When you think Christmas shopping, mega stores like K-Mart, David Jones and JB Hi-Fi may spring to mind.
But as Australian businesses try to get back on their feet after Black Summer bushfires and COVID-19 ravaging the economy, Aussies are turning to locally-made goods and small businesses to spend their money.
Here are some of our favourite direct-to-consumer and small businesses you can buy from this Christmas:
The most delicious yet aesthetically pleasing stocking filler comes in the form of yummy morsels from Melbourne chocolate makers Koko Black.
The Aussie-owned company uses local ingredients like Tasmanian leatherwood honey and Australian grown nuts to bring to life its Christmas Collection that includes advent calendars, Christmas ornaments, and shareable blocks.
Shop online for delivery or find at your local deli or gift shop or Koko Black stores in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra.
Pet Portrait by Kim Carter Art
Queensland mum and artist Kim Carter creates hand-drawn, highly detailed pictures of beloved pets using Faber-Castell Polychromos.
Working out of her Brisbane studio, Carter shares incredible updates of the life-like sketches on her social platforms. While portraits are her focus, she’s also created Christmas cards of her creations of iconic Aussie animals.
Get your commissions in for the bespoke portraits well in advance as these intricate works take a lot of time and talent.
These gorgeous Indigenous-owned and made accessories by Kristy Dickinson have been worn by the likes of Lauryn Hill.
Kristy told Marlee Silva on Mamamia’s Tiddas 4 Tiddas podcast the name Haus of Dizzy came from a Newtown house party she threw with her roommates because Dizzy was a term of endearment to her best friends.
Indigenous pride pieces include ‘Sovereignty Never Ceded’ and ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’ earrings and are for mob and Indigenous people to enjoy.
The ‘Cool Aunty’ earrings are the perfect Christmas Day accessory.
Described on their Instagram account as “Aboriginal owned and Aboriginal led business uniting people through fashion,” Clothing the Gap is the company behind the #shadesofdeadly campaign and the T-shirts that came with it.
“There are so many stereotypes around what Aboriginal people are ‘supposed’ to look like, where they’re ‘supposed’ to live and what they’re ‘supposed’ do,” Sianna Catullo, proud Narungga woman and chief content officer of Clothing the Gap, said in a blog post.
“Shades of Deadly was first created in June 2019 to challenge these stereotypes and is a platform to celebrate and recognise the amazing work our mob out there are doing.”
The brand is so much more than a fashion label. The profits support Indigenous health programs and also stimulates conversations around challenging stereotypes and embracing Indigenous identity.
Treats from Mabu Mabu
Mabu Mabu means “help yourself” in Meriam Mer and is a brand founded by Nornie Bero of Mer Island.
Found at many Melbourne cafes, Mabu Mabu uses fresh, seasonal and native ingredients to create condiments, drinks, sauces, seasoning and treats that nod to the sacred land of Australia and connect people.
If you’re in Melbourne you can eat in at Mabu Mabu’s cafe over summer and they also offer catering .
Minimalist planters from Urban Eden & Co
Australian made vases, vessels and planters with stunning, minimalist designs. The idea at Urban Eden and Co is to bring green, rural vibes into the small city home.
“Coming from a farming background, and with my mother and Grandmothers being keen gardeners, I grew up with soil under my nails and spending my childhood enjoying their gardens and orchards,” founder Prue said.
“The only space I had to grow food in my first inner city home was a bathtub sized balcony, where access to soil was nonexistent. This inspired me to create my own planters, so that I could bring a touch of my rural upbringing to the city.”
One-of-a-kind candles from Komi Candle Australia
Unique, handmade soy candles designed in Melbourne - a perfect gift for lovers of a pastel-hued item.
Based in Wagga Wagga, the Dough Re Mi team bake and create everything from scratch and ship Australia-wide. With over 2,000 cookie cutters, no special request is impossible.
This festive drink, by Eddie Brook, co-founder and distiller at Cape Byron Distillery, might bring back childhood memories of the cumquat tree for some.
Inspired by a generational Brook family recipe, Brook has produced a cumquat gin that every enthusiast will be jumping to add to their bar cart. With the arrival of summer and balmy evenings, this zesty little number is sure to be on high rotation at backyard BBQs.
“This Gin is an ode to my Grandma who was known to her friends and family as ‘Shirl the Pearl’. My Mum (Pam) would tell me stories of Shirl’s notorious cumquat gin that was generously cracked open for her friends, or at various cocktail and dinner parties. This spirit is truly special and I’m sure Shirl would approve,” Brook said.
″‘Shirl the Pearl’, was a pocket rocket! Standing at 4ft 11” with a mop of curly hair which turned completely white by age 25. Shirl was an adventurer, skier and one of Australia’s first female Tiger Moth pilots - she also knew her way around a bottle of gin.”
Fragrance for him by Bondi Local
Men are hard to buy for but Bondi Local (you can’t get much more local than this) offers a range of solid colognes available in five fragrances and inspired by the different parts of Bondi’s unique character.
Presented in a pocket-sized metal tin, they’re ideal to keep in your board shorts, a bag, or the car for an instant freshen up.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost Australia and has been updated.