An Australian-made or designed gift to suit any budget.
THE $20 TO $30 RANGE
Stubbie holders by Ubbie Co., $14.95
It’s easy to find attractive beach towels, tea towels and linen. Stubbie holders? Not so much. Melbourne-based Clarissa Harris was sick of drinking out of nasty branded coolers, so she created this range of Australiana-inspired holders instead. Patterns include the Daintree, Blue Lagoon, Pink Liquorice and mountainous Grampians (styled after the Victorian region). Each Ubbie comes in a minimalist white box, making it a cinch to wrap.
Ubbie coolers are $14.95 plus shipping from ubbie.co. Otherwise, pick one up in person at a Victorian stockist.
Joy Burst Lip de-Luscious by Mecca Cosmetica, $20
Inside this festive limited-edition Christmas cracker – displaying the vivid artwork of Claudia Moodoonuthi – is one of Mecca’s mini Tinted Lip De-Luscious SPF 25. This slick and nourishing tinted lip balm contains conditioning botanicals and vitamin E, and with SPF protection, is the perfect gift for summer.
Mecca Cosmetica’s Joy Burst Lip de-Luscious is $20. Buy here.
Creme de La Crème by Maison Balzac, $20
French-born, Sydney-based Elise Pioch Balzac founded Maison Balzac with a set of scented candles. The Crème de la Crème is the brand’s signature hand and body cream and is made with 90 per cent organic ingredients – including beeswax and botanicals such as Camelia oil and rosemary – that nourish, hydrate and repair skin. Best of all, it dries fast and is easy to travel with.
Maison Balzac Crème’s de La Crème is $20. Buy online.
A–Z Indoor Plant Zine by EST, $25
Here’s the perfect gift for the serial plant killer. Adelaide plant stylist Emma Sadie Thomson has teamed up with Byron Bay illustrator Sabrina Sterk to release a very handy indoor plant zine. The A–Z guide takes you through 26 indoor plants, from angel wing begonia to zebra cactus, with specific care tips for each variety.
Est’s A–Z Indoor Plant Zine is $25. Buy online from Friday.
Jimmy Ceramic Espresso Cups by Hunting for George, $29
These speckled stoneware cups will make your gift recipient’s homemade espresso that much better. The cups are also ideal for holding herbs, spices, salt flakes – you name it. The cups are part of homewares label Hunting for George's first ceramics range, which is handmade in Melbourne.
The Jimmy Ceramic Espresso Cups are $29. Buy online.
Broadsheet Melbourne & Broadsheet Sydney Food, $29.95
Our latest books are the essential guides for anyone passionate about food, who wants to find the best their city has to offer. We’ve collated more than 100 of the greatest shops, suppliers and producers in Melbourne and Sydney into two books. From markets to bakeries, grocers to delis, and butchers to bottle shops, the books profile established classics and hidden gems, helping you find great produce, whatever your favourite cuisine. They're full of expert knowledge from locals in each city, with tips on everything from setting your table for a dinner party, to the best ways to store certain foods. Beautifully photographed and the right size to take with you anywhere, these are perfect gifts for locals and visitors alike.
Broadsheet Sydney Food and Broadsheet Melbourne Food are available at all good bookstores and via shop.broadsheet.com.au for $29.95, and as a bundle with our cookbooks.
2018 Calendar Girls by the Fin Collection, $30
2018 Calendar Girls is a tasteful celebration of Australian beauty and talent. Featuring Jessica Gomes, Tiah Eckhardt and 10 other locals, the calendar was conceived by model and director of the Fin Collection Amy Finlayson with designer Richard Nicoll. After Nicoll’s untimely passing in 2016, and inspired by his memory, Finlayson brought the project to fruition with photographer Bartolomeo Celestino, shooting in Australia, the US and the UK. It features 12 large, loose-leaf black and white posters. All profits go to the National Heart Foundation and its drive to deliver an Australia free of heart disease.
2018 Calendar Girls is $30. Buy here.
$40-ISH TO $50-ISH
Hand and Body Wash by Hunter Lab, $38
This stuff smells incredible. It’s made with a range of native ingredients designed to hydrate and cleanse as well as with tangerine and grapefruit oils infused with caramel and vanilla – hence its sultry scent. Other ingredients include nutrient-rich sun-dried salt from the Whitsundays; bladderwrack extract, which is said to hydrate, reduce inflammation and improve elasticity; and wakame extract, rich in minerals and antioxidants. It will add a touch of luxury to your morning shower, plus its slick matt-black packaging makes it a perfectly smart addition to the bathroom counter.
Hunter Lab’s Hand and Body Wash is $38. Buy here.
Sandwich Press by Toasta & Co., $40
West Melbourne’s Toasta & Co. knows how to make a good toastie. Owner Rebecca Feingold says half the battle of perfecting her crunchy-on-the-outside, gooey-on-the-inside sandwiches came down to finding the right toaster. Eventually she landed on a custom-made cast-iron press that weighs one kilogram. After customers began asking how they could achieve the Toasta result at home, Feingold decided to sell the presses.
Toasta & Co's Sandwich Press is $40. Buy here.
