Welcome to our series of interviews showcasing some inspiring families who  share their stories of travel, parenthood and work mixed with their life dreams, goals and advice.  


Introducing you to Nicole from @zilvi and her gorgeous family from the Noosa Hinterland in QLD, Australia.  They have been on some amazing trips and have created a lifestyle that they absolutely love and always dreamt of.  Come along with us and get a glimpse into their inspiring, nature-filled life!


Wild Life

Share with us about yourself, your background, your family and your business…

I am Nicole. I work, farm and home school our son, Felix [age 8], on our 60 acre property in the Noosa Hinterland along with my partner, Jason.
Our business journey started in the basement of our small, suburban home in Brisbane. A burning desire to spend our time crafting with timber led us to design our first collection in July, 2014 using only the tools from our shed - and so began our brand, Zilvi.
In 2016 we moved from the city to the country to a town of just 700. Our studio and workshop is now nestled beneath the trees on a mountain in the Noosa Hinterland, Australia.
Having immersed ourselves into a self sufficient life in our modern homestead, we are now passionate bee keepers with 12 bee hives scattered throughout our hills. We bottle honey straight from the hive to the jar and make this available in small batches on our website and in some small retail stores.  
In 2021, we introduced our Zilvi Tea collection to compliment our lifestyle. We move throughout our days with intention and choose to really live - to pause and to see the beauty in the things we often miss when we allow the fast pace of life to distract us. And often, these moments can be as simple as stopping and having a cup of tea. To spend time reflecting or to tell a story while we are stopped and present in each others company.
Our focus is nurturing a brand that is kind to the earth through the operation of our business. We use minimal packaging that is fully recyclable including up-cycled fabrics.
Our family is supported by Zilvi. Our small business allows us to work from our home studio or on the road as we travel different parts of Australia when we can, all while educating our son as we home school. This lifestyle is our dream.


What are 1 or 2 non-negotiable things that you do for yourself every day?

A cup of tea in the morning sitting alone out on my deck enjoying the sounds of the rainforest. And a cup of tea before bed on the lounge, lights down.


What do you hope your son takes away from the beautiful, intentional childhood you’re providing for him?

The love for adventure where he appreciates even the smallest of creatures or plants/fungi within his own backyard or while road tripping this country or backpacking the world. I hope he continues to be as inquisitive and passionate about learning new things as he is now and that he continues to ask questions and seek the answers. I hope that the freedom we have given him with his education and the encouragement to be himself carries him into adulthood with the confidence to achieve whatever he wants to.


Why is nature and the wild outdoors important to you?

It is such a simple thing - being outside. Standing on the grass, hiking a mountain, swimming in a creek or ocean - so simple yet the positive effect it has on my mental health and body is enormous. And I believe it is where children belong - exploring, touching, feeling, asking questions, playing and using their imaginations - moving their bodies, breathing in the fresh air. It's so simple and so important. 


Wildest and best place you’ve travelled?

Definitely our road trip to the snow last June. We camped for two weeks in our camper trailer along the Snowy Mountains Highway and around Mt Kosciuszko. The area experienced their best pre-season snow fall in years. It was incredible to wake up somewhere new each day - often being the only campers set up in the snow. Thankfully our diesel heater kept us warm. It was such a surreal experience. Absolute magic.

Wild Work

What led you to start your business?

After 7 years in business, I only shared this story recently. And I feel it an important one as it reminds us that good can come from devastating situations.

I shared on instagram a photo of myself and Felix sitting in a hammock, he was 7 months old. It was the first time I’d left my house in weeks other than for work. Or the Royal Brisbane Hospital.

Days prior to the image being taken, an employee of mine had just woken from a coma. He’d been asleep for 21 days after almost burning to death in my office doorway as he begged for me to ‘put him out’.  Felix was on a rug on the floor. 

I held his head while paramedics injected him with pain relief and he screamed he was dying. His skin had melted off from his neck to his groin. An image that will never leave me. Nor the screams. The smell. My younger employees stood watching in shock. I felt so responsible.

He was taken to hospital. I would visit his temperature controlled glass pod hoping that he would soon wake. And be okay. Nurses wouldn’t say if this was actually going to happen. I blamed myself. I was his boss. It was my job to keep my staff safe.

On day 21, he woke. He was alive. I went and saw him. We spoke. I could breath again.

