She’s a Wildflower

WHO: Alice Shepherd

WHERE: Pop-up store at King of the Castle Café 24 Pakington Street, Geelong West




Daisy: What kind of a garden do you come from?

Alice: Oh, I don’t come from any garden.

Daisy: Do you suppose she’s a wildflower?

  • Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland


EVERYONE loves flowers! From pretty posies to mind-blowing floral and foliage installations, this girl has got you covered!  I first met Alice when we were looking for someone to take over our pop-up shop at King of the Castle café. She had recently headed out on her own to establish She’s a Wildflower. Like me, Alice hasn’t always lived in Geelong. She grew up on a farm in northern Victoria and moved to Melbourne to study Tourism and Business. Eventually, she moved to Geelong to study floristry and now calls the Surfcoast her home!




No, my career began in talent management, liaising between comedians, bands, celebrities and their agents. Some of my clients include the likes of Ita Buttrose, Sir Bob Geldof and Jackie Stewart! It was an incredibly demanding job, but I really loved working on the social functions, where I got to spend time organizing the décor for each event. Things changed on my 25th birthday when a friend presented me with a hand picked posy of fresh flowers, straight from the garden, and I thought it would be so nice to do that for a living! So after some quick thinking and encouragement from my partner, I enrolled at The Gordon.



Not being bound to a desk! I love talking to people and really getting to know my clients. It’s rewarding to know that they have total trust in me and I have full creative reign over a job. I also love going to market and being inspired by all of the different blooms and foliage!



Stinky water; kale and stock water are definitely the worst offenders!



That’s like asking who is your favourite child! It changes week-by-week and season-by-season. At the moment I love flowers like sea holly, anemones, poppy pods, beehives and stock.




I’ve been working with the Pot & Pan Stylists, creating some amazing floral displays at their events. We had one here at King of the Castle and the next one will be at Boom Gallery in September. I’ve also been working with Little Creatures and had so much fun creating a forest in the foyer for their White Rabbit beer launch last week. I’ve also been collaborating with some stylists and photographers on photo shoots for wedding publications.



Working with flowers is so much fun! Ultimately, I’d love to work from my studio on events, with stylists and photographers, rather than retail.


She’s a Wildflower is open from Monday – Friday from 7am ‘til 3pm (on Monday’s Alice uses an honesty box system; she’s got to have at least ONE rest day a week!) and Saturday – Sunday from 8am ‘til 2pm.

I’ll give you the hot tip though; Thursday is market day, so she is just bursting with spectacular blooms that will make your heart sing!

Nat x

Chill Out at Endota!


WHERE:  Endota Spa Geelong, 218 Pakington Street, Geelong West

WHEN: Monday – Saturday from 9am



This isn’t my usual kind of post, but sometimes when you’re feeling like you have no free time, too many things to do and everything is just a bit too much; it’s a good sign that you really do need to get away from everything and just STOP and BREATHE!  That’s just what I have needed these last few weeks!



Located on Pakington Street Geelong West, near the corner of Autumn St, you’ll find this hidden sanctuary that will slow you right down from the moment you step inside!  You are greeted by relaxed, professional staff, calming music, heavenly scents and soothing cups of tea!  Endota Spa Geelong combines Australian certified organic ingredients with Day Spa treatments to provide one truly blissful experience!

On my last visit, I experienced their “Endotarama” mini super-spa package, which consisted of a foot-bath, half hour organic facial and half hour massage.  A girl (or guy, for that matter, as they cater for men too) could really get used to this!

PANEL_02ON MY WISH LIST:  The be-all-end-all 4 seriously sublime spa hours. Body exfoliation. Yoghurt cocoon or hot oil wrap, full body massage. Organic one hour facial and pedicure.

YOU’LL LOVE: The tranquility of the space and the pure indulgence you’ll feel with every treatment!

TAKEAWAY TIP: Grab yourself a copy of one of their Day Spa music CD’s and some of their calm essential oil for that chill out experience at home!

This week, I was reminded of how precious life is, so don’t forget to take time out for yourself!

Nat x

Shave Day

This is just a quick follow-up to my last post, Live Strong, about my Pakington Village neighbour and friend, Steven Nardi, who wanted to shave his beard for a cause that is so close to his heart.  On Saturday, I had a front row seat to witness the shave (actually it was standing room only) and today I am feeling an overwhelming sense of pride for my community and the town that I now call home!


