Spending cash is something we all do in the months before Christmas. We put a whole lot of time and energy (not to mention money) into buying gifts that will bring joy to the people we love on Christmas day. It’s a tradition, and let’s be honest, most of us love it. But how much thought goes into where the money from our gift purchases ends up? For most of us, that answer is simple. Not much. So this year the team from Ballarat For Families has decided we want to make it easy for you to support local small businesses while you’re ticking off your Christmas shopping list. Below you’ll find a growing list of Ballarat’s best boutique, handcrafted, family run or farmers-gate inspired small businesses that make products you’ll be proud to give this Christmas.
If you have the time to look (which most of us don’t) this town is filled with creative, kind-hearted, energetic individuals and families who work hard to bring Ballarat to life every day. So this year let’s consider keeping things local by putting our money in the hands of Ballarat’s businesses. Wouldn’t you like your hard earned dollar to help support the people you pass every day down the street? We would. And we think that given the opportunity you probably would too.
The Gift of An Experience
- Eat Drink Share are Ballarat’s home of gourmet walking tours through local cafes and eateries. A great gift to share with a friend.
- Lost Ones Gallery in Camp Street offers interesting courses and workshops focused on skills that have been lost over the years. A fabulous gift for someone who enjoys things a little outside the box.
- ClayMotions is a local pottery place that offers gift voucher for classes. There are adult, kids and special Mum’s Time Out sessions.
- MelTPhotography is a Ballarat based boutique studio specialising in pregnancy, newborn, baby & beyond! If you’d like to get some photos organised now to include with gifts they have pre-Christmas gift vouchers with a 10% discount and offer pre-Christmas mini sessions in November and December.
The Gift of Gorgeous Jewellery
- Bok Bok B’Gerk is developing a reputation around town for their quirky hand painted, laser cut jewellery. Made from the ecofriendly wood of the alder tree their pieces are colourful, stylish and have just enough whimsy to spread joy wherever they go.
- Fifth Avenue Collection. If you’re looking for something delightful but with bucket loads of heart this might be the perfect gift idea for you. With range of high-quality fashion jewellery for women, men and children this business is run by the owner of Wala Animal Sanctuary in Ballarat. Wala is a volunteer based animal rescue centre and all proceeds from sales go directly to caring for injured wildlife!
- Billy G is the home of Ballarat’s favourite jewellery & accessories! Billy G creations are handmade with wood & clay (and of course with love) by Sarah, a local art teacher & Mum. Necklaces, ear rings & key rings for ladies & minis can be purchased locally at Crawford’s Pharmacy & Rubilicious Wax & Beauty Bar or through their Instagram or Facebook.
- For something a little different and engagingly beautiful how about checking out the Jewellery from Ballarat Placentas. Owned and operated by Victoria’s only DNA artist this is really something special you can find right here in Ballarat.
- You might like to think about something unique from DeeDeeDeesigns Etsy store. A local Ballarat creatives store stocking handmade Jewellery and ceramic tableware.
- Local to Buninyong, Little Poppy Designs creates thoughtfully designed, unique, handcrafted clay jewellery and accessories. Each item is individually made, rolled and shaped by hand so no two are identical.
- Colourful Tastes makes gorgeous dream-catchers along with lovely wood and clay necklaces, earrings, key chains and silicone necklaces.
The Gift of Local Quality
- Mt Buninyong Winery has a lovely collection of wines. Pop out and visit and put together a personalised selection.
- Debee signature balms is a local business that produces quality bee’s wax lip balms.
- Mia and Talbot Soy Candles produces beautiful soy candles using pure soy wax, fragrance and essential oils. Candles for everyday use, corporate gifts, weddings, baby showers and all special occasions.
- Enga Arabic make local, organic and ethically sustainable coffee. Paired with a gorgeous set of mugs, or even on its own, this is the perfect gift for the coffee lovers amongst us.