That weekend Jas took me away to his brother's property in NSW. I needed it. I sat for hours alone that weekend. My life had to change. Jas had a small laser machine in our shed and a few tools and had said I should use it for ‘something’.

Desperate to not have to re-live that day over and over as I entered my office, I started brainstorming ideas for a business. With paper and pen, I would draw nursery decor pieces. Name plaques. Birth plaques. Made from wood. With little confidence anyone would be interested in this art, I was desperate. I created an Instagram account. Drew a logo on my phone. And started posting to an audience of zero. People found me. Celebrities found me. 10 weeks later this new brand I had created would be so busy I would resign from my full time management role.

I could leave that office. Finally.

Zilvi would not exist if that day was like any other. His accident changed his life. And it changed mine.

And that is why I work so hard. I refuse to take that day for granted.


What are your future work or business goals/dreams?

Inspired by Cherie from The Digital Picnic, I would love to be in a position to assist women in domestic violent situations. Cherie's company pays the monthly rent on a secret apartment which a relevant agency relocates DV effected Mothers and children to a secret and safe place. I would love to also rent a property for women and children some day via the success of my small business. 


What is one piece of business advice you’d give?

Build a brand, not a product. So tell your story, share your journey and create a brand. Don't just be known for a particular product. So if one day you decide to stop selling candles [for example] and want to sell shoes, your loyal following will buy the shoes because they know and love your brand.

Wild Advice

What are your top 3 tips for living a whole and happy life?

1. Surround yourself with friends who compliment you and support you. Don't allow 'noise/drama' into your life. 

2. Treat yourself with kindness both in mind and physically. Ensure your inner dialogue to yourself is a positive one. Eat beautiful, fresh foods and limit alcohol, move your body - even if it's a few stretches each morning.

3. Tell your children you love them. Look at them when they speak to you and really listen. Cuddle, cuddle them so much. They will feel happy and confident being so supported and loved. And they will thrive. 


What is one key piece of advice you would share with parents who are motivated to incorporate nature into their everyday lives?

Do what you can with the space and spare time you have. If it's setting up some activities because you only have a small back yard - create a small vegetable or flower patch. Seek out a hike or bush walk and make it a regular thing on weekends. Find local creeks and water holes to explore and swim. Camp! Camping is so much fun - you will see a different side to your children when they're outside and free to explore, create, run and play. The more time you spend outside, the less they are interested in screen time.


Top 5 things you wouldn’t camp/travel without?

1. Blundestone boots for all three of us

2. Craft supplies: pencils, pens, water colours, glue, paper, beads along with treasures we collect along the way eg shells, drift wood 

3. My journal and Felix's journal

4 & 5. My teapot and supply of Zilvi Tea and portable Wacaco Mini Nespresso machine for coffee

Wild Dreams

Do you have a life goal?

A specific goal is to live on the road uninterrupted for a minimum of 12 months travelling Australia in our van. My overall life goal is to continue living on a large acreage, debt free, raising our own animals and growing our own food - and spending my days outside or making ceramics - a basic and slow life is perfect to me.


What do you hope to be known for - your legacy?

I sat with this question for a few minutes trying to word it perfectly. But it really is so simple - I want to be known for the kind of Mother I am to my son, Felix. That I Mother, heart first, with so much love. And give him encouragement to feel free to be himself. 


Fav Quote: There are people you haven't met yet who will love you - Bella Ashlynn
Fav Book: I have just finished 'Many Lives, Many Masters' by Dr Brian Weiss - it was amazing!
Fav Children’s Book: The Magic Far Away Tree
Fav Food: Thai Green Curry 
Fav Drink: Black Tea
Fav Holiday Destination: Anywhere on the road within Australia. Van life is for me.
Your Happy Place: At home on our property
Something you want to Learn: Pottery. I am desperate to own a kiln and throw wheel.


IG handle: @_zilvi
Website: www.zilvi.com.au


We are so grateful that we have been able to feature Nicole and her beautiful family on our Journal.  

Leave a comment for us (or Nicole) below - we'd love to hear from you!  If you'd love to read more articles in our Journal, click here.  

1 comment


Such a wonderful and inspiring read. Well done on the life you have created with Jas and Felix, Cuz. 🥰 Thanks for bringing this story to the attention of your readers, @wanderandwild. Keep up the great work, both of you! 💚

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