It surprises a lot of people that Napa Valley Linens is located in Emeryville and not in Napa. To be frank, that was never the plan.
In 2009, my husband and I were looking for a piece of property that would be an anchor for us, our children, as well as their children. We were both rootless and we needed a place that would nurture us. Our house in Lafayette, although lovely, was missing that critical element.
After countless trips to wine country, our real estate agent told us to pick the neighborhood where we wanted to live. So we did. We drove him to our ideal street. Our agent promised to write everyone on the street and ask if anyone wanted to sell. Months went by and we heard nothing. Then one day our agent called and told us he’d received a letter from an older couple who’d lived on the street for fifty-three years. Were we interested in taking a look? You bet we were! I instructed my husband on the drive over not to act excited if this was really “the one”. I didn’t want to diminish our negotiating position. He just shook his head and rolled his eyes.
When we arrived at the property, I was crestfallen. It was not what I hoped for or imagined. There sat a little 1950’s ranch house that had been expanded over the years with nothing more than a bit of ingenuity and some trips to Home Depot. I couldn’t see the back of the property for old equipment and broken down cars. But as I walked through the grassy field, a quarter horse approached me and nuzzled the back of my neck. At that very moment, I knew I was home. “This is it”, I said, in front of my husband and the real estate agent. So much for playing it cool.
The plan was to sell the house in Lafayette, and launch our business from Napa. But first we had to scrape all the shacks off the Sonoma property and bring the house up to modern standards. We cleared the property of debris, gutted the interior of the little ranch house, and by the time we finished, the housing market had collapsed and we had two properties and a growing business.
Like many entrepreneurs, I started my business from home and within a year of stuffing linens in every imaginable space, I needed a warehouse. So Napa Valley Linens became Napa Valley Linens of Concord and then it became Napa Valley Linens of Emeryville. Emeryville ended up being the perfect location for us because of its strategic location in the Bay area.
Over the years, we have debated whether to change our name, but by now we have morphed into our name. It’s who we are. It’s synonymous with our relaxed and elegant style. Our linens are not fussy, but they are beautiful, just like wine country.
And our house, well, it’s not fancy, just a tiny little fifties ranch house that sits on eight acres of pure heaven. It’s a blessing. A place that has the ability to restore you, revitalize you, calm you down, heal your hurts, and fix whatever’s broken in you. That part of the plan worked out perfectly.