Online Gift Guide! Female-led businesses you can support Featured
You're busy. You don't want to be browsing the aisles of mega-department stores at this time of year, hoping you'll be struck by the inspiration you need to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones.
So we're here to help.
Below we've collated some of our favourite online stores that are (of course) founded by women, that are also great for finding quality, unique gifts.
We've had a bit of help, with our own team offering their personal suggestions, while also reaching out for suggestions on social media and asking our friends at Femeconomy.
You'll need to get in quick, with less than two weeks left until Christmas any orders made online are done at your own peril.
You might just want to check back with them for post Christmas sales too.
We've just updated this guide to assist with last-minute shopping. Please check with each of the stores to find out about delivery times.
This online stores creates #beautifulthingsforchange, and is currently running a #ChristmasWithAConscience campaign encouraging us to use our Christmas shopping for good. Everything available was created by "resourceful women with plenty of courage, but little opportunity," including women in Australia and the Pacific who're experiencing financial disadvantage. Global Sisters helps to support these women by offering marketing and sales, business know-how, microfinance and technology. We get to support by doing the fun bit: shopping! The store offers everything from homewares to jewellery and accessories and toys. We've been reliably informed by a contact at the store that they're taking express post metro orders until 20/12, metro orders until 16/12 and regional/rural orders until 14/12.
This new start-up by Dr Kate Adams is a clever and simple way to say THANK YOU to friends, mentors, colleagues, employees and other contacts at this time of year, enabling you to send beautifully handwritten cards that you can compose from your phone or computer. They also offer small gifts ranging in price from $30 to $80 that you can send with your gesture of appreciation. Kate tells us that she started the business after finding there was no such service available in Australia, and realising people can be far too busy to organise such thank you cards and gestures themselves. She also tells us they're taking orders up until Thursday the 22nd December.
The Trading Circle is a NFP that aims to empower women around the world by offering skills-based training and a marketplace for unique artisan products. They also have a shopfront in Sydney's Summer Hill and Brisbane's Paddington.
We love: Everything from Christmas decorations to toys, books, coffee, chocolate, accessories, bags, cushions, cards and more
How many folds in a paper crane? 22. This WA-based business run by Melanie Gray knows all about it, offering gorgeous gift pieces based around the origami crane. She describes the crane as a symbol of hope, peace and loyalty that carries wishes in its wings, and offers an opportunity to share the "possibility of a miracle".
We love: crane-inspired frames with custom messages, nursery items and wish bubbles
The two co-founders of this business, Natalie Bird and Macayla Knoll, combine photography and business backgrounds to create 'wearable art', including large scarfs printed with a photograph of an iconic destination. Get your mum, your aunt, your sister or your best friend a scarf featuring a range of cities from Sydney to LA to Santorini or even Tamworth. These are truly unique gifts.
We love: Their luxury, oversized, cashmere-blend scarves
This duo aim to simplify life, and they do so by providing classic bag shapes and styles that are functional and stylish. They feature a range of simple, feminine laptop bags that are practical for all the stuff you have to cram into your life on a daily basis. The team also declares a commitment to fair work practices on their website, including a female-led factory team who they say are paid "in excess o require local wage limits".
We got onto them through our friends at Financy, who are currently offering a deal to purchase the bag along with a 15% discount, and receive a logbook you can use to help make it tax deductible. Yes, a tax deductible bag — you might just need to buy this gift for yourself. They also offer free shipping on all orders. Bonus!
We love: Practical, great-looking laptop bags
More bags! The Pratten sisters Justine and Monique design their colourful range of clutches, wallets, bags and other goods from Sydney, with a personal creche setup in the office (our team's seen it first hand, and love how they work). Check out their online store (currently offering a 30% discount) for a seriously huge range of bright and beautiful styles that are affordable, and designed to excite and offer plenty of hidden pockets and gorgeous patterned linings.
We love: Their bright, bold, eel-skin wallets, for both men and women.
A Wollongong based family of four runs this store selling unusual toys for kids of all ages. Kirsten Lowther says she came up with the idea after trawling through hundreds of websites to find unique gifts for her son Harrison, only to be frustrated at seeing the same boring stuff over and over again. You can shop by price and by category on their easy-to-navigate website.
We love: Their wide range of carefully hunted games for kids. As well as this money monster money box, also created by an Australian mum from another great online store, Tigeroy.
Self-described design nut Diana Campbell runs this very impressive site (that looks like it should have a team of about 100) showcasing a huge range of beautifully designed goods across five key categories: women, men, kids, home, tech and media. This site uses Campbell's tech skills (more than 16 years of building websites) to showcase the newest products from more than 150 independent stores, while Campbell also keeps an eye on just what products are being mentioned across magazines and blogs.
We love: The wide variety of grooming sets, bags, jewellery and underwear available in the 'mens' section, they're always the hardest to buy for!
Founded by three sisters Rebecca Medcalf, Emma Dowling and Melissa Krueger, this store offers natural, organic and crafted body products from Australia and New Zealand, covering everything from makeup to skincare, haircare, nails and fragrances. They says the index offers a 'little black book that signals the arrival of a new way of looking after yourself'. They also run a showroom in Brisbane's Paddington.
We love: Their ready-made gift-sets, including travels sets and even play makeup kits for kids.
With Temples and Markets, Judith Treanor has turned her passion for travelling South East Asia into a business, building an online store offering unique fashion accessories and home décor from the region. The site aims to support local communities across South East Asia, and is pitched at those who want to shop mindfully and acquire one-of-a-kind objects that are well-crafted and ethical. They also have a Christmas pop-up stores throughout December, in Sydney's Surry Hills.
We love: Being able to 'shop by story' on the site, including via stories from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore and more.
Need Hampers? Need anything but flowers? Looking for another general gift store allowing you to shop by all categories, or perhaps just an online store focusing on men? Emily McWaters from SQL Group has you covered. Working remotely from Kangaroo Island and with a young family at home, the law school dropout offers a diverse range of hampers with The Hamper Emporium , a more general gift range with Gifts Australia, unique and interesting stuff with Everything But Flowers, and an often neglected category, Mens Gift Store. We spoke to Emily about how she makes it work earlier this year.
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