A Modern Farm with a Contemporary Design
Third generation Napa builder Jason Yeakey and his wife, Casey, wanted an open, clean, warm and inviting home when they designed their estate on the Avenues of East Napa. The long driveway to their 3700-square foot main house first greets you with an amazing 2500-square foot barn that sets the stage for the four-acre property’s modern farm feel.
The entry of the home opens into a large great room with cathedral ceilings ranging from 14-21 feet at the pitch. Porcelain tile floors that have the look of wood compliment the three rugged and rustic chandeliers and the cupola skylight as well as the reclaimed barn wood above the fireplace. Opposite the room is a kitchen equipped with quarts countertops with cabinets designed to be clean and simple. Concealed appliances including a KitchenAid refrigerator and an Ilve Italian Stove keep the space uncluttered.
Casey grew up in an old-time Napa cattle rancher’s family and her background is evident in the home’s unpretentious décor, which includes cowhides, steer horns and her collection of cowboy’s boots. But still there is a sense of elegance throughout the home. Her infectious laugh comes through as she describes her favorite room and that’s the home theatre on the second floor staged with eight lounge chairs, big screen projection TV and a popcorn machine.
The main house has four bedrooms each with their own bathroom. The master bath features Calcutta slab counter tops and sea grass natural limestone walls and mosaic tile floors plus his and her closets with glass doors.
The rest of the property includes a 1500-square foot guest unit with two master bedrooms, a 1200-square foot gym and a 10,000 square foot outdoor living space including a pool, spa and fire pit.
The property was designed by Andy Miller, (son of professional golfer, Johnny Miller’s) with a plan approval by Mike Kennedy. Jason and his dad, Robert, acted as the General contractor. Jason and Casey met serendipitously when Jason was supposed to go into the Navy. Casey attended his farewell party, but a traffic ticket Jason received two days earlier put his military career on hold. He went to work for his dad instead. Two years later his dad retired and Jason decided to start his own company specializing in high-end custom homes and winery projects. Seven years later Titan Builders is going strong.
The youthful looking couple, in their 30’s, have one son and another on the way. They enjoy entertaining family and friends. Their next goal is to put in a 1000-square foot vegetable garden. They have no plans to plant grapes on their property at this time.
Intriguing Mother/Son Winemakers
Young Inglewood Vineyards
Napa’s Young Inglewood Vineyards is a true undiscovered gem. While just a stone’s throw from the bustling Hwy 29 corridor and downtown St. Helena, Young Inglewood Estate feels far off the beaten path.
Here, you’ll find the unique mother and son winemaking team of Jacky and Scott Young, who together with their family, have created a serene sanctuary for both vine and family on a small historic plot, in one of Napa’s most acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon growing districts.
As intriguing as their mother and son winemaking collaboration is the family’s journey to Napa Valley. After selling a successful business, Jacky and Scott’s father, Jim, looked forward to the next chapter. Propelled by a shared passion for wine, but not an ounce of formal training or industry experience between them, the Youngs decided to go from dreaming to doing, and set their collective sites on building a family winery. A voracious student of wine, Jacky read all she could, took numerous classes and eventually earned the rigorous WSET Diploma. Meanwhile, Scott took positions in wine shops and worked harvests in both France and Napa, while Jim began an exhaustive search for property, focusing on St. Helena, which had long been a favorite family destination. A mix of research and serendipity led the Youngs to a prized Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard, planted in the late 1800’s, and occupying some of Napa’s most coveted soil. With the help of a generous Napa wine community who mentored their early efforts, the Youngs revived the old vineyard with organic practices focused on vine balance. They produced their first wine, a 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, in a converted outbuilding using an old hand-cranked press.
