Non-Toxic Vegan Candles From P.F. Candle Co., an Artisanal Candle Company Based in LA

LA Startups - Non-Toxic Vegan Candles From P.F. Candle Co., an Artisanal Candle Company Based in LA

It was because of Etsy that PF Candle grew to become the company that it is today. For 5 years PF Candle was a small time operation making and selling high-quality candles run by 2 people from a second bedroom. Now it employs a team of 25 people, and they have an LA factory in which they design, produce, and ship all their items.

PF Candle makes candles out of 100% soy wax, and they don’t put in any sort of wax such as paraffin. Soy wax is carbon-neutral, and it’s a renewable resource. Compared to paraffin, it burns more cleanly and for a longer period of time. Soy is natural and also non-toxic.

These candles use all-natural fragrance oils in their makeup, and they’re derived from natural sources like plant materials. Because of the use of soy wax, the scents in these candles are mild and not overwhelming at all. You can use them every day. Their standard candles can be adequate for a mid-sized room. You can always use more or bigger candles if you want a stronger scent. These candles come in jars, and you can use the jars for other purposes once you’re done burning your candles.

Aside from candles, PF Candle offers reed diffusers that can last 2 to 3 months. You can also get their PF room sprays that you spray on the fabrics in the room, and that’s good for 2 to 8 hours of fragrance. They sell incense sticks too. They will burn for an hour and then the scent can last for about 2 to 4 hours.

Before leaving the factory, each item is inspected in detail by many well-trained experts. They still have that “small operation” mentality, so they take consumer feedback much more seriously. Every year they add about 2 to 3 new scents to their Classic line, while they also release 2 to 3 seasonal specials during the year.

Visit their shop here – 2939 E Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90023

Here’s another creative creator making artisan pastas in LA.

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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LA Startups Crew
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LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

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6 Simple Steps to Making a Mobile-Focused Website

6 Simple Steps to Making a Mobile-Focused Website

You’ll need a different mindset if your website is primarily designed for mobile users.

It’s funny when you think about it, but there was a time when websites weren’t really designed for smartphone screens. They were designed for the much larger monitors of desktop PCs. Of course, when you shrink those web pages you can hardly read and see anything, which became a problem when mobile Internet surfing became more popular. So the more farsighted website owners created their websites for PCs, and then they tried to have a different version for smartphones.

Nowadays, most serious websites have both a PC and a mobile version. In fact, more websites are actually being built for mobile surfing first, before a desktop PC version is created. That’s because more people are going online using the smartphones rather than their desktop PCs.

So how do you build a website that’s more focused on serving the needs of mobile visitors? Here are a few tips that can start you on your way:

1. Strip Your Pages Down

When you’re determined to build a website that’s actually geared for smartphone users, you can’t use overly complex webpages. You have to simply your web pages instead.

There are good reasons for this. One, with a small screen to work with you don’t want to overwhelm the user with too many details. A simple layout works much better so they know what to do. Two, with too many complex elements it’ll take too long for a web page to load, and we all know how impatient mobile surfers are. If it takes more than 3 seconds to load a page, chances are good they’ll press the back button and try another website.

2. Plan for Your User’s Needs

Will they be tapping buttons on the web page? If so, you need to make those buttons visible, and they should be large enough so that they can be tapped easily enough. Will they have to input a username and password? If that’s the case, you’ll have to put in a keyboard interface as well. What if they’re looking for a particular section? You may want to feature a clear outline of your site, and a search bar can certainly help.

You have to put yourself in your website user’s shoes. Pretend you’re the user and you need to find something on your website. You’ should then realize what kind of helpful elements you need to put in.

When you’ve designed your web pages, try them out first. You have to know for sure how they would work within a mobile browser.

3. Don’t Forget about Laptops

When you’re designing with a smartphone user in mind, at least you have a touchscreen working for you so your users can simply swipe along the way to navigate your site. But that’s not exactly the case when your mobile user is actually using a laptop. In some instances, they don’t have a mouse either.

What this also means is that you have to plan for various resolutions to make sure your web pages appear at their best. Laptops are often limited to 1024 x 768 resolutions, and that’s what you need to plan for. In fact, check out the various screen sizes of the most popular laptops so you can have a different version for each resolution.

