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About Pittsburgh Candle Works

The Founder

In 2019 I created Pittsburgh Candle Works as a way to bring creativity and light into your home through candles that are healthy to burn, and smell amazing.  I create simple, artistic soy candles that add to the mood and decor of your home – making your home smell good.

I love Pittsburgh, it’s a place that truly feels like home to my family and I. In the summer of 2020 we had to relocate to the east coast for a job opportunity due to COVID.  We miss Pittsburgh, but know it will always hold a special place in our hearts (and we will do our best to visit often!).  Pittsburgh is a town with a big heart, and creative spirit my goal is to capture and celebrate it with these candles. 

The Company

You want to be comfortable with the products and decor you use in your home.   That’s why we use soy wax sourced from American grown soybeans; the highest quality fragrance oils – 100% phthalate-free, non-toxic, highly scented oils; cotton wicks and glass jars made right here in the USA.  The candles are hand poured in my basement candle studio – so they come right from my home to yours! 

The label creation has been a special process.  I knew the scent of candles in your home is just as important as the look of them.  That’s why I’ve teamed up with local artists to create small works of art on each and every label.

The Mission

Pittsburgh Candle Works is about more than just candles –  $1 from each candle sold goes to support a Pittsburgh organization that’s investing in the lives of the homeless and less fortunate in Pittsburgh.

Light of Life Rescue Mission: Established in 1952, Light of Life Rescue Mission is a Christian nonprofit organization providing life changing recovery programs and food and shelter for Pittsburgh’s poor and homeless.  Men, women and children are provided case management and programs designed to meet diverse needs, including recovery from substance addiction, help for mental health issues, and educational courses to prepare them for careers and independent living.  The Mission is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  No one is denied services based on race, creed, gender, religion, age or national origin.  Light of Life is supported largely by private donations.  To learn more visit

The Artists

Shelbey Tharpe is a fine artist and native of Pennsylvania living and working in Pittsburgh. She is a student a CCAC, a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and has recently received the Meshanko Memorial Art Scholarship. Her interest in art has been life long. Growing up among woods, creeks, and fields gave her space for exploration and imagination. An avid hiker, the natural world and trails have heavily influenced her work. “We can’t always see the beautiful things that lie ahead of us. We must keep moving, head up and eyes open, and find our own way.” Shelbey is currently exploring essence in her coursework en plein air and in her home art studio. Shelbey is the artist behind our Pittsburgh Collection & Seasonal Collections. See more of her work at

This is Luke and he likes warm hugs. He considers himself to be many things, but has obviously watched Frozen one too many times, which means he regards himself as foremost a father. Born, bred and buttered in Pittsburgh, PA – he lives in the South Hills with his growing family of humans and, of course, dogs. Luke has been working as a freelance graphic artist for 5 years under his business Rusty Dog Studio. He and his wife also own and operate Studio Make, a children’s creative center in Peters Township. When he’s not glued to the computer you’ll find Luke playing in his wood shop, playing guitar, playing dad or playing dead. Luke is the artist behind the Hockey Candle, and the Yinzer Collection.


Rachel works as a corporate event planner by day, but her fun job is running an Etsy shop featuring unique and whimsical greeting cards and prints! Rachel grew up spending hours in greeting card aisles, loving the funny sayings and cute illustrations, but it wasn’t until 2017 that some of her good friends convinced her to open her shop, Rachel Phillips Designs (RPhillipsDesigns). Rachel is originally from central Pennsylvania but lived in 3 different cities prior to coming to Pittsburgh – which she is now proud to call home. Rachel loves spending her free time spoiling her cat, Maisie (who can usually be found laying on her laptop) or trying to find the best cup of coffee in Pittsburgh.