Today, Young Inglewood is a tapestry of gently sloping organic vineyards, verdant gardens and stately 150-year-old heritage oak trees, punctuated by the old world charm of the family’s French country-style home and winery. Jacky and Scott live and work onsite, sharing viticulture and winemaking duties for their critically-acclaimed estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux-style wines. A word-of-mouth favorite, the winery offers visitors an intimate behind the scenes look at a small working estate. Private tours and tastings are customized to guests’ interests, and include a “ stroll and sip” through the estate vineyards and grounds, a guided tour of the compact, state of the art winery, and finally, a seated tasting in the elegant, light-filled tasting salon, accented by the Youngs’ eclectic art collection.
Walking into K. Lawrence Luxury & Lather, you’re instantly transported back in time to the era of classic barber shops. “I wanted to provide a haircut and shave, just like in the old times,” says owner Kory Patterson. “That’s why we offer traditional hot-lather shaves with straight razors. It’s a bit of pampering to have somebody shave your face – kind of like when women go for a manicure and pedicure. You can even grab a drink from our fridge and watch a game while you wait.” That’s exactly what some groomsmen do right before their wedding. K. Lawrence Luxury & Lather is located at 800 School Street, Suite A, in Napa, and they’re open from 10:00AM to 6:00PM seven days a week. www.klawrenceluxurylather.com
Napa Valley is a very diverse area with folks from all walks of life. The Table (www.napatable.org) brings together a remarkably wide range of people on a regular basis. Every weekday, from 3:00 to 4:45PM, The Table serves nutritious meals prepared by about 15-20 volunteers to more than 160 people, no questions asked. Located at 1333 Third Street in Napa, you can find The Table adjacent to the First Presbyterian Church and across from the Uptown Theater.
“We have about 20 different groups preparing meals each month,” explains Director David Busby. “Because we have so many organizations working with us, nobody has to cook, serve, or clean more than once a month. We also get food from a variety of different groups, which is why we can do this so economically.” The average cost to feed 165 people at The Table is $190 because the volunteer organizations often provide food, some comes from the Napa Food Bank, and many of the vendors at the Napa Farmers Market and local restaurants also help keep the kitchen stocked.
The organizations preparing meals cover practically every religious denomination in Napa Valley, plus civic groups and businesses. “It’s nice to work together,” says Eve Howard, who volunteers to work with the various teams. “Each group has a different personality.”
Everybody is happy working in the kitchen as well. Smiles greet anybody walking in there during preparation and serving. Often there’s some classic rock and roll too. “Everything tastes better when it’s made with happiness, love, and good music,” smiles Deborah Bryant of the Living Vine Church of the Nazarene while Deep Purple and Joe Cocker laid down the background music.
“There are a lot of people stuck in a poverty cycle or on the edge of it,” states David Busby. “We want to help people get the food they need. We don’t lecture or preach, we just provide a safe place for anybody to get a warm meal.”
The Table was established by The First Presbyterian Church after the Napa River Flood in 1986. At that time, the church just opened their doors and served homemade casseroles to anybody who was hungry. Hunger remained a problem throughout the area, so other civic and faith groups joined what came to be known as The Table.
Turtle Rock Bar
Far on the outer ends of Napa County along the stretch of Highway 128 that joins two worlds together, sits an old bar that beckons any traveler to stop by. After all, there isn’t much left of the former resort area of Lake Berryessa. That’s okay with Turtle Rock Bar and Café owner, Peter Leung. The 1995 St. Helena High School grad, who has a degree in sport medicine, finds peace and comfort in the many people he meets from around the world. Yes, his bar really is world-famous.
Peter grew up at the bar. His father, originally from Hong Kong bought the property in 1981 and introduced his family’s recipe – fried egg rolls to Napa County. After he graduated from college his dad died from cancer and he decided to take over the business and put his career on hold because this is a place he “couldn’t let go.” Peter along with his wife and family friends (Aunts as he calls them) make handmade egg rolls twice week and they easily sell over 500 a day on the weekends. Peter, who claims he makes the best bar drinks, recommends his Bloody Mary with an egg roll.
