FJORD AND FABLE is an LGBT-owned small business located in Pittsburgh’s western suburbs. Owned and operated by life partners, Allan Smith and Tyler Kowalski, Fjord and Fable crafts premium home fragrance products with simple, clean ingredients. A cornerstone value of our business is the safety and wellbeing of not only humans and animals alike, but also our planet. In fact, it’s in our name! FJORD – a Nordic term – is a glacial valley and considered our brand’s connection to the Earth – land, air, and sea. FABLE is representative of the inevitable stories and memories that are fostered through scent. Both together is a business that offers clean products with unique stories, while keeping in mind the safety and wellbeing of our only home, Earth, and all of its inhabitants.
We started FJORD AND FABLE to produce high-quality, affordable, and clean burning candles. Neither of us ever saw ourselves owning and operating our own business, much less a home fragrance company, but alas, here we are today, and honestly all the happier for it! We are both Pitt Alums – H2P!! – and by trade, Allan is a structural engineer, and Tyler does work in information systems and accounting. During the outbreak of the COVID pandemic in 2020, we were very fortunate to be offered the ability to work from home full time. During this time, we started to experiment with making our own candles as something to do, and to save money on our existing candle addiction. The more we researched candle making, the more we learned of the often-used harmful chemicals and alternative wax formulas used by leading candle manufacturers, and we were quite surprised and disappointed. When Allan was unfortunately laid off from his full-time job in November 2020, we saw this as the perfect opportunity to go all in on our business and see what happens!
At FJORD AND FABLE, we value quality and process. We know that when you burn a candle, you’re not just releasing the scent into your home, but also everything else that is in it. All our products are made with premium grade ingredients with no dyes, no prop 65 chemicals, no paraben, and no phthalates, which unfortunately are very commonly found in leading brand candle companies. Additionally, all our products are made in small batches to ensure consistent and reliable quality for our customers.
Lastly, humbly understanding that we are, at the end of the day, a consumer goods business, we purposefully try to reduce our footprint when and where we can. Our way of doing this is purposefully selecting vessels to hand-pour our candles into, that can realistically and practically be upcycled by our customers. For example, all our 8oz candles are poured into bar grade cocktail glasses. Therefore, instead of just tossing out the vessel when the candle has breathed its last flame, the customer can simply clean the vessel out with hot soapy water and pour themselves a refreshing beverage of their choice! (See our “About our Product” page at the bottom of our website for more in-depth information on how to do this!)