Flats Napa Valley walked onto Main Street, Saint Helena in 1999. This European-style boutique sprang from the ever-creative mind of Jan Niemi. A native of Saint Helena, Jan spent the first half of her career as an international banker, living in one fabulous city after another. Running from plane to plane, she quickly developed an appreciation for the well-made fashionable flat shoe. Impossible to find in the US, Jan had an epiphany and a new mission: To design the perfect handmade ballet-flat style shoe for the American market. She packed her bags and moved to Florence, Italy to learn the shoe business and began producing your favorite ballerinas.
Jan returns to Italy several times each year, continuing to develop and expand designs including ballerina flats, sandlas, loafers and more. The success of her vision allowed the brand to develop beyond shoes. She then began to work with Italian tailors and designers to develop what has come to be known as the Swiss Shirt (continually our best seller), scarves, easy dresses and bags all invoking the spirit of Northern California.
In 2004, she fell in love with the vibrancy of Jaipur, India and so began the famous Flat's tunics, caftans and kurtas. Hand-printed from Jan’s own designs along with some of the best-know classic designs, it's impossible to leave the store with only one.
Flats Napa Valley is ever growing to encompass new styles that embrace Jan’s passion for simple and elegant fashion from small artisan producers around the world. We encourage you to stay in touch. Whether via our website or best of all by popping into our shop in St. Helena as new treasures always abound.