What makes Turtle Rock so special and unique is it’s a place that is always there. Originally built in the 1960’s, much of the original décor is still there. Peter says he’s not after a slick fancy bar. It’s about the people where everyone is equal regardless of their social economical status or whether they drive a Harley, a Toyota or a high- end sports car. “People just want a fun getaway, free their mind and escape the busyness of their lives,” said Peter.
Turtle Rock Bar also touts t-shirts and hats. There is a wall filled with photos of customer wearing their swag while traveling around the world. One in particular has special meaning for Peter. Local boy, Chase Stanley sent a photo of him wearing a Turtle Rock shirt in front of Sadam’s Palace in Iraq. Sadly, Stanley was killed in Afghanistan in 2011.
Another popular thing to do at the bar is to sign a one-dollar bill and put it on the ceiling. Last April, Peter took down the bills and donated $17,000 to the UCSF Children’s Hospital in honor of his six-year-old son who has been cancer free for five years. The bills are accumulating again.
Intriguing Tree Lady / Arborist
The devastating Valley Fire in Lake County burned over 75,000 acres in September leaving many trees destroyed or badly damaged. As the cleanup began, Denice Britton, a life long arborist and a tree expert, her job was to access over 1000 trees left standing to see if they were safe and/or could be salvaged, a heart breaking task for someone who loves trees so much.
Denice grew up in Alabama hanging out in the woods. She later moved to Lake Tahoe where she loved hiking and discovered Desolation Wilderness. She decided to go back to school to get a degree in Plant Pathology with an emphasis in trees.
Her goal is always to help preserve a tree. Her most memorable experience was being an expert witness against a utility company and saved a tree from being torn down.
In 1981, Denice worked for Univeristy of California Cooperative Extension, Berkeley as an Urban Forestry Specialist. She served on a committee that started the certification for an arborist, a term unknown before the 1980’s. It was on this committee that she met her late husband, John Britton. Together she helped John build Britton Tree Service. After he died the company was sold to an employee and Denice took a position in Chico, CA as an Urban Forestry Manager.
She returns back to Napa in 2013, after a friend introduced her to Michael Smith from the Cottage of the Napa Valley. The two married and she is now working as consulting arborist and would like to help the wineries in the Napa Valley with any tree issues.
Intriguing Dr. Jackie
Dr. Jackie, as she is known to many, is Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Board Certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Pain Management. She is a partner at the Napa Pain Institute, where their mission is to inspire hope and contribute to health and well being, through integrated clinical practice, research and education.
As an avid athlete growing up in Brazil and Miami, she experienced her share of sports injuries. Always her goal to be a doctor and having empathy for patients who suffered from severe pain, she naturally chose Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as her path. The more involved she became in rehabilitation medicine, the more she realized many patients suffer tremendous amounts of pain from injuries, strokes, surgeries, brain injuries to name a few. Her advanced pain management training helps her to give her patients comprehensive approaches to manage their pain to help them live a better quality of life.
The Napa Pain Institute is world-renowned in the world of Pain Management. Dr. Weisbein is motivated by the opportunity to help people regain a renewed sense of living. Sometimes an improvement in their quality of life means she is helping them transition to a different journey. “It makes me feel like I truly have purpose in this world.”
Originally from Philadelphia, she came to Napa almost 20 years ago while visiting with family and fell in love with California. She made it her mission to return and found the perfect opportunity to have a mentorship with NPI’s founder, Dr. Grigsby, which has proved to be an invaluable part of her life. She is so thankful to work with such a wonderful group of people, and particularly her nurse practitioner, Kimberly Schwartz, who has allowed her to expand the services she can offer to her patients.
In her limited spare time, Dr. Jackie enjoys traveling with family who live all over the world. When not in the office, she can be found riding her horse Maury or skiing the slopes of Vail. Twenty years from now she still plans on being in Napa helping her patients on their way to living a pain free lifestyle and enjoying the quality of life the Napa Valley provides.
