Advice from business leaders and industry experts
Business Victoria | 24 November 2021
2021 has felt so long and yet so short at the same time. But Victorians are a resilient bunch and we adapted quickly to working from home, zoom meetings, wild hair, wild winds, the literal earth-shaking, and more puzzles than table space to lay them out on, and then just like that we have hit December.
Victoria is home to a huge host of amazing makers, producers and designers, and with so much to choose from, the season of gift giving quickly becomes a stressful chore. To assist you, we have rounded up a selection of Victorian made goodies to make your Christmas shopping a little easier this year.
We’ve made this list, and checked it twice, to make sure that our Xmas gift selections are better than nice.
We are a nation of movers, cocktail shakers, and alcohol imbibers yet there is a growing movement within the Aussie community seeking out an alcohol-free buzz. This is where Brunswick Aces shines.
Australia’s first non-alcoholic bar and bottle shop launched their mindful drinking concept within a Brunswick East warehouse, a growing hot spot for schmoozers of atmosphere minus the booze.
For the person that likes to YOLO with a NOLO beverage, gift them this non-alcoholic advent calendar, featuring 25 days of refreshing beer varieties. If your giftee is on the spirited side, opt for a non-alcoholic gin pack, featuring Brunswick Aces distilled Sapiir, a capi tonic and lime wheel garnish.
It’s a well-known fact that chocolate produces happy hormones that de-stress your brain and if this isn’t a good enough reason to indulge in cocoa products over Christmas, we can’t help you.
We can, however, invite you to explore the range of chocolates from Jala Jala Treats, a proud First Nations business that creates delectable treats using Indigenous ingredients and bushfoods. Owner, Sharon Brindley is a Yamatji/Noongar woman living on Bunurong/Boon Wurrung country – a passionate business owner with a mission to promote the true flavours of Australia to Aussies.
Our tip is to create a gift box and fill it with Jala Jala’s quartet – the Davidson Plum, Finger Lime, Zesty Lemon Myrtle and Wattleseed Mylk chocolate for the vegans – at $12.75 per block, this is a no brainer.
Gift Jala Jala Chocolates
Everyone deserves some extra bling this year; in fact, we command it. Yet finding the perfect piece of jewellery to give your best friend, parent or partner for the holidays can be a challenging adventure. We have unwrapped the most original statement pieces for this coming Christmas that will be sure to put your giftee into the holiday spirit.
Hailing from award-winning Melbourne studio inSync design, the aptly named Swag Earrings are made of feather-light and hypoallergenic stainless steel with a distinct, whimsical pattern that will be a conversation starter at parties. If you cannot resist getting something for your own collection, check out the rest of inSync design’s distinctive range, to tick off your Christmas list requests and to add some zing to your own bling this year.
Gift Swag Earrings
The popularity of men’s skincare has risen to the point where men are literally spoilt for choice and rightly so. If you are trying to locate the perfect starter pack for that favourite person in your life you cannot go wrong with Native Man.
The mission is pretty plain and simple at Melbourne-based Native Man – to deliver ridiculously simple grooming skincare solutions for every man using sustainably sourced, Aussie ingredients.
We think that The Complete Duo gift set is a game-changing 2-in-1 product offering. The Complete Duo includes a 2-in-1 men’s facial cleanser & shaving gel as well as a 2-in-1 moisturiser & aftershave, all products are created to soothe, nourish, cleanse and moisturise the skin. Plus they smell delicious!
Gift The complete duo
The past year we’ve been living at home, working from home – doing just about everything… at home. And since we have been spending basically all of our time there, it makes sense that many of us are beautifying our living spaces with pieces that are both visually appealing and useful.
Our primo pick to add style to your space is an earthy inspired mountain vase from the studio of celebrated ceramicist Chela Edmunds, owner of Takeawei (pronounced ‘Take away’). Each piece from Takeawei is designed and handmade on the Surf Coast of Victoria. The colour and textures used are reminiscent of outback sunsets, beach getaways and ripe fruit baskets. Whether filled with flowers or displayed alone, Takeawei vases make beautiful and thoughtful gifts and ’tis the season for gifting something that is organic and made with care.
Gift Mountain Vases
Melbourne-based company OrbitKey started with a dream and a successful Kickstarter campaign that took them on a journey to solve a need in the market – a mission to provide the perfect storage solution for your many keys.
We know that a bunch of keys in a large keychain can be awkward to handle. Not to mention, you run the risk of shredding your pockets and scratching your phone. The Orbitkey key leather organiser transforms your cluster of keys into a beautiful, silent, and organised stack and houses up to seven keys, including a bulky car key.
Your giftee will also receive the Multi-Tool v2, a multi-functional accessory that operates as a box cutter, pry bar, flat-head screwdriver, PH2 Phillips-head screwdriver, letter opener, metric ruler, imperial ruler, coarse file and bottle opener – handy for opening that Christmas beverage. Yahoo.
