At a young age, Jan Stimpson could be found sewing doll clothes under the watchful eye of her grandmother. However, this early love of fashion and design took a back seat in her life until 1977 when she quit her job at a law firm and opened Moodyville Cotton and Canvas, a natural fabric store in North Vancouver. Jan did this for two reasons: one, she had decided it was finally time to pursue her passion for fabric, and, two, she had just given birth to her first child and she wanted to be self-employed in order to spend time with him.The stiff, dry-clean only fabrics of the 70's dictated highly structured fashions and this did not go unnoticed by Jan. It wasn't long before she gave up the fabric store and developed her first line, Jan by Hand, a collection of flowing, hand-painted, natural fibre, body-friendly dresses that she created on a single sewing machine in a small, one bedroom apartment.
She wanted to give women the opportunity to find joy in dressing their unique shape and, thus, in 2001, Sympli was born, a collection of high-quality, affordable clothing with a new concept that offers a choice of fit (snug, relaxed or tunic) to accommodates many different women and their unique forms. This flexible formula is the basis for all Sympli pieces and Jan's innovative design technique of draping fabric on real-life bodies (instead of using a computer design program) means that women's curves are celebrated as opposed to being funnelled into a single "idealized" shape.