Apparently, not many people realize Mrs. Dyer has been one of the most influential people in the Napa wine industry for many years.
he began her career working at Robert Monday and then moved to Domaine Chandon in 1976. After 24 years as the principal winemaker, she left to cultivate her own vineyard. She now makes wines for Meteor Vineyard and also Dyer Vineyard wines with her husband, Bill.
Dawnine served as President of the Napa Valley Vintners Association, speaks all over the world on the importance of Napa AVAs, lectures at UC Davis, and judges numerous wine competitions.
James Patrick Regan
James’ story begins like many: young guitarist leaves small town and heads to Hollywood to pursue his rock and roll fantasy. He enrolled in Hollywood High and soon landed a full-time job at Disneyland as the lead guitarist in the Tomorrowland Band. A star is born!
Ever the technician, James graduated from the prestigious Berkeley College of Music in Boston and before long, he was touring with Lisa Marie Presley. His interest in Hawaiian music brought him to the island of Molokai to study Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar with the master himself, Keola Beamer leading to the release of ”Urban Slack” a truly Hawaiian Slack Key CD.
In 1983, he joined his best friend of 30 years, Bob St Laurent, and they founded the power rock band St. Laurent, touring together for a decade. In 2007, the duo went on to create the number one surf-rock band The Deadlies, which spawned four albums and a coveted spot as the house band for 10 seasons on KOFY TV’s Creepy KOFY Movie Time.
When James wasn’t surf-rocking he went back to college again and earned a Masters in Viticulture, after which he served as the Manager for Walsh Vineyard Management for over 20 years. Ultimately, the music business enticed him back and he is now performing full time with 200+ shows a year as a solo singer songwriter and as the front man/guitarist for The Deadlies.
Most recently, James traveled to Nashville to perform his solo show at the Gibson Café at the Nashville Airport, a position sought after by masses of musicians everywhere.
Gail Chase-Bien’s art is masterful, bodacious, transcendent and truly magnificent. Like watching a great film, viewers surrender to the stories within her canvas.
Gail received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. Her career as a painter has been prolific and successful—selling to public and private collections, and displaying in numerous galleries on the east and west coasts.
But there’s so much more to Gail than her painting. She’s the co-founder of River School (Napa’s first charter school), is a highly sought-after teacher and, just for fun, she sings.
“Teaching is a source of inspiration for me. As a teacher, I feel an immense responsibility to nourish, challenge and encourage my students’ individual styles. This feeds my work, as well. Often, I leave the studio thinking ‘That was a bold move that she/he took,’ and I go into my studio feeling juiced.”
She credits her son Alexei for first recognizing her singing talent, which led her to the stage as both an ensemble player and a soloist. She still aspires to perform more torch songs, and wouldn’t turn down an opportunity to play Mrs. Higgins in Pygmalion.
“The main thing that pulls me now is my work. Art is like having a real conversation with your inner self—darkness and light. Make room for both and, bingo, you understand how they can produce an evocative chemistry in your work and life.”
Gail continues to paint, teach and sing in Napa Valley. You can see her work at gailchasebien.com.
John & Stacy Reinart
If you attend several events around the Valley, you probably know or at least recognize John and Stacy Reinert. They appear to be everywhere. Their number one question they get asked is which part of Napa do they live in? They seem like a local and know so many people. In fact, they live in the East Bay and escape the rat race almost every weekend to come to place they call a slice of heaven.
John and Stacy met in 2009 and have one daughter each from a previous relationship. It happened to work out their daughters are with the other parent every weekend. They have their daughters during the school week. Stacy works as a hairstylist and John manages utilities in Silicon Valley. Early on in their relationship they started to come to Napa to create good memories and meet new people. Napa was a romantic place that teased their culinary palate and their love of wine. Stacy is a foodie and gets weak in the knees when she meets a chef. John admires winemakers.
The more they came and explored the Napa Valley, the more they fell in love with the beautiful surroundings, the peacefulness and the sense of ease and joy and they also fell in love with each other. They got married in 2011.