What began as a somewhat low-key desire to celebrate his ‘cancer free’ milestone, turned into a full blown community event, with our very own Mayor(s) Darryn Lyons (our officially elected Mayor) and Billy Brownless (AFL legend, affectionately referred to as ‘The Mayor of Geelong’**) overseeing the shave and raffle draw.


The turnout was incredible, as is the total that Steven raised; a WHOPPING $16,576!

Follow this link to the Mister Miller Facebook page, where Steven has posted a short video!

Congratulations to Steven and everyone that contributed!

Nat xx


**NOTE – when I first moved to Geelong, I was led to believe that Billy Brownless really WAS the Mayor!

Live Strong

WHERE: Mister Miller Coffee Co (formerly Michael’s Cafe Volare), 111 Pakington Street Geelong West

WHEN: Midday Saturday 17th May, 2014

WHY: To raise $5000 for cancer research**


A new era for this Geelong institution! Fresh, new signage pays homage to local philanthropist and benfactor, Mr Alexander Miller.

What was once Michael’s Cafe Volare, has been re-branded Mister Miller Coffee Co.  Fresh, new signage pays homage to local philanthropist and benfactor, Mr Alexander Miller (a brief biography can be found here).  Mister Miller Coffee Co will play host to the “Shave the Beard” cancer research fundraiser to take place at midday on Saturday May 17th.

No doubt, many Geelong-based readers will be aware that our local caffeine dispenser, Stephen Nardi, is raising money for cancer research.  What many of you may not know is the reason why.

On the 17th of May 2004 Stephen had one of life’s biggest curve balls thrown right at him; that insidious “C” word.  You know; the one that, more often than not, shatters dreams and steals lives?  The sad reality is, we all know someone that has been afflicted by this disease.  But being the remarkable young man that he is, he didn’t stop and feel sorry for himself.   With the love and support of his close-knit family and friends, he picked the ball up and threw it right back in cancer’s face!

When you’re 17 and about to embark on your final year at school, the last thing you expect is to be diagnosed with cancer.  What started out as an annoying back pain was quickly found to be something far more sinister.  This type of cancer is unusual in someone so young, so three days after being diagnosed, he had surgery. After taking some time to recover from that, in July, began 3 rounds of chemotherapy.

Chemo might have killed the cancer, but not his spirit! Undeterred, he was determined to get back to school and finish year 12. He spoke about the importance of getting back to normality and with the support of the faculty and his mates at St. Josephs, he also organised his first cancer research fundraiser, which was a huge success!  He was invited to make a speech at the final assembly, which he summarised for me: appreciate your education and time at school, as you may not realise what it means until it is taken away from you…..a bit like life really.

In an excerpt taken from his donation page, Stephen puts it all into perspective:

“Although at the time it seemed life ending, at 17 years old, facing my last year of high school, it would become a realisation that I was and still am one of the lucky ones. Some families are not so lucky when it comes to dealing with this selfish disease. Overcoming this illness gave me an understanding of change and how to deal with it when life throws you curve balls.

“This small accomplishment is something I feel I need to do. The last 10 years of my life have had its ups and downs but this morning I wake up appreciative of the gift of life and today I am thankful to share it with you!”



A daily reminder of the gift of life and to always Live Strong!

A daily reminder of the gift of life and to always Live Strong!


To mark 10 years since his diagnosis and 12 months since Stephen started growing his beard (much to his mother’s chagrin!) he would like to invite everyone to come along and watch him shave it off!  So I guess the next question is; who will shave it off? Let’s put the call out to some of  Geelong’s public figures. Mr Mayor? Billy Brownless? Cameron Ling? Any other suggestions?

WHERE/HOW CAN YOU DONATE?  Stephen has set up a page with the Victorian Cancer Council so you can donate directly with them (see link at the top of this post), or you can donate at the window when you are buying your coffee.  He will also be donating $1 from every coffee sold on the day of the great shave.

CAN I JOIN IN ON THE DAY?  Absolutely; the more, the merrier! Just head down to Mister Miller (formerly Michael’s Cafe Volare) on Pakington Street prior to the day and speak to Stephen about participating.

**NOTE: At the time this post was published, he had already surpassed his $5000 target, with donations coming from as far away as Sweden, Canada & Ireland!  What do you say Geelong; let’s help him double that!

Nat x