Local Ceramics from The DEA Store, $40
The DEA Store is a trove of gifts. The Sydney store stocks the work of designers from Australia and abroad (including lots of stuff out of Japan) such as pieces by local ceramicist Milly Dent. Her porcelain plates have a unique glossy, blue-marbled finish and a matt stone base.
Milly Dent’s Gem Saucer is $40. Buy here.
Broken (Volume 1) by Jon Frank, $49
As we’ve said before, Jon Frank is one the best Australian photographers you’ve never heard of. (Unless you have heard of him, in which case you’d just call him one of our best). From his work with Andrew Kidman at Waves magazine in the ’90s (which eventually led to the legendary surf movie Litmus) through to more recent shots for Surfing World and others, Frank is one of the few photographers pushing the already highly skilled art of surf photography to another plane. Broken documents 25 years of his work. Buy this for the waterlogged grommet in your life, then steal it back to sit quietly with in a post-Christmas-lunch haze, losing yourself in Frank's singular view of the ocean.
Broken is $49 (with free Australian shipping). Buy direct from the author at jonfrank.org/broken.
Christmas Pudding Pack by The Mason Baker and Maggie Beer, $40
Send cake, because nobody likes eating flowers. That’s the (slightly specious) motto of The Mason Baker’s James Willis, who since last year has developed a thriving business out of flicking his clever little jar cakes across the country. For Festivus, Willis has teamed up with Maggie Beer to create a Christmas pudding. Willis is taking care of the pud — a fabulously sticky, sultana-laden concoction — while Beer has knocked together a brandy sauce that you’re to drizzle on top. $39.99 gets you three cakes and a jar of sauce (and some simple instructions on how to slap it all together). Order before 12pm for overnight delivery. Good luck keeping your hands off them until the big day.
The Mason Baker Christmas Pudding Pack is $39.99. Order online.
Watches by Jack + Bell, $295 to $345
Friends Pete Kennon and Jack Davis started Melbourne-based Jack + Bell after struggling to find versatile, high quality designer watches at a reasonable price. With a Swiss-made movement, the watches feature steel that's the same quality used in Omega or IWC watches, and faces made with sapphire glass – a form of crystal second only to diamonds in hardness. Leather straps are sourced from Tuscany. The range includes six variations – in two sizes – of unisex, water-resistant watches, plated in either gold, silver, rose gold or matte black. Price depends on case metal.
Jack + Bell watches begin at $295. Buy online.
Earrings by Erin Lightfoot, $85
Brisbane ceramicist Erin Lightfoot has attracted a loyal following since 2011 with her delicate porcelain jewellery and homewares. These handmade earrings are one of her newer creations, and in terms of design sensibility fall somewhere between Art Deco and 70s obsession with geometry. Each piece is put together from black and blue porcelain before being finished with a clear glaze and gold lustre (fired into the glaze so it won’t scratch or flake away). Just don’t mess around if you want a pair — turnaround time is up to a week, although Lightfoot says to get in touch if you need them in a hurry. Gift-wrapping and custom cards are available.
Erin Lightfoot’s Blue Gold ARC Earrings are $85. Buy online.
Antique Collection by The Everleigh Bottling Co., $249
Whoever says history is boring obviously hasn’t been drinking it. That’s why Michael Madrusan – owner of Melbourne bars The Everleigh and Heartbreaker – has launched the Antique Collection: a set of four bottled cocktail classics from the 1950s through to the 1980s. Each drink is made with antique spirits and resurrects a decade-defining cocktail. There are only 200 of these drinkable time capsules up for grabs. This is a very special gift for anyone with a penchant for top-shelf liquor.
The Everleigh Bottling Co.’s Antique Collection costs $249. Buy online.
Get A Room at Mr and Mrs Smith, $50+
A travel club for hotel lovers, Mr and Mrs Smith describes itself as being "all about great escapes with your other half." This Christmas, the company has released a limited gift card designed by fashion illustrator Angela Hicks. The nifty card slides open to offer your recipient the choice of booking at more than 1000 international hotels in the Mr and Mrs Smith collection. Mr and Mrs Smith is UK-based but has a great range of Australian options, including the much-talked-about new Jackalope on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. Cards can cover any amount from $50.
The Angela Hicks gift card is available at mrandmirssmith.com and ships from the UK.
Bags by Leatherworks, $360+
Rob McRae’s handmade leather goods are designed, crafted and sold in his small Adelaide studio. His range of totes, satchels, backpacks and duffles – centred on simplicity, timelessness and durability – are made from 100 per cent genuine Italian full-grain cowhide. Each piece celebrates the natural markings and best features of the leather. The cream of the crop is the duffle ($750), signature backpack ($680) and drawstring bucket ($360).
Leatherworks bags range from $145 to $750. Buy here.
The Fletcher Knife by Stoic Supply Co., $600
In an era of fast-fashion, Stoic Supply Co is the antithesis. Its handcrafted leather goods and outdoor knives are made in Sydney’s northern beaches by a small team of craftspeople. Part of the slow movement, the company believes the things we buy should journey the world with us and develop character over time. The Fletcher is the all-rounder and has been designed to chop and carve whatever you need. Plus, it will last a lifetime.
Stoic Supply Co’s The Fletcher is $600. Buy here.