Christmas. Sorted. A (last minute) independent gift guide 2016

I’m going to cut right to it this year  – Christmas on a Sunday is incredibly deceptive. I keep telling people – “oh but Christmas is on the weekend, you’ve got heaps of time”. Until you realise this means until Christmas. So in true Small Talk tradition, I scoured our interview archives and found ventures new and old brimming with last minute gift ideas. Last dash generic gift cards be-gone! There is a goldmine of awesome independant makers,  sellers and workshop hosts who are much more prepared for Christmas than I, with discounts, express post and gift wrapping offers flying left right and centre. Let’s walk…

A pad subscription for your lady-friends Tsuno – Ros

Ok, so maybe pads arent the first thing you think to gift to a lady friend, but Tsuno lady friends are extra special cos they get pads – and – give pads to ladies in need. Tsuno also runs a subscription service for the gift that keeps on giving.


A delightful spot dish for boxing day sushi feasts Three Lives – Eloise

Eloise Rapp is one classy lady-entrepreneur, extending her own textiles label RAPP to launch Three Lives in 2015. Born from a love of global bathing culture, the Three Lives ethos celebrates global connectivity, low-impact living and an affinity with the elements. The Hagiyaki spot dish is a delightful way to say you care.


A blingin’ purse Mumma Goose – Caitlyn & Jenni

A Gippsland favourite, Mumma Goose has you covered this Christmas – try this blingin’ purse from Make Me Iconic


A cute indoor plant Nature Boy Nrth – Ruth

How about this sweet ceramic planter and indoor plant set from Melbourne’s own Nature Boy Nrth?

A stunning pendant for your home WOWOWA – Monique & Scott

Ok, ok so maybe you a beautiful new home or renovation is a bit extravangant a gift just for Christmas, but you can snap up one (or two, or a whole flock) of WOWOWA’s stunning Rosella pendants from Rakumba


A ballsy pendant for your neck NannaB.x – Barbara

These stunning gold peppery speckles match your champagne darllllling. A must have piece of festive season cheer


A pair of rad foot tubes that express who you really are Unempire – Zoe

From Zoe: “WHAT’S THIS THEN? LOOKS LIKE A HEAPS GOOD GIFT TO US. PEEPS LIKE GETTING GIFTS. WHY NOT GIVE A COOL PERSON YOU LIKE THIS ONE.” Unempire are also express post and giftwrapping, meaning you really only have to lift one finger, and thats the one that hits the ‘add to cart’ button.

A calligraphy workshop Floralovely – Louise

Louise is a frequent flyer - hosting calligraphy workshops in Brisbane, Sydney, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Melbourne & Adelaide. Click through to find out what's coming next.

Louise is a frequent flyer – hosting calligraphy workshops in Brisbane, Sydney, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Melbourne & Adelaide. Click through to find out what’s coming next.


A foraging adventure with Autumn Harvest – Christopher

Share in Chris' enthusiasm for mushrooms with a foraging tour. Tours depart Melbourne area March-June so book in early and you might have even recovered from that Christmas food coma by the time it comes around

Share in Chris’ enthusiasm for mushrooms with a foraging tour. Tours depart Melbourne area March-June so book in early and you might have even recovered from that Christmas food coma by the time it comes around

Ruth Gregson | The Botanical Institute

Inside the shop, at the charming end of Nicholson Street, Carlton North


Ruth Gregson is a retailer. The Botanical Institute is an outlet for Ruth’s passion for quality Australian design, with her store filled to the brim with all the best local and interstate gifts and homewares. Read on to find out more about Ruth’s inspirations, being your own boss, and where Frank Sinatra fits in it all…

Business:  The Botanical Institute

Owner: Ruth Gregson

Location: 789 Nicholson St, Carlton North, Victoria

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Hanako Kajiya is lucky

Hanako at work!

Hanako at work in her studio

In her own words, Hanako K puts her successes down to luck. But Hanako.K is more than just lucky. Because luck implies her successes are devoid of effort or responsibility. Hanako.K is a hard worker, a self-made (wo)man, who has an almost unbelievable string of work and life experiences have lead her current mix of occupations; founder of her own accessories label, shop girl extraordinaire, small business enthusiast, community radio stalwart and all-round style icon. And you know the best bit? In Hanako’s own words, ‘I sleep in most days’.

Small Talk & Co. sat down with Hanako recently to chat craft, community and what it means to be a ‘designer’. This post runs a little longer than Small Talk & Co.’s usual, but believe me it’s worth it!


Fast facts 

Business:  Hanako.K
| Location: and Lady Petrova , Melbourne, Victoria


What do you do/how did you get there?

I started crafting when I was 14, really young – from memory my grandma’s were really crafty, so that influenced me and I started knitting, sewing and learning from them what was possible. I taught myself how to crochet in primary school, I think I was just bored!

I was born in Japan and came here to Melbourne when I was about nine, so language was an obvious barrier at first –  I didn’t get out too much, stayed home and kept myself busy with craft projects. That’s how I taught myself how to crochet, I started doing Nuigurumi, the Japanese soft toys, which was really good practice and actually ended up being my label’s first product.

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Jenni & Caitlyn Murphy are retailers

Mumma Goose’s front window, great VM!

Mumma Goose is a small retail store in Stratford, Victoria, run by mother and daughter duo Jenni and Caitlyn Murphy. Mumma Goose stocks a unique selection of giftware, homewares and art pieces, proudly supporting a range of local and interstate artisans and makers.

Both lovely ladies took the time to chat to Small Talk and Co. recently and impressed with their enthusiasm and wise words on business and following your gut!


Fast facts |  Business:  Mumma Goose, Retail Store    Location: Stratford, Victoria

Target Market: Anyone with a love of art and design looking for a unique pressie or some affordable artwork for their walls!


What lead you to create Mumma Goose ? What did you study, what other experiences lead to what you do today?

C: Mumma Goose had been in the pipeline for a couple of years (although we didn’t have a name worked out.) We finally got serious in the middle of last year and started looking at different premises. Mum’s always had a bit of a flair for retail and we were constantly talking about different ideas and imagining what it would be like to own and run our own store. We love Australian design and were getting sick of having to travel long distances to buy work from our favourite brands and artists. We felt like we were missing out. So we wanted to expose our own country town to the beautifully crafted products we often find at Craft Fairs and markets, as not everyone can afford to travel down to Melbourne all the time to experience it for themselves.

In the initial stages of Mumma Goose we did have trouble pinpointing a direction. We jumped from shoes to clothes to a possible café. But we finally decided on a giftware store that covered all bases, that way I could also sell some of my artwork. It was perfect timing really. I had just finished my Fine Arts degree and was unsure of where to go next and mum was looking for an exciting new challenge. So we jumped in and here we are!

J: Caity’s only ever worked in retail and I’ve held some different positions but found that I’m happiest when working in retail. I really enjoyed playing with fashion everyday and dealing with the public. I’m a big people person. So we both have the relevant job experience. Caity’s study also comes into play with her paintings and her creative window displays.

One of the reasons we opened the shop in the first place was that we felt Stratford was a little lacking when it came to great sources of art, design and inspiration in products that were unique, fresh and high quality. Of course they also had to be affordable. So we tried to bring a little bit of Melbourne to our Stratford store and hopefully we’ve succeeded.

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