“What we get in 24-48 hours in Napa lasts us a week of the daily grind,” said John.
The pair says they love to dress up and John adores shopping for Stacy. Their favorite Napa Valley events are the Taste of Yountville and the Napa Valley Film Festival.
“Napa is unique, has its own vibe and is an elegant place that engulfs you,” they both said. “Once you get a taste of Napa you can’t let go.”
The wine bug has bitten John as well. Through Napa mentors and encouragement he is starting his own wine label coming in early 2016, Brilliant Mistake Wines, a Bordeaux style cabernet. Eventually, they want to live half time in Napa and half time in their Tahoe home.
In the meantime, they will keep visiting the place where they run into familiar faces and feel the culture collectiveness of the community.
The Three Co-Workers
Your co-workers; you either love them or tolerate them. Working in a high tech industry can be tedious and high pressure. What to do about stress? For three St. Helena workers who work as software analysis, it’s their job to solve people’s computer problems. There is never a good call, but that doesn’t stop the trio from making light of an often-difficult situations.
According to Dave King, the eldest and the team leader its all about attitude and making the best of any situation. Derek Mills, 35 is the quiet one and then there is Lance Zepeda, 30, St. Helena High Football Legend who is the heart and soul of the team.
Four years ago the trio’s boss, a female suggested they dress nicer like the women in the office. The three being the only guys in the office looked at their polo shirts, jeans and tennis shoes and said they would comply. The next day they all added a tie to their outfit…..a start of a compulsive tie collection. A former storage closet now houses over 1000 unique, outrageous and intriguing ties along with hats and other accouterments. The guys have even incorporated tie laws and offer their version of tie Russian roulette.
“This is something fun we can do to make a fun work environment especially when we have to be on the phone most of the day,” said Zepeda.
To add further to their enlightened work environment, the company started instilling mandatory breaks three times a day for workers to get exercise. Now the trio walks, marches or parades through the town of St. Helena to get their mile in during their 15-minute break.
If you are in St. Helena be on the look out for three guys sporting the most unusual ties. They have become a daily icon in St. Helena.
Janna Waldinger is an intriguing artist, a third generation photographer, videographer, and published author. Speaking with a thoughtful rhythm and intentionally choosing her words, Janna invites us to open to the mystery of life, and “see from the eyes of our heart.”
Depending on the lens in which you view the world, life can be seen as boring or miraculous. “It’s an inside job, the viewer’s perspective.” Janna lives in a state of awe using her intuition as a guiding light.
Janna has a passion for beauty and sees life in metaphors, frequently using doorways as symbols of transitions in life. “I make art of my day, life as art – not just in object making. Reframing our world while we transform confusion and self-doubt into clarity, creating better relationships and building higher self-esteem.” Janna brings her gifts and insights to life through two of her companies, Art & Clarity a multimedia company that she co-owns, and A Living Vibration providing the tools of transformation through whole body vibration and fine artwork. Janna is also a mother and has served the community of Napa as a Trustee on the Napa County Board of Education for 17 years.
Janna seeks experiences that will infuse vitality and wonder into her daily existence. The work she does has depth and meaning that allows her to make the intangible, tangible. To find out more information about Janna and to view her creative imagery, go to www.makeartofmyday.com.
NVL recently had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with Warren Winiarski, the former owner and winemaker of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. One of the stories he shared was that of a young man who was working on Mr. Winiarski’s house. He made eye contact with one of the construction workers and he immediately got the sense there was more to this man than breaking rocks. He gave that man an opportunity to work at his winery where he learned how to make wine.
That man is Rolando Herrera, and now he’s the proprietor and winemaker of his own winery called Mi Sueño. He’s a great example of a Mexican immigrant living the American “Sueño.” Or Dream. His wine was even served at the White House when the Mexican President was visiting.
