It’s been three days since an earthquake rattled Napa, and this morning store, owner Thea Witsil got the phone call she was dreading.
Her landlord told her that her vintage clothing store had been red-tagged.
Depending on when the city gave her official word, that meant any moment could be the last time she stepped foot in the store she had owned for 14 years.
And if her stuff wasn’t out in time?
“Then I say c’est la-vie and move on,” Witsil said.
She says her store was fine after the earthquake hit, but the two buildings that sandwich hers aren’t safe.
“They’ve both been red-tagged. So they’re failing. And the precious could fall on my roof and could injure somebody,” said Witsil.
For Witsil, every fast-moving second could have meant saving one last thing: a garbage bag stuffed with a dozen dresses, mannequins, and the antique style boxes that decorate her store.
With possibly only hours left, Thea took to Facebook to ask her community for help.
“I put out the word, and within ten minutes, I had five people here,” said Witsil.
And in less than an hour, roughly a few dozen people crammed into her store to help her save pieces of clothing, shelves, and accessories.
In less than three hours, everything was out.
“There’s no other place to be right now, other than the puddle of gratitude,” said Witsil.
Thea had already been planning on moving in a few weeks, but the unexpected move and potential for so much loss made her realize something precious she has.
“I’m so grateful. Look at my people. Look at Napa. This is the best of Napa right here,” said Witsil.