4. Going with Responsive Layouts

Some people would rather opt for a responsive layout, rather than have a different type of website for each type of Internet device. With a responsive design, your website morphs to fit whatever type of resolution your website user is using.

This can be quite convenient for you. You’ll have the same HTML markup that works on all screens. You won’t have to go with specific stylesheets for different types of devices.

Since you’re focused on mobile users first, at least with this approach you take care of the needs of those using smaller screens. Of course, there’s a good chance that you won’t get an optimal look when you’re website visitor is using a desktop browser. But those are bugs that you can fix later. These guys aren’t your top priority after all.

To help you see just how responsive websites can work for different devices, you ought to do some research on the various responsive sites that are currently in operation these days. Just Google for them and you should find them easily enough. You can then cherry-pick the features that you want to appear on your own responsive website.

5. Don’t Forget about the Navigational Requirements

If you’ve been designing websites all this time with a focus on desktop users, then you’re probably more used to people who can just use a mouse to get around a webpage. That’s not going to fly with a mobile website.

For most website designers, the simplest solution here is to just have your page sections cascade down. Your visitors can just swipe downward to see more of your content. You can also have your links appear constantly at the top or at the bottom of the screen so that they can get around your site more easily.

Just don’t go overboard and put in too many links on your navigational menu bar. Just go with the basic root items instead.

6. Set Up Your Images Properly

Dealing with image content can be problematic when you have such a small screen to work with. One solution is to have a set of images solely for small smartphone screens, while you have another set for normal displays. However, you can’t overlook the need for high-resolution images for iPhone retina displays.

Another solution is to set up all your images to contract and then expand up to the maximum point. This can work just as well for desktop users too. Even HTML5 video supports this setup, so it’s convenient.

It does require a different mindset when you’re building a website that’s more focused on mobile users. The old ways won’t work if you’re used to traditional desktop websites. Whatever you do, just don’t forget to give it a test run on your own smartphone first!

Here are 5 Steps You Can Do to Prepare Your Website for Google’s Mobile-First Index

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
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LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

15 Best Stationery Stores to Stock Up on Everything From Art Supplies to Notebooks

15 Best Online Stationery Stores to Stock Up on Everything From Art Supplies to Notebooks

Would you rather take notes in traditional stationery, like a journal or on your smartphone? For those who chose a journal over the smartphone, here are a few great online shops that will provide for your stationery needs.

While smartphones can be handy for note-taking on the fly, plenty of us still prefer to use pen and paper for taking down notes and writing in our journals. It just feels different somehow, just as actual books are a lot different from ebooks. In many cases, it’s also a lot more practical. We can have stationery and a pen right on our nightstand so that when we wake up right after dreaming we can jot down our dream right away without fiddling with our fussy smartphones.

Of course, it does enhance the experience when we get the stationery that best suits our preferences. So where do we get them? Nowadays we don’t have to wait until we can stumble upon a charming stationery shop in the city. We can just go online, where there are actually plenty of Internet stationery shops that can provide what we like.

Best Stationery Stores Online

We may live in the digital age, but that’s not to say stationery has lost its place in the office. Today, we’re taking a closer look at some of the best stationery stores online. Join us and discover the stationery supplier that fits your office style and culture.

Let’s get started …

1. Mark + Fold

This site offers enchanting alternatives to bland stationeries designed to appeal to the mass market. Here the designs are modern and decidedly minimalist, with an emphasis on unique papers and creative bindings. Get them HERE

2. Papersmiths

This UK brand has real stores in London and Bristol, but you can just visit their website for a more convenient shopping experience. Their wares include not just gorgeous examples of stationery, but a whole host of home knickknacks that will make you giddy. These include small gifts, greeting cards, homeware selections, magazines, and books. The variety available makes this one of the best stationery stores online. Get them HERE

3. Cass Art

They seem to have everything you’ll ever need for writing here. These include pencils, pens and the ink you need, rulers and erasers, and even writing surfaces. They’re all from highly regarded brands such as Daler Rowney, Faber-Castell, and Winston & Newton. Get them HERE

4. Fox and Star

They offer cute planners and journals along with charming pens, clips, and tapes. You’ll notice that their stationery supplies come from famous worldwide brands, and they’re all of premium quality. If you haven’t yet tried to buy the washi tapes from Japan, now’s the time. Get them HERE