Intriguing Voice Actor
As a kid, Jennifer loved mimicking commercials. She noticed all aspects of production – the music, the script, the subtle nuances of voices and the emotional connection they made with the listener but didn’t know at the time it could be a career. Jen spent much of her childhood performing through acting, dancing and singing, all steering towards a practical career of balancing her 15-year stint as an Occupational Therapist with sideline gigs. She sang in rock bands, on Bourbon Street, as backup for an artist in Nashville, and performed with The Gun & Doll Show in renowned venues in San Francisco.
Shortly after becoming pregnant with her first child, Jen re-envisioned what her life looked like, and followed her passion for acting. In 2008, she took a leap of faith and started voice-over training and realized being a voice actor “is a fantastic Mommy job. I mostly work from home and it’s flexible enough that I get to be here for the kid moments. I’m incredibly grateful for my team, including our au pair and my awesome supportive husband.”
Jen records national commercials in her home studio, which also happens to be her walk-in closet. Carefully placed clothes create the sound-absorption she needs for crystal-clear recordings. Her clients include Whole Foods, Fisher Price, ClosetMaid, eBay, and Nike. Her most memorable jobs are voicing games that her children,
Lila and Jonah, can play with, such as the Me-ify Potty Star app, which actually helped potty-train her son. Six-year-old Lila is following in her Mom’s footsteps, and Jen is not only nurturing her desire to act, she is directing Lila in national spots. “Working with Lila has been a dream for me and I’d really like to develop ways to share VO with interested kids in the Napa Valley.” There is no shortage of creativity in Jen’s inspiring career, “I get to be something different every day.”
Karen MacNeil is the only American to have won every major wine award given in the English Language. In a full-page profile on her, TIME Magazine called Karen, “America’s Missionary of the Vine.”
Karen, who lives in St. Helena, is the author of the award-winning book, THE WINE BIBLE, the single-best selling wine book in the United States. Karen’s articles on wine and food have been published in more than 50 newspapers and magazines including The New York Times and Worth. The former wine correspondent for the Today Show, Karen was the host of the PBS series Wine, Food and Friends with Karen MacNeil, for which she won an Emmy.
Karen’s firm, Karen MacNeil & Company, creates customized wine experiences around the world, with Karen as the group’s host and private tutor. The tours are geared to both individuals and companies. Among Karen’s corporate clients are Lexus, Merrill Lynch, Disney, General Electric, UBS, and Singapore Airlines, as well as numerous biotech and law firms.
Karen is the creator and Chairman Emeritus of the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of America in the Napa Valley, which has been called the “Harvard” of wine education.
Having never taught in a traditional high school, Riley was attracted to the New Tech Network model of teaching early on in his career. “I thrived when, as a student, I was able to experience authentic learning, as opposed to checking boxes.” Because Project Based Learning (PBL) was so valuable to him as a learner, Riley understands the importance of teaching students to think outside the box.
PBL is the new buzz acronym in the educational community. All of our local schools are embracing this teaching method, but New Tech High School was founded on it. In short, “PBL is the act of learning through identifying a real-world problem and developing its solution.”
New Tech’s culture is built on trust, respect, responsibility and clear communication. Riley lives by these principals, leading his staff, parents and students by example. “We are a team, we are building a collective capacity.” Transparency is vital. A comprehensive “learner profile” is developed for each of New Tech’s 415 students, which includes not only academic data that defines the student, but personal growth data as well.
Questions such as, “What makes learning easy?” and “What are your struggles?” help teachers fully understand their students, and thus create a more holistic teaching and learning environment.
Fairly new to Napa, Riley and his wife find a similar comfort and connection to their friendly agriculture community back in Indiana. “Napa feels like home,” Riley said.
He’s excited to work together with the progressive-minded group of educators here, adding, “If we want to see true change, it has to be across the board. It takes a village.”
