Our Story

Hi there! My name is Grace and the tortie that inspired this business is my cat, Tali. I created Tortoiseshell Apothecary because of a growing interest in living more sustainably while also trying to use fewer harmful products in my home. 

I have always loved candles and scented body care, but as I've gotten older, these artificial scents and petroleum-based (paraffin) waxes have triggered migraines and skin sensitivity in me. The "fragrance" you see on household product labels is not clearly defined as a specific ingredient, and I don't like not knowing what's in what I'm using. When you burn a candle, you are breathing it in, so I wanted to make candles as healthy as possible. I also aim to reduce waste by turning secondhand glass vessels into new candles that are more interesting to look at than your typical plain jars.

Our candles are made from soy wax sourced from U.S. farms, which means that the carbon cost of shipping is lower than imported products. We use 100% pure essential oils with no added fragrances or preservatives so that our scents are not irritating or overwhelming to breathe in. Buying from Tortoiseshell Apothecary means you know exactly what's in the products you're bringing home.

From my family to you and yours, thank you for shopping with Tortoiseshell Apothecary.

- Grace and Tali

(and Tyler, Raven, Ivy, and Minnie)

Grace, a white woman with long brown hair in a pink floral blouse, holds Tali, a large, gray tortoiseshell cat.

Tyler, a white man with long brown hair in a red shirt and a straw hat, smiles next to Grace, a white woman with a brown ponytail under a terracotta baseball hat, who is smiling as they both sit down and take the selfie.

Raven, a black cat with big yellow eyes, stretches across an empty white cabinet to sniff at a yellow pouch of Banagrams tiles.

Ivy, a small gray cat, lays on her side at a crooked angle with her hind legs perpendicular on the tan, fuzzy cat tree, one level above the ground.


A close up image of Minnie, a dark tortoiseshell kitten, in a cardboard box