Ajne Survives Glass Wildfire
On September 28, 2020, the Glass Fire erupted across the Napa valley, about 4 miles from the Ajne facility.
Jane and Rex had moved Ajne from Carmel to the Napa California wine country because Rex's mom was suffering from severe dementia. Rex's sister was generously providing most of the care and Rex wanted to be closer to help give his sister a break now and again. Because of COVID, Jane and Rex decided to postpone the opening of a new Ajne store and instead obtained a space for Ajne production and shipment.
The winds changed and the fire headed toward both our home and Ajne at 3 AM on September 29. The fire got so close that fist-sized flaming pellets began to rain down upon our house and surrounding land. By the sheer grace of the Universe, we were able to get the 6 cats that adopted us inside the house and then into carriers. Yes, herding cats during a firestorm is just what it sounds like. By this time, fire was glowing both in front and behind our house up the hill. Little other than our pets and a few pieces of clothing made it into our car before we raced away. The smoke was so thick, we could hardly see. We weren't sure where to go as a hotel likely wouldn't accept pets. If they got out, they'd run away, lost forever. So, we drove 5 hours north to Rex's sister's house in Ashland Oregon - where sadly - another fire had just ravaged their small town, displacing 2,000 residents.
On October 2nd, the birthday of Jane's late father, we learned via a neighbor that our house had perished in the fire. As fate would have it, our Ajne production center also burned. The entire structure and everything in it was completely destroyed. There was nothing left, but ash and rubble. What was worse, was to turn on the news and see the destruction of our home replayed via not only local TV news, but national news like CNN.
But happily, the story doesn't end there. Jane and Rex have been overwhelmed by the generosity of family, friends, clients, insurance and even governmental support. Many people told us that insurance would be difficult and unhelpful. Many told us the County and State would be a real pain. We've experienced nothing but kindness and understanding from AAA and government officials too. Our family generously made room for us to stay. They even helped us build a "catio" for our furry, freaked-out companions. Friends sent us care packages of clothing and snacks, sent texts and emails and called to check on us. Many businesses offered discounts to us when they learned about our hardship. And our wonderful clients were so very patient with our lack of speedy service and in most cases canceling and refunding of their orders.
Thank you all! Words can't even begin to express our gratitude.
Thankfully, we found a new building, as well as a home rental near our previous house. It's actually in the beautiful vineyards of Coppola and Staglin wineries. We reached out to our suppliers and they helped us restock with the very best quality equipment and supplies. And while we simply can't replace the essential oil stock we had loving aged for so many years, our suppliers helped us to obtain absolutely incredible aroma oils. We're rebuilt. We're safe. We're grateful. And it all happened in record time.
So please accept our apologies if we didn't communicate or if we let you down with poor service during our rebuild. We were really knocked down and overwhelmed for a long while. Try as we might, we just couldn't perform. But we're back now, restocked and ready to make it up to you. We hope to re-earn your trust and business and serve you like never before!
With the deepest of gratitude!
Jane and Rex