Hi! I’m Amanda: bookworm, mom, and candlemaker.
What started as a fun way to give handmade holiday gifts to my friends and family turned into a business after the birth of my daughter Amelia – as a brand new mom, I decided to quit bartending and nursing school to stay home with my new baby.
Shortly thereafter, I learned about a local Pittsburgh farmers’ market looking for vendors.
It seemed the perfect way to fulfill my creative drive with the flexibility of working from home.
We were on a shoestring budget but in order to participate in the next market, I needed $400 worth of supplies to make enough candles for the season.
Those supplies sat in my shopping cart for weeks while I agonized over the decision. I was a new mom and money was tight. It felt like a huge risk.
I called my mom to get her opinion. She told me that I would always wonder “what if?” and to take a chance. She told me to bet on myself.
So I took my mom’s advice, bought the supplies, and North Ave Candles was born. We have never looked back!
Over the last several years, my mission has been to grow North Ave Candles into a business that reflects our values:
- I’m committed to keeping the candle-making process at North Ave handmade and artisanal. Every step -- hand blending fragrances, pouring, labeling, boxing, packing -- is done with passion and commitment to quality.
- I want our candle jars to be statement pieces for your bookshelf. With book nerds in mind I designed our vintage library card candle labels. History buffs, I created the apothecary candle line for you!
- I love handmade crafts that reflect my personal story. That’s what I want to create for my customers.
While I never imagined myself as someone interested in running a business, creating and growing North Ave Candles has been rewarding and fun. I’m proud of what the company has become, and that I’ve been able to create jobs in the Pittsburgh maker community that welcomed me so warmly many years ago.
A few years after that farmer’s market purchase, I took this photo - on a Disney trip with my mom and Amelia that I paid for with money from my candle business.
That is the impact you have when you support small businesses.
You can literally change people’s lives with your purchase.