We travelled into the desert to meet with Nicole of Holistic Ranch to dive deep on creating a life that aligns with you at your core and sets your soul on fire, what we can learn from horses and what is next for her ever inspirational brand.
How did you and your husband Khan meet? And what drew you together?
We met through mutual friends in LA. Khan was travelling from London where he was living at the time and I was living in Venice, Los Angeles. The moment we saw each other there was this instant draw, before we were even introduced, we felt this connection to one another. After speaking more there was so much alignment with our views of the world, the futures we were hoping to build, and the way we saw ourselves having a family. Every little thing we shared pulled us closer together.
Where did you grow up? And what inspired you to move to the desert?
I grew up in New York City. I originally moved to Los Angeles because I felt a huge need to get out of NY and start my own path and life. I never felt that either fit who I was as a person and what I valued or needed. I travelled to the desert many times while living in LA and truly fell in love with it five years ago. I bought my first house, a small little cabin now known as the Holistic Ranch Retreat. There is something about the desert that you can’t quite explain, but there is true magic in the land and air. I knew it was a place that would have a special place in my life and it really has.
In 3 words how is living in Joshua tree?
Expansive, peaceful, healing.
How was Holistic Ranch born and what is the mission behind it?
Holistic Ranch really took form when my husband and I moved from LA to Joshua Tree. Khan had just moved to the US a few months prior from London and we both felt this pull to not live in LA. We moved to the desert and within a day bought a truck and found our two horses. Through working on the land, our home and rehabilitating these horses we came up with the name Holistic Ranch. Through more conversation and inspiration, we continued to become clear that we wanted to go down this path of creating a holistic lifestyle that encompassed everything we loved and made it beautiful. Why can’t you live in a beautiful home that is non-toxic or sustainable? Why can’t you raise horses in a more holistic way and not over medicalize everything? How could we take care of our land and work with all the species and animals that belong to it? We wanted to create a brand that inspired people to start rethinking how we lived, the choices we make and who we support in the process. The concept has grown so much since we first started it and now we have an Organic grocer in town called Holistic Ranch, we are working on our 2nd property that will be available for rent in the winter of this year and we have launched our own skincare line. We have amazing partners who came on board about a year ago and believe in this crazy vision so we went from a team of two dreamers to four!
Where did your love of horse’s stem from?
I have been in love with horses since I can remember. I started riding when I was four and from the time I was six you couldn’t get me out of the stable. I would clean stalls, clean tack and do anything just to be surrounded by horses. The barn was my happy place! I always thought they were magical from a young age!
What do you think we as humans can learn from horses?
There is so much we can learn from horses. Over the last year I have been diving heavily into natural horsemanship with one of my horses to break through some trauma and through that work I can see positive shifts in my relationships and parenting. If we stop and truly listen and acknowledge our horses, we can learn so much about communication and patience. Communicating with our horses requires us to take the time to understand them, learn their body language, and learn their forms of expression. As humans, we don’t take the time to truly sit back and try to understand one another. We put an expectation on each other to say what we want and how we feel and that’s that. I think as a whole, horses truly teach us to listen with our body, trust our instincts and to slow down.
What are your future plans for Holistic Ranch?
We have so many things coming in the future from more products, to stores, to an expansion of our lifestyle part of the brand!
What values do you hope your children learn from growing up on Holistic Ranch?
For me as a parent my hope for my children is connection. I want them to feel connected to everything and hope their actions follow to support and nurture those connections. I want them to learn to love and respect the earth, their homes, their bodies and overall truly find happiness wherever this foundation leads them.
What aspect of what you do brings you the most joy?
I think the creativity combined with the business elements of everything we are doing. I love having a vision and seeing the response people have to it! It brings me and I know all of us working on this brand so much joy to see people’s excitement for what we are trying to do. Mostly for me, it’s being able to wake up every day and know that what I am doing is exactly aligned to who I am and my happiness. I know how lucky I am to have these opportunities in this life and while it has been a lot of hard work and painful moments it’s truly worth it.
You envision a world where…
Since having kids I think about our world and where we are and what I hope it to be as they start growing up. I truly wish for a world where people accept and love one another, corporations stop taking over our food systems, farmers are celebrated and supported through their communities and everybody has access to good food and safety.
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Photos: Victoria Aguirre