self care for the home, body, + soul

Newport, Rhode Island

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Last updated on Jul 12, 2021

local pick up available, use code LOCAL at checkout to eliminate shipping


Trisha Rapoza

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Trisha Rapoza


Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
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Quality 9 Shipping 23 Customer service 2

About AfterTeaCo

Sales 820
On Etsy since 2020

natural, as it should be

I grew up in Newport, Rhode Island and have always been drawn to other people’s lived experiences. When I was younger, I felt attuned to the emotions of characters in books and movies. I wondered why people acted the way they did. I used reading and drawing to find a sense of security when I was anxious about anything, even though I was not particularly artistic. In high school, I turned that introspection outwards when I took a sociology of criminal justice class. As opposed to focusing on legal theory, it probed matters of psychology, which inspired my childhood curiosity about behavioral theories. I learned about the logic and science behind why people react in unpredictable ways when faced with adversity—why people act in certain ways, at all.

Now, I am in my second year as a psychology major at Fisher College. Until recently, I also worked full-time as the Director of Activities at a nursing home. While there, I realized how many elderly people are lonely; they often find themselves without anyone to talk to. I discovered that engaging them with art therapy was a way to help them find clarity and a meaningful activity for their endless free time. While I worked at the nursing home, I learned more about myself, too—I realized that I wanted to advocate for the kinds of people that are unable to speak up for themselves.

About a year ago, I started playing with wax. Store-bought candles gave me headaches, so I began dissecting their ingredients. The toxicity I noticed in their formulas stood out to me as undoing the good that a candle is meant to provide. I researched what made candles headache-inducing, delving into the different effects anything from paraffin to soy can have on our bodies. For example, the black rings left behind on paraffin wax was a clear indicator to me that something in the store-bought candles was wrong and unhealthy. Both blessed and cursed by the free time granted to me during the COVID-19 quarantine, I decided to try making my own candle. One day, after drinking a cup of tea, I ordered ten pounds of soy wax and some essential oils.

My first candle was, of course, a disaster. I had no idea what I was doing yet—I just dumped essential oils and some wax into a boiling pot. With my subsequent attempts, I relied on other friends’ experiences. A friend of mine who reads tarot cards helped me with the subtle yet important science of candle-making. I researched what ingredients other companies used and found alternative, natural methods for my own candles. Altogether, it was an eye-opening experience. I made a few candles in little tins and took a few pictures to post on social media. I started selling my creations to friends, and then people began finding my candles online. Like my candle-making success, my second store on Etsy gained much more momentum than my first.

Over the past year, I have seen my company grow from a kitchen venture into a five-star store on Etsy. My hands need to stay busy. I melt the wax on a portable election stove top, transfer wax into pouring pitchers, measure out the fragrance in a shot glass measuring cup, stir it in, and pour it into the candle vessel. Candle-making is my version of self-care—it is an outlet for creative expression and a time to check in with myself and focus on my wellbeing. I make candles for After Tea Company in the kitchen and the dining room of my apartment in Newport, RI. Using what I have, I try to add quality back into other people’s lives. I want things to be natural, as they should be.

I do everything myself. I design, print, and cut my own labels with an exacto knife. Time and energy are precious, and I want to be deliberate in how I choose to use mine. I started out by making candles in teacups, and now I have added other self-care products, too—items like soap, diffuser keychains, and air sprays. I began with aromatherapy, but now I incorporate sweeter scents, too. I have added blank journals for self-care kits and bath bombs to my line. If I can make things that remind people to think of themselves, I will.

It is so important to take care of your mind and body, and I think that the best way to do so is by remembering the relationship you have with yourself. I want After Tea Company to remind people to take care of themselves, even if that means simply lighting a candle. If you can take care of other people, you can take of yourself, too.

People deserve good, clean options for candles and self-care products. The world tells you to be hard on yourself, but it is important to step away from that. It is crucial to breathe and let go—to make time for yourself, especially when you do not think you have enough time to do so. When you create a peaceful moment for yourself, a candle reflects your intentions.

Make time for yourself,


Shop members

  • Trisha


Production partners

  • Opal Eye Designs

    Newport, RI

    Opal Eye Designs creates beautiful handmade pieces in a range of materials, check her out on instagram @opaleyedesigns

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