5. Milligram

This is an Australian site that used to go by the more plebeian moniker NoteMaker. With the name change comes a more ambitious goal of providing you the best-designed stationery, the most efficient office, and desk supplies, and the most delightful lifestyle accessories. They’ll prove that everyday life seems brighter when you have well-made journals, fine paper, and gorgeous pens to work with. Get them HERE

6. Rifle Paper Co.

Based in Florida and run by a married couple, this stationery brand actually started out as just a small business run out of their garage. Now they’re a huge international brand, thanks largely to their striking stationery, fine pens, and memorable greeting cards. They also offer a truly alluring set of art prints. Get them HERE

7. Nook 

A group of 3 friends in London banded together to create a shop where they would have gone to for interiors and design. They specialize in elegant office supplies but they also offer accessories for the kitchen, bathroom, and garden. If you like cute and functional items around the house, this is your online shop. Get them HERE

8. Ohh Deer

Just a few years ago, this online shop started in an attic owned by a couple’s grandparent. Now they’re a booming success, and they’re gone past selling just exquisite notepads, pens, and stationery supplies. They have dozens of famous artists collaborating with them, and they’ve joined together with iconic brands like ASOS and Urban Outfitters. Get them HERE

9. The Stationer 

The founder started a stationery blog back in 2014, and there she demonstrated love and knowledge of stationery that endeared her to numerous fans. So naturally, she started to share not just her knowledge of the world’s best stationery but also sold examples of these on her site. If you’re a fan of mixing practical function with classic design, you’ll love this online stationery shop. Get them HERE

10. Tom Pigeon 

Aside from stationery, you also have homeware, prints, and even jewelry here. Their collection exudes a stylish playfulness that’s hard to ignore. If you’re looking for a charming gift to delight a friend, here’s where you need to go. Get them HERE

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Flotsam. Print, notebooks, @elledecorationuk cover!

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11. The Good Twin

Katie, who founded this website, always wanted to be unique. Here she reaches out to like-minded people with her striking collections of hand-drawn stationery. They’re even printed on premium-quality recycled materials. Get them HERE

12. Studio Sarah

This brand is renowned for the quality of their paper and leather goods, as they project a modern sense of feminine beauty that leaves a memorable impression. The designs of these stationery supplies are quite graceful and stylish, and they’re absolutely gorgeous. Get them HERE

13. CW Pencil

Do you prefer a pencil over a pen? This is your one true shop if that’s the case, as you have everything here that a pencil fan will ask for. Get them HERE

14. Paperchase 

Who says stationery can’t be playful and fun? The themes of these stationery supplies can be absolutely bonkers, as they offer pencil cases in banana shapes along with staples in rose gold. When you want your stationery to surprise, you need to come here. Get them HERE

15. The Nineteen Seventy-Three

The brand name refers to the birth year of the founders, but their stationery supplies are both modern and classical. You have to try those silkscreen printed notebooks to see just how different this brand really is. Get them HERE

These are just some of the online stationery shops that that will charm your senses when you pay them a visit. They all prove that the stationery industry is alive and well even in the age of smartphones and apps!

Also, check out these 21 productivity apps to help you get things done.

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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LA Startups Crew
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

How To Choose High Energy Food That Fuel Your Body For Peak Performance

How To Choose High Energy Food That Fuel Your Body For Peak Performance

You need food and hydration to fuel your body and achieve peak performance when doing outdoor activities like cycling, running, hiking, and swimming.

The best way to fuel your body would be to consume energy foods and energy drinks. These have numerous advantages: easy digestibility, a long shelf life, and they are also easy to bring.

Here are the things that you need to look for in an energy food or drink

  • Exact time to take energy foods and drinks: Be careful, as there are certain items which are designed to be consumed before, after or during the activity itself. Make sure you read the label correctly before buying.
  • Nutrition: When choosing the food and drink of your choice. You need to look at its nutritional contents. Look at the back of the product. Make sure you choose an item that has low fats, low carbs, and high protein.
  • Features of energy food and drink: There are various options like non-GMO foods, gluten-free foods, organic foods, etc.
  • Various Energy drinks and foods: You can choose from bites, jells, bars, chews, recovery drinks, and sports drinks.

