Kristen Pumphrey is the Owner and Creative Director of P.F. Candle Co., a fragrance company from Los Angeles, CA. After losing her publishing job during the recession, Kristen turned her small DIY blog into an Etsy business. Over the course of 5 years, the business grew from a second bedroom operation to an internationally recognized home fragrance brand sold in thousands of stores worldwide, including Urban Outfitters, CB2, and Whole Foods. Kristen runs P.F. with her husband and business partner, Tom. Together, they manage a team of over 45 people that make, sell, and ship PF products from their Los Angeles warehouse. The pair is also raising a daughter, Poppy, in East Los Angeles. In her free time she shoots film photography, tends to her indoor garden, and travels.
I am so thrilled to feature Kristen and her company, PF Candle Co. Kristen and I go way back as internet friends from her blog days, so it's been so cool to see her company grow literally from the beginning. I've been lucky enough to visit her Los Angeles studio twice now, which is mind blowing!
What is your proudest moment as an entrepreneur?
Definitely seeing our products on store shelves - not only big ones with Urban Outfitters or Whole Foods, but when an incredible cool boutique carries us, or some random spot in Paris - that's the pinch me part!
What habits do you practice to keep yourself organized?
When I remember to do something, I make a note of it in my reminders app and set the time to remind me when I'm at my desk. I use the Gmail flagging/starring system to keep track of unanswered emails. And then I have a simple notepad that I write my daily to-dos on - hopefully I get them all crossed off, if not I'll move it to the next page!
How do you keep yourself motivated?
I just think about what I'm doing it for. Now, I'm doing it for my daughter, and I'm doing it for my staff. I have almost 50 people that depend on this company working to pay their bills. So, I can't mess it up! Sometimes I get a pep talk from my husband/business partner Tom, too. Say I'm discouraged about a product I'm trying to develop - if he says "you're almost there!" it's so motivating to me.
Are there any brands/people you look up to? If so who are they and what do you admire about them?
In terms of fragrance, D.S. & Durga is doing some really cool shit! They're so creative and I love how they use their fragrance medium to express themselves. I love classic California brands like Vans, Levis, and In n Out, as well - they stuck with their simple "thing" for a long time and really honed in on the California lifestyle.
What advice would you give to someone starting their own business?
You better love mountain climbing! But really, it doesn't really get easier. Maybe you start making money one day, but you find different problems. So motivation is key - remembering why you're doing it. The moment it clicked for me was when I had no other option but to make it work. Obviously my motivation then was PAYING MY RENT, hah!
You can check out Kristen's beautiful feed on instagram at @pfcandleco or visit their website at www.pfcandleco.com