When Jonna Hopewell Payne Davis ('02) first added dairy goats to her farm, it was meant as a way to meet the needs of her son, who was allergic to cow's milk. Now, not only is her son thriving, but so is the goat-based business that resulted from the excess milk, an enterprise that includes soaps, lotions -- and goat yoga.
Davis is the owner of Nuluv Goat Milk Products, a fast-growing brand of uniquely scented goat-milk-based skin-care products. Headquartered in Center Point, Davis and her husband run the largest hands-on goat milk dairy in Texas, which means no machines are used on the goats or to make the goat-milk products.
"When I had my son, he had a really severe dairy allergy," Davis says. "We already had a goat farm, and it didn't take much to expand to dairy goats. It really started as something to fill the needs of my children."
Davis and her husband started their herd with Nubian goats because of the goats' inquisitive, fun-loving personalities and sweet milk. Within a few years, the herd expanded, making more milk than her family could use. So Davis began making and selling skin-care products that catered to people with allergies or sensitivities to traditional milk. She dubbed the line "Nuluv," a name that came from her husband, who gave her the Nubian goats for Valentine's Day. Davis nicknamed them her "Nuluv Nubians."
While Nuluv started as a hobby, it is now a robust business with a studio in Center Point and several employees. In recent months, Davis has expanded Nuluv to include goat yoga, a new exercise trend. During goat yoga -- a 50-minute class with a certified yoga instructor -- the playful animals jump on participants during poses. Davis even offers goat picnics, where families can enjoy an outdoor meal and the company of baby goats.
"Nuluv was never something that we planned," Davis says. "It's just a one-day-at-a-time kind of business."