The Various Types of Energy Foods and Drinks

  • Bars: Bars are high in carbohydrates and low in protein and fat. There are lots of bars to choose from and they come in all shapes and colors. It is recommended that you consume energy bars before or after endurance activities. The high-grade crabs in bars help replenish glycogen in muscles. And some energy bars can even be used as substitutes for real meals.
  • Foods and Drinks Taken during Workout: For sustained energy during exercise, it is good to introduce some protein and fat into your diet.
  • After Workout Foods and Drinks: These energy foods can help your body rebuild muscles and tissues. It is also recommended that you drink lots of water or lots of liquids after eating post workout foods.

When Should You Consume Energy Foods and Drinks?

REI reports that energy foods and drinks can fine-tune your nutrition intake. REI also reports that energy foods and drinks are engineered to enhance each stage of outdoor excursion or workout.

  • Before Activity: These energy foods and drinks provide an elevated and consistent energy level, they are formulated to give you the necessary energy and nutrients to perform in peak condition. These energy foods are made from a balanced mix of proteins, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. Additionally, they should be consumed minutes before the start of an exercise routine.
  • During Activity: These foods and drinks are designed for easy digestion and absorption. They are designed to give you energy while running, cycling, climbing, etc.
  • After Activity: These foods and drinks are fortified with amino acids, proteins and other muscle restoring elements. They are mostly used for recovery and they can also speed up muscle growth and muscle synthesis. These foods usually have a lot of amino acids and a lot of protein.

Some Notable Features of Energy Drinks that you should look out for

  • Gluten Free: Found in some grains including rye, wheat, and barley these products are a mixture of protein and they contain zero gluten.
  • Vegetarian: These products might contain eggs, milk, and honey. Just like the name implies, products with these labels don’t have meat in them.
  • Vegan: This is similar to the label above but this time it has zero animal products in it. That means no eggs and no milk. It’s 100% animal free.
  • Organic: Organic foods aren’t 100% organic though. The law states that at least 70 percent of its ingredients must be organic for it to be labeled as organic. So “organic” products might contain artificial ingredients.
  • Non-GMO: These products don’t contain any GMO foods. It also means that you’re taking in unaltered and all-natural ingredients as well.
  • Energy Bites and Chews: They provide the same function as an energy gel. It is recommended that you take a few sips of water after chewing down bites and chews. You might suffer from indigestion if you fail to follow this advice.
  • Energy Gels: Small and portable energy packs that you can use to refuel and rehydrate.
  • Drink Mixes: A concentrated mix of energy. Be careful, it is essential that you limit your intake to 60 grams per hour. Too much intake may lead to stomach problems.

Some miscellaneous facts on energy foods and drinks

Understanding the basics of nutrition is beneficial for your long-lasting health. Consider the following.

  • Carbohydrates: 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour is the ideal intake. Eating and drinking more than this may upset your stomach.
  • Calories: 200 to 300 calories per hour is considered as a good ballpark figure. Luckily for you, most gels, bites, energy bars, and drinks have this standard.
  • Fat: Relatively, energy foods are low in fats. However, some meal replacement bars designed for endurance athletes might contain more fat than needed.
  • Protein: This is one of the key components for muscle building. It is essential for rebuilding tissues.
  • Potassium: Considered to be one of the main components of electrolytes. Ingredients like potassium citrate are essential for metabolizing carbohydrates which ultimately leads to the proper functioning of muscles. Potassium also keeps you hydrated
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Overall, energy bars have the highest number of minerals and vitamins which your body naturally burns through exercise and activity.
  • Sodium: Just like potassium, sodium is essential in metabolizing carbohydrates for the proper functioning of muscles. It also keeps you hydrated.
  • Sweeteners: Some performance beverages, chews and gels like Stevia, honey, agave. Do not use sugar as a calorie sweetener. Natural sweeteners are ok, but sugar and other artificial sweeteners may damage your health in the long run.
  • Amino Acid Blends: It’s basically a blend of proteins. Proteins like valine, leucine, and isoleucine are added to gels which are further broken down by the body after consumption.
  • Caffeine: It gives you an energy boost. Caffeine is present in most energy bars, chews, jells, and drinks. In fact, it’s rare to find energy with that doesn’t have caffeine.

Here are 16 Easy Ways to Eat Healthier Every Day

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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LA Startups Crew
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.