- You know what they say ‘you can’t buy happiness but you can buy tea.’ One Little Leaf is a Ballarat Business that blends their own gourmet teas. Their range includes gift baskets and gift certificates and an exhaustive range of teas with something to suit even the most passionate tea drinker.
- Shades of Phoenix hand blends and mixes top quality nail polish here in Ballarat. Their product is 3 & 5 free vegan-friendly and animal cruelty-free. They also stock jewellery created from their polish including earrings, necklaces, rings, bobbi pins.
- Gordon Hat Shoppe is the place to go if you’re looking for a hat that really says something special. With old world charm and styles for both men and women they just might be the perfect place to find a gift with a difference.
- Tegan Neville is an intuitive artist whose business, ART from SPIRIT, sells original artworks framed and unframed, gift cards and her book Connecting Within – artworks and inspirational messages.
- Maria’s Alternative Clothes and Artworks at 107 Sturt Street will add some colour to your gift giving! Bright, bubbly and interesting clothes, jewellery, scarves, hats and more. Giving a gift from Maria’s is like giving the gift of happiness.
- From the gritty to the pretty with just a touch of twang, you’ll love what’s on offer at Ballarat’s own Pinup, Rockabilly and Psychobilly store. Frock this town with Lana-Rose at 14 Lydiard St North.
- Just Coz Candles Individually hand poured candles & melts made from all natural Soy Wax. With an expanding range of fragrances, they’ve recently introduced wooden wicks which give off a lovely crackle as they burn – adding to the ambience of burning a candle.
The Gift Of Support for a Small Business
- When Baby Meets Business. A brand new book by Ballarat author Rachel Allan. Available for pre-order on site from 14th of September. “In an effort to combine the roles of mothering and business owner many are left with the feelings of guilt-guilt for either not giving to their children or not working enough in their business. When Business Meets Baby provides practical tools and tips, giving you permission to create balance in your life.”
- Dorothy K – online success coach provides websites for ballarat small businesses (and beyond), training in online technology, as well as business coaching for women who want to start their own business. Dorothy K has a special Christmas offer of a 60 minute “Turn your blog into a business” coaching session for $90.
The Gift of Relaxation & Pampering
- Ballarat Salt Rooms have Ultimate Relaxation Packages available as a gift voucher. The ‘Floatassge’ is a 30 or 60-minute massage followed up with a 60-minute floatation session. It’s relaxing just reading about it! The ultimate in Relaxation Packages for someone you love.
- Shimmer Beauty Therapy have a range of gift vouchers available to spoil someone special. They also stock “pamper packs” made especially from local products and including a voucher to use on Shimmer Beauty’s services as well. (Shimmer Beauty Therapy is located at 420 Sturts Street.)
- Apple Orchard Beauty specialises in helping busy women look and feel their very best by helping them take time out to relax and unwind. They offer a range of tailored beauty treatments for women including facials, waxing, lash and brow tinting, manicures, pedicures, massage and pamper packages. Certificates are available for gifting. Apple Orchard Beauty is located in Brown Hill.
- Buninyong Beauty Therapy specialises in hydrabrasion facials, electrolysis massage, manicures, pedicures, waxing and professional makeup. Offering gift vouchers and specialised individual treatment packages they pride themselves on being a Ballarat small business.
The Gift of An Experience
- It’s a fact. Kids love getting their hands on clay! ClayMotions pottery offers gift vouchers for classes designed especially for kids.
- We all know kids love painting and making things. Funky Plaster Fun For the Whole Family have a range of gift baskets filled with plasters for great prices ~ with or without paints. Loads of fun for hours to come.
- Or if you prefer your art sessions ‘out of home’ Addictive Art offers gift vouchers for 2D and 3D plaster moulds, canvas art, door hangers, gift boxes & mirrors along with a playroom for the early finishers and complimentary tea of coffee for the big people.
- For those starting to think about school in 2018 or 2019 a voucher for a term of classes at Little Learners Club Ballarat. Learning the basics of learning so they’re ready fly.
