Bec Nolan, Mullumbimby
Words by Elisha Kennedy
Images by Samuel Nolan
Bec Nolan has worked as a stylist, designer and artist among other things and her home is effortless and lively, with a collection of unexpected knick knacks and thriving plant life. Nestled in vibrant Mullum, it's the kind of home in which everything is drenched in sunlight and all the fur babies happily pile on the bed. Her husband Sam took some photos of the family for us at home on a clear, winter's morning and we learn more about Bec and her business, Velvet Canyon. What can you tell us about your home?
I live here with my husband, Sam, our three cats and two dogs. We rented here for three years before buying, we've been here about 6 years now. My sister bought the house next door so our life is basically a sitcom now.
Where are some of your favourite places to go in your neighbourhood?
Punch & Daisy has the best avo toast. Honestly it's surprising we were able to buy our house with all the avo toast we eat. The Japanese (Izakaya Yu) restaurant is also really good here too.
Honestly it's surprising we were able to buy our house with all the avo toast we eat.
How did the two of you meet?
I was at college - Sam had attended the year before and was working there. The first thing my Mum ever said to him, before we were even dating, was "are you my future son in law?".
Did you grow up in the Northern Rivers?
I grew up on the Gold Coast, which is only an hours drive but a world away in terms of culture and lifestyle. I couldn't wait to move away... I didn't make it very far, but I love it here. It's been nearly seven years now. What can you tell us about your little pups?
Pony is a 7yr old mini dachshund and she's my animal sidekick. She comes everywhere with me. People might think she's unfriendly because it takes a lot of effort to get into her inner circle but once you're in she will make you feel like the most important person in the world. We got Baby just a few weeks ago and he's the sweetest little dumpling. The opposite of Pone, he loves everyone.
Do Pony and Baby get to sleep in the bed with you?
Of course! They sleep under the covers with us. It can get quite cosy, especially if any of the cats decide to join. And because it's cold right now they really get as close as they can against my body, Baby likes to sleep nuzzled into my neck. I keep thinking about upgrading to a king size. But we just got all new linen sheets so.. maybe not just yet!
You founded your brand Velvet Canyon with your sister Cass Moase and friend Ali Mitton, can you tell us about the dynamic between the three of you, how did Velvet Canyon come to be?
The idea to start a sunglasses brand came about because I was always looking for sunnies while styling shoots and not really finding what I was looking for. Cass and I were working together for a clothing company and we both wanted out, we loved working together so it made sense to start a business together. Ali and I have been friends since she photographed my wedding 8 years ago (she lost the photos before I saw them, don't ask her about it, she'll cry). She's funny so she could get away with anything basically. It's pretty great having such a talented photographer as a co-founder, we share a very similar aesthetic and we work really well together too. We are all usually on the same page with any particular issue so it's all been smooth sailing so far.
Tell us about your wedding.
It was on the deck at my Dad's house in the Gold Coast hinterland, super low key with just our closest friends and family. We didn't have a lot of money and we wanted to spend what we had on our honeymoon to Japan - our favourite Chinese restaurant catered, my friends helped me bake the sweets. I borrowed a dress from a friend who sold vintage clothes. But it was all beautiful. We were so young - I look at 22 year olds now and I think wow...you're just babies. But my mum had me at 22 to there's that side of the coin as well. I'm 30 now and the thought of having kids still terrifies me. Have I mentioned I love sleep?
We didn't have a lot of money and we wanted to spend what we had on our honeymoon to Japan - our favourite Chinese restaurant catered, my friends helped me bake the sweets. I borrowed a dress from a friend who sold vintage clothes. But it was all beautiful.
On Velvet Canyon's website it says that a percentage of sales go to charitable organisations, can you tell us a bit more about this?
We donate 1% of our online sales to a Melbourne based charity called SisterWorks. They are a group supporting female migrants, asylum seekers and refugees to become financially independent, as well as providing a much needed social network and sense of community in which could be potentially quite an isolating and lonely time in the women's lives.
Do you have a morning routine?
Sam brings me a cup of tea in bed and opens the blinds to help me wake up. I'm definitely not a naturally early riser. I just love bed.
A bedtime routine?
It's not very romantic. I take my medication, fall asleep not long after and sleep for a solid 10 hours. I've always had insomnia and depression, since I was a teenager. So falling asleep by 10pm is still a novelty for me. I did used to have a lot of great ideas laying in bed awake into the wee hours, so I do sometimes wonder what I've traded for sleep, and a general absence of sorrow. What are you looking forward to this year?
Finishing our showroom/studio in Byron. It should only be a few more weeks! Also Europe in September, if everything goes to plan.