives, and artists about who they are, how they create meaningful spaces, and what "being home" means to them.


If you like what you hear, please rate and review the podcast, hit subscribe/follow, and share with a friend. When it comes to podcasts word of mouth is how most people will find the show. It really does help. VisitHunker.com/podcastwhere you can find, follow, and listen to our show.


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