Christmas shopping can be a painful experience. Screaming kids scared of shopping-centre Santas and buskers playing carols on the pan flute are hard to avoid. This year, there’s a place to steer clear of the Christmas madness and support online-only independent businesses at the same time, without paying for postage.

Cloud St – a temporary store on Little Collins Street – will host a different online store every day from December 8 to 13. The businesses that will transform the space into their own store for the day plan to make it extra special. On Tuesday December 8, The Club of Odd Volumes will launch an exclusive collaboration with quirky candle label You, Me & Bones. It’s also running a [competition] where your own personal design could be featured on a T-shirt. On Wednesday December 9, Furniture retailer Holy Funk will give away a custom-designed table. Bellabox will give away a crate of make-up (which weighs around 150 kilograms) to one lucky person, and will provide free make-up sessions to all customers on Thursday December 10. And on Friday December 11 Kester Black will team up with Trophy Wife to give customers free manicures and nail art.

Cloud St will transform into a market on the weekend. The weekday retailers will have stalls alongside additional local businesses such as Witu, Thankyou, LVLY, Canary Janes Flowers, Douglas & Hope and Sweet Mickie.

“It’s really nice to have our own pop-up store,” says Anna Ross, founder of Kester Black. “There’s more foot traffic in town and nail polish is such an awesome stocking filler – everyone buys it.”

Kester Black will sell its 50 shades of nail polish and its liquid and bar soap ranges. “Our gingerbread bar soap and cherry-pie nail polish would make great Christmas gifts,” Ross says. She predicts glitter nails will be a common request in the lead up to Christmas, but hopes to get Trophy Wife to paint mini prawns on hers – the Australian Christmas mani.

Kester Black products are vegan and cruelty-free, designed and made in Australia, and packaged with consideration. “Even our stickers are recyclable,” says Ross. “So when you throw out the whole bottle, the stickers can be recycled too.” It’s good news that thoughtful, independent businesses like this will be given prominence in the city among the big retailers in the lead up to Christmas.

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December 8 to 13
352 Little Collins Street, Melbourne

This article is presented by Xero, which is powering Cloud St.