Gift Key organiser set
If you love getting bibbed and ribbed up, there is nothing quite like an American-style, slow-cooked BBQ restaurant. Melbourne’s barbecue master, Fancy Hanks has made quite a name for itself in a prime location within the Melbourne CBD; a household name with an inspiring menu for meat lovers. Fancy Hanks offers both in-house dining and takeaway, as well as some of the lushest sauces for your own pantry cupboard this Christmas.
For the spice in your life, choose from a range of epic flavours with names like Pineapple Reaper Hot Sauce, Coffee and Molasses BBQ Sauce, Banana Ketchup just to name a few. Whether your giftee likes to get their blood pumping with an intense Scoville rating or they need a gentle heat for their palates, there are plenty of house-made condiments to choose from.
Gift Fancy Hanks Sauces
We all deserve to be pampered and spoilt, now more than ever. You can be sure that there are many of us who have not dedicated enough time to self-care this year. The crew at retail social enterprise LoveLuvo have created the ultimate at-home spa day gifts for your besties – in fact, simply knowing that LoveLuvo creates opportunities for people experiencing barriers to employment is the ultimate de-stressor for 2021.
For a bath product upgrade get a LoveLuvo Favourites Gift Box that comes complete with bath salts, body lotion and a hand and body wash created from soothing lavender, chamomile and rosemary – all paraben-free, cruelty-free, sulphate free and created right here in Melbourne.
A LoveLuvo gift will ensure that your giftee is provided with the necessary ingredients to turn their alone time into a calm oasis among the Christmas chaos.
Gift Favourites Gift Box
As a popular twist on a famous saying goes, ‘when life gives you lemons… add gin, tonic and ice.’ Autonomy Distillers offers a top drop, a small team that has been on a mission to produce innovative, local, ethical, sustainable and delectable small-batch spirits since unlocking the doors to their Spotswood distillery in late 2018.
Grab this limited-edition concept gin which neatly balances eucalyptus and mint from native peppermint gum, with the heat of Tasmanian Pepperberry and bright lemon myrtle to deliver a fragrant and refreshing Aussie gin that will surely delight.
If you’re in the mood for some citrus flavours, choose the Quandong gin, a fresh burst of native Aussie peach, juniper, citrus and spicy Tasmanian Pepperberry for the drinker in your life that prefers to sip neat tart, woody and peachy flavours.
Gift Peppermint Gum Gin
If you are a diehard boba fanatic, then you will likely be spending a small fortune every time you have to satisfy your bubble tea craving. But did you know that you can now get an authentic bubble tea experience at home with the Bubble Tea Club? Melbourne based besteas Pam Yip and Jenny Le (founders of Australia’s first DIY Bubble Tea kit start-up), have created the ultimate bubble tea experience that doesn’t break the bank.
We recommend trying the famous Brown Sugar Milk Tea kit, complete with everything you need to brew from brown sugar syrup, tapioca pearls and even sustainably smart paper straws. Grab one for you and your friend, get comfy in your pyjamas and have the perfect Christmas partea this holiday season with your favourite little sippers delivered right to your door.
If you have a furbaby, you will understand that they get just as excited about Santa Paws… and we have the perfect gift selection guaranteed to get tails wagging. Make treat time extra special with the Laila and Me Christmas lunch for pups, a limited-edition meal of roast turkey and roasted veggies that will have your pooch licking their lips on Christmas day. This is a special treat not to be missed!
With a need for healthy Aussie-made dog treats for her own pup, Melbourne-based Melissa Devereaux has created the “Ultimutt” small business producing nutritious doggy products created from quality local ingredients paired with sustainable packaging. Let’s raise the woof on a business that focuses on providing a range of tasty festive gift ideas for the pups and the kittens in your family.
Gift Christmas Lunch
The holiday season is a great chance to treat yourself to a little stocking stuffer or two and if you are a beauty hoarder or you are currently on the hunt for the latest hot product then read on. For the makeup devotee on your Christmas list, we have cherry-picked a super small business based in Melbourne that will become your go-to for glam looks.
Al Beauty offers up a dazzling array of luminous eyeshadow pigment shades in decadent jewel tones and sparkling neutrals that will be worthy of a Christmas selfie once unwrapped. The entire range of Al Beauty by entrepreneur Alexandra Iles is cruelty free with the majority of the products classified as vegan. Each dazzling product is handpicked with care and at $14.99 a pop, it will be an easy decision to buy more than one… or five.
Gift Luminous pigments
It’s that time of year, where gamers everywhere will be asking themselves what video games to get for Christmas in 2021.
Tis the season, therefore, to gift your gamer mate something that they will enjoy while supporting the local digital games industry.
Henry Mosse and the Wormhole Conspiracy is the creation of Melbourne based Bad Goat Studios and is a unique project that came about with assistance from Film Victoria. Henry Mosse combines comic-like cartoon visuals within a retro sci-fi adventure game using a traditional point and click format.
Within this visually appealing game, you will be introduced to a goofy interplanetary galaxy complete with oddball characters, engaging tasks and of course the ultimate battle of cosmic evil.