Maxine Maas resembles a movie star straight out of the 1950’s. At a bright and shining 90 years young, she has lived all of the ingredients for a long and intriguing life. Beautifully coiffed and dressed to the nines, Maxine routinely depicts elegance and grace in high heels, with not a hair out of place. Her favorite fashion accessory is fur, her style is classic. A California native, Maxine was born to immigrant parents in 1925. By age nine she was working on the family farm and in 1939, at the World’s Fair she held her first paid position at age fourteen. Maxine worked her way through college as a model and actress and at nineteen, received a degree in Dramatic Arts from Cal Berkeley and the day after graduated in 1944, she married her husband, Al Maas. Al left for the war and Maxine continued to work as a stage performer and model in New York and Chicago. After her husband’s return from WWII she became a mother and began her career with the Contra Costa Children’s Shelter as a volunteer and forty years later retired as Superintendent of Juvenile Hall. Throughout her life Maxine has maintained a disciplined routine of connecting with her community, friends, and neighbors with an emphasis on entertaining and enjoying the company of those around her. Maxine continues her community involvement in Napa and is an inspiration to all who know and love her.
Vintage clothing has never gone out of style for Thea Witsil, owner of Wildcat Vintage Clothing. At age 14, a young Thea convinced the aging owners of Old Glory in Laguna Beach to let her help out in their store. They let her organize the store and it was there she discovered and fell in love wit Vintage clothing. “I was entrepreneur early on,” said Thea.
In college, she and her husband, Bruce of 36 years bought a 13-window modified GM school bus they fixed up and traveled across the country to find treasurers to sell at flea markets in Sausalito and Berkeley. The money raised helped Thea attend the San Francisco Art Institute and her husband get his teaching degree.
An opportunity came up for the duo to rent one of her father’s properties in Yountville and they moved to Napa in 1980. Thea continued to amass connections worldwide in the vintage world. In 2000, she opened Wildcat Vintage Clothing on First Street in Downtown Napa until the 2014 Napa quake forced her close the doors. A year later she reopened at a new location on Lincoln Avenue.
“I love to dress up my customers mixing contemporary and vintage,” said Thea. “It might not look like much on the hanger but when it all comes together, it’s pure joy.
Thea has buyers all over the country but at the end of the day she hand selects everything. She is also the co-founder of the popular Napa Porchfest, now in its sixth year.
While most kids choose to spend their free time catching up on sleep or hanging out with friends, this special group of teenagers has committed to serving others in impoverished countries each spring, as well as at home year-round. “I didn’t know there could be so much happiness in a country with so much poverty. Traveling to Haiti changed my perspective about life,” says Sienna Tubridy, one of the teens who went to Haiti last March to distribute shoes with the organization, Soles4Souls.
Partnering with Soles4Souls, whose simple mission statement is, “Everyone deserves a good pair of shoes,” has given the kids the opportunity to give back as Soles4Souls collects and distributes shoes to those in need in America and in developing countries around the world. Shoes you no longer want create opportunity for self-sufficiency through their micro-enterprise programs, give children something to wear to school, and enable adults to work.
Of these inspiring teens, Soles4Soles coordinator Tiffany Johnson said, “Leading the group of teens from Napa to Haiti was one of those experiences that I want to replay forever. They absorbed the experience and took away from it everything they could, whether it was facing the harsh reality of poverty as they had never seen it before or the incredible high of making a child laugh and smile during a distribution while meeting a crucial need. They realized fully the power of community that they can have working together to make our world stronger, whether it is in Haiti or Napa. If the hope of our world can be measured from the teens I encountered from Napa, I expect greatness to be in store for us.”
Napa teens are headed to Guatemala with Soles4Souls this spring, and are currently hosting the 3rd annual shoe drive in Napa with winery partner Humanitas Wines. “We are proud to do our small part by offering up our dry goods warehouse in the Crusher Wine District in south Napa to store the shoes from the collection drive,” said Judd Wallenbrock, who founded Humanitas Wines in 2001 to give back to primary need organizations in housing, health and hunger.