Nicole comes from a wealthy family, which owns The Land's largest cherry orchard. In 891, Nicole went to Kimrin on a business trip (one of her first acts after joining the family's business). There she tried lambic for the first time; it's an alcohol which was only made in Kimrin and Port, which meant it hadn't existed for many years yet. The only varieties that existed at the time were made with rainbowberries and sprayberries, but Nicole came up with the idea of making a new flavor of lambic using cherries, which would open up a new product line for her clan's company. Her subword sense told her that such lambic would be called "kriek," and when the surname law was passed in 904 (by which time the product had become quite successful for the clan), Nicole chose that name for herself.
Because her clan is wealthy, its members can afford to indulge their whims, and many of them choose to travel to other villages, find other things to do besides the family business. Some travel specifically for the family business, becoming traders, establishing contacts in other villages. Still others choose to retire early. Thus, by the time Nicole turned 30 in 900, she was the senior-most member of the clan still living in Triscot and taking an active part in running the orchard and the company that sold cherries, and kriek lambic, to various villages (mainly on Near Land). Therefore, she was the one who got to select the clan's surname in 904, as mentioned earlier.
Meanwhile, in spite of doing little traveling herself, her company did have business contacts from other villages who often came to Triscot to do business with her, and so she knew many traders from around the world. One of these traders was Demos, who mentioned to her at least as early as 902 that he was planning to run for office, once it became clear whether there would be a world government or not. Nicole began thinking she should at least run for a position in local government, if and when elections were held for village councils. However, she failed to obtain a seat on the Triscot council in the 904 elections, after a scandal which alleged her clan had ties to drug dealing in both Triscot and Woodstockade. In fact, it was true that an uncle of hers produced a certain drug from purpleshade, which some members of her clan (including her older brother, Nicolai) were involved in selling. But in spite of there being nothing illegal about that, it seemed they dealt with shady individuals, and particularly in Woodstockade, a connection to LandOrder was alleged. (Again, there was some truth to this, though Nicole herself had no involvement in it, and her brother had cut his ties with the gang at least a year earlier.)
Nicole became quite frustrated by this turn of events, though it did little if anything to affect her company's profits. Still, her resentment made her open to the suggestion by Rocher Zelcorner of Jump Village that they form a business arrangement, together with Emannus Des'Rosset of Woodstockade, which would serve as a cover for making plans to start new branches of InterGang in each of their respective villages, later that year.
Lambic was introduced to Nicole by a man named Kros (pronounced krôss), who had been born in Triscot in 868. In 879, when he was 11 years old, his family were among the founders of Kimrin. They had been spirit-makers for generations, and it was they who first made lambic, after settling in the new village. After Nicole and Kros met in 891, they maintained a close friendship, and eventually fell in love. They married in 902, at which point he moved back to Triscot. (He and Nicole had visited each other's villages a number of times over the years, and they both agreed Triscot was a more pleasant place to live than Kimrin.) In 906, they had a daughter whom they named Cherry.