Indra Fortney is bringing what she calls “a little bit of high-end hippie” to Napa. Fortney recently opened a new store in downtown Napa called Boho Lifestyle. Located on First Street, Boho Lifestyle carries everything from housewares and furniture, to rugs, jewelry, clothing and accessories.
“Boho to me is creative, playful, free-spirited, organic and incorporates a myriad of cultures,” Fortney said. “I like simplistic pieces and I don’t take design too seriously. I like a rustic, earthy feel with simplistic pieces of furniture.”
It’s what Fortney calls “a mish mosh that is sort of Anthropolgie,” referring to the popular chain store that has made the bohemian style more mainstream over the past 20 years. Fortney procures products that incorporate an environmentally-friendly, stylish and natural lifestyle and that’s why she carries everything from the high-end furniture line Taylor Scott, to hemp rugs and hand-screened kitchen towels.
Fortney said she sources many of the products at Boho Lifestyle from small or family-owned businesses, like handmade pottery from Napa potter, NBC Pottery. She has an e-commerce site, shopboholifestyle.com, that allows visitors to purchase products from her store online and she provides interior design consultations for her customers.
Raised in Mendocino, Fortney cites her hometown as one inspiration behind her design aesthetics. “Mendocino is in me and I feel like I want to continue to support that and be conscientious,” Fortney said. “I really wanted to carve out a niche and didn’t want to do the quintessential ‘Napa, Tuscan’ look.”
An extensive traveler, Fortney has lived in Athens, Greece and went to school in Switzerland. She has traveled around the world to places like India and Nepal. Her design, she said, is a myriad those travels combined with her Mendocino roots.
However, Fortney is no newcomer to the Napa design scene. For nine years, Fortney owned an interior design business in town called La Vie Belle Interiors and she started a photography business called Style and Shoot. She closed La Vie Belle to move to her husband’s homeland of Finland where she and her husband resided for three years. While in Finland, Fortney started a new photography and home-styling business in which she says she acquired “a new found respect for the clean, pared-down look favored in Scandinavian design.”
Upon returning from Finland in 2010, she felt like it was time to put her roots back in Napa. She always knew she wanted to open a store that focused on earth-friendly design. Fortney put together a plan and presented it to Todd Zapolski, who is currently redeveloping the Napa Town Center into The Shops at Napa Center. Fortney says Zapolski liked her idea and invited to her open Boho Lifestyle prior to The Shops at Napa Center being fully developed.
While Zapolski says that the general renovation of The Shops at Napa Center will be completed by summer 2014, he welcomed Boho Lifestyle as a pop-up store while the renovations occur. Zapolski says merchants will be phased in to the available spaces once the renovation is complete and that Boho Lifestyle will remain a pop-up store until final mercantilization of the new shopping center is decided upon over the next year.
“We like Indra and her background,” Zapolski said. “She is someone who has experience and understands the market. She is still tweaking the concept but it brings another dimension to the retail experience in downtown.”
“What I’ve been hearing from locals is ‘thank you for being here’ and ‘your prices are so reasonable,” says Fortney. “There was a gap there in Napa. I wanted to carve out a niche.”