Advice from business leaders and industry experts
Business Victoria | 30 November 2020
As Christmas tiptoes towards us, chased by the sounds of Mariah Carey’s well known (if not overplayed) ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’, we all begin to feel the pressure of the season of gift-giving.
But it doesn’t have to be stressful.
We’ve put together a list of Christmas gifts from small Victorian businesses to make the pre-Christmas scramble a little bit easier. Victoria is home to amazing creators, makers and services that will delight even the most critical buyer. Gifts you can’t wait to give – and some you won’t want to give up.
This thoughtful gift for the baker in your life will sweeten up their Christmas. Mabu Mabu’s chocolate and wattleseed pavlova with strawberry gum cream will surely get them excited with a twist on the classic Australian dessert!
Head chef and business owner Nornie Bero launched Mabu Mabu as a humble pop-up stall at the South Melbourne Market in 2018. Since then the business has grown into a much beloved local cafe in Yarraville.
This ‘make your own’ pavlova kit includes a jar each of wattleseed cocoa powder, strawberry gum sugar, and lemon myrtle sugar, with a recipe card to make 8-10 serves. A fantastic, crowd-pleasing summer dessert to delight both the giftee and their lucky guests!
Despite the fact that laptops are getting lighter and more portable every year, using them in bed or on the run can still be a nuisance.
For those of us who don’t have a dedicated office space or just need to get away from the desk, lap desks are a great solution that allows you to enjoy marathon meetings from the comfort of your sofa.
Founded in Melbourne’s post-industrial inner west, Objct Co officially launched online in 2018 with the LAPOD Lap Desk. Its clean, minimal aesthetic, ergonomic design and tactile feel prove that not all lap desks are created equal.
Whether someone is your family is a digital nomad or just working from home, help them work anywhere in comfort with this lap desk.
Gift LAPOD Lap Desk
St Argo is a pet accessory brand that thinks equally about fashion and functionality. Say goodbye to tying those ugly poop bags to your dog’s lead and say hello to St Argo’s glorious vegan leather poop bag holders, the perfect accoutrement for those long summer walks.
This young Australian business also offers leashes and dog carriers, sent to you in Melbourne-made eco-friendly packaging.
There’s no excuse to mess around. Buy your favourite puppy loving friend one of these holders, or buy one for your own pup.
Gammin Threads creates vibrant chillwear that pops and their graphic tees are the ultimate gift for the toddler in your life.
Launched in 2018, Gammin Threads was founded by Melbourne-based designer Tahnee Edwards, a proud descendant of the Yorta Yorta, Taungurung, Boonwurrung and Mutti Mutti nations. Gammin Threads combine retro feels with colourful typography to create stunning pieces for little people and big people alike.
What’s more, you can hover over each item on the website which advises you which pieces are Ally Friendly.
Gift Kids Lubly Tee
Australia certainly punches above its weight in many different areas, including our local gin distilleries.
Kilderkin Distillery, born in 2016 in Alfredton, Ballarat, hits the high notes with their range of gins infused with unique native botanicals that can’t be found anywhere else on earth. Your friends’ discerning tastebuds will be tempted with their Larrakin Gin gift packs, featuring some of the distillery’s finest drops.
If you’re feeling particularly spirited, you may want to check out their guided tours (their distillery door is co-located with Red Duck Brewery), available to small groups.
2020 may be the year of exploring our own backyard while supporting Victorian small businesses.
Polperro Dolphin Swims is a multi-award winning eco-tourism operation located in beautiful Sorrento, just a short 90-minute journey from Melbourne CBD, making it a great local Christmas gift experience.
For your outdoorsy friend, get them the gift of a memorable getaway. Polperro Dolphin Swims provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim with wild bottlenose dolphins and Australian fur seals in Port Phillip Bay.
Board games and puzzles have made a comeback in a big way this year, and the ones by female-founded and Melbourne-owned Journey of Something are dedicated to more artful ways to play.
Their Guess the Politician and Guess the Musician games provide a hilarious twist on the traditional Guess Who format that will be sure to please any music or poli nerd.
Get your friends to exchange Netflix and Chill for Games and Thrill with the gift of game.
Gift Guess The Politician and Guess The Musician
The best way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach so treat someone to an edible gift from a local Victorian business.
Melbourne based Crackle Corn is the brainchild of pastry chef Katherine Yerondais, who has turned her hand to all things crunchy, salty and sweet. The small business endeavours to support the farming and manufacturing industries by sourcing locally and packaging their goods in Melbourne, Victoria.
Crackle Corn is a tasty variety of caramel popcorn morsels handcrafted in small batches with all-natural ingredients. During the festive season, this modern take on an old classic is your go-to gift for the foodie in your life with luxurious flavours including rosemary, gingerbread and peanut butter.
Be sure to order your Christmas gifts before the 14th December for a timely arrival.
It’s safe to say that this is the year of the picnic. With this great gift idea, you’ll be lounging in the sun like a boss as summer gets into full swing.
Indi Tribe Collective was founded on a passion for creating beautiful and practical products, including their folding wine tables. Handcrafted on the Mornington Peninsula (a mecca for outdoor activities) from sustainable hardwood, this gift will turn a picnic into an effortless soiree. Each table has in-built wine glass cutouts for your favourite local Victorian drop and plenty of room for a spread of local produce.
Get this for the person you picnic with the most and you will get to use it often this summer!
This Christmas give the travel bug in your life an adventure in an exotic Victorian landscape.
Almost three hours outside Melbourne, you’ll find the arid Cactus Country, spread over 12 acres of cacti gardens ready to be explored. You will feel as if you’ve been transported to Mexico or the African Sahara as you wander among the desert colours.
Drawing visitors from around the globe, Cactus Country offers packages that include a wander around an Australian desert like no other, as well as refreshments including a frosty margarita or corona beer.
Victoria is a melting pot of cultures and this is reflected in our makers and creators.
With an African-inspired aesthetic and contemporary design, Melbourne based label Ovazania offers up handcrafted accessories for the person in your life who loves a statement piece. If you’re looking for something special, and unusual, then check out the latest Themba/Hope collection, a blend of South African geometric motifs and modern sculptural graphics.
Gift Themba/Hope Earrings
Some of you may remember an iconic hand-drawn map of Melbourne produced back in the eclectic ’90s. With the enormous changes to Melbourne’s skyline over the past 30 years, the original makers of The Melbourne Map spent four years researching and hand illustrating this new Melbourne Map.
For your friend who loves Melbourne, this jigsaw puzzle gift is an intricate journey of familiarity and discovery, capturing the iconic architecture, spectacular gardens and sports precincts.
Let’s face it, Christmas in the office is going to look a little different this year.
So in the spirit of giving, why not gift your office bestie a beautifully crafted summer face mask to keep everyone safe and fashionable at work.
Second Stitch is a not-for-profit social enterprise that celebrates the unique skills, traditions and stories of refugees, migrants and people seeking asylum. Their comfy 100% cotton masks with the signature Second Stitch squiggle print will be the ultimate accessory for the summer months to come.
Gift Second Stitch – Layer Reusable Face Mask