- Make Art School offer classes for preschool, primary and secondary students, as well as workshops for adults. They also stock a selection ‘art kits’ that will be available on the Make Art school website. A perfect stocking filler.
Gifts for Babes in Arms
- Chill Mumma are a local ‘mum & pop’ team who makes rad furniture for toddlers. Scandinavian inspired design with simple clean lines. Locally handmade and priced so that everyone can have some beautifully designed baby/toddler goodies!
- Cushie Tushies Ballarat offers a range of delicious natural skincare products for mums and bubs, along with organic cotton comforters and naturopath blended herbal infusions. Of course, quality cloth nappies and accessories are always available too!
- Arabella + Autumn make stylish timber play gyms, play gym toys, teething toys, wooden rattles, dummy clips and beautiful baby wraps. These products not only look stylish but also provide the added benefit of avoiding harsh plastics.
The Gift of Local Quality for Kids
- A dolls house is a memory that lasts a lifetime and now gifting your little one’s a tiny dream home doesn’t have to mean compromising on style. Mostly Miniature designs and produces the latest on trends miniature furniture fit for those most magazine-worthy of dolls houses. Seriously, it’s fabulous and made right here in Ballarat.
- Flamingos and Foxes specialises in custom made items for children including name blocks, height rulers, mountain blocks, cameras and much more! They also have a joint partnership with Rivers Gift to raise money for research into the cause of SIDS. (This business also has an ETSY store if you use the code FREECOLLECT local residents won’t need to pay postage.)
- Tarmak Kids make handcrafted cubbies and mini furniture that will make your child the envy of the neighborhood.
- Jilly Junior Lace Teepees might just be the sweetest thing you’ll see this year. Pretty much guaranteed to make little girls swoon. (They also have a lovely range for boys too.)
- Quib and Co. are a local small business with a range of stylish gear for the little peeps to wear.
- Eluca Designs are Ballarat’s one stop shop for personalised and unique name blocks for little ones. They also produce individualised Christmas bauble blocks, milestone blocks, block jigsaws and even full alphabet sets!
- Kardan Creations make gorgeous customised buntings for birthdays and room decor as well as being Ballarat bespoke board specialist! Birthday boards, odd stock boards, key hanging boards – they’ve got the lot.
- Visit Celebrate at 1/403 Warrenheip Street in Buninyong for a creative collection of toys and trinkets designed to spark the imagination and set the stage for creative play. Celebrate’s owner also runs the gorgeous Deer Little Parties – for all your party planning, event styling and party hire needs.
- Just Craftin’ Around Carlee’s Handmade Crafts makes a series of lovely pre-Christmas crafts including Santa sacks, glass brick lamps and Santa plates. As well as a collection of other items to help make Christmas super special for the kids.
- Fontea is a unique home based store in Bullarook that you can visit by appointment. Stocking a wide range of products, including gorgeous felt fairies, handcrafted jewellery, handbags and much more. Order are also taken online.
- If you still need more inspiration for the bub in your life but can’t find it locally another option is Not In Shop. An Australian wide collection of bespoke products for Australian Families.
The Gift of A Family Experience
- Looking to reduce your family’s carbon footprint through tree planting? Fifteen Trees might be just what you are looking for. Through the Fifteen Trees website you purchase native trees for community groups to plant and once planted you get to see your trees. Trees costs from $4.30.
- An annual family pass to Sovereign Hill, Kryal Castle or The Wildlife Park is a wonderful idea for a family. Give them the gift of being able to pop in for picnics, visit the shops or just return again and again to enjoy the experience. (Can someone tell my why we don’t have an economical joint family pass for all three available for locals!)
The Gift of Local Quality for Families
- ‘Event Evolution Photography’ is Ballarat’s new go-to solution for event photography. Specialising in capturing memorable moments at children’s parties, family gatherings and community events as well as corporate functions. With gift voucher available for purchase this has the potential to be a perfect gift this Christmas.
- No Nits Naturally. Plan on 2016 being a year free from Nits. This lovely Ballarat Based small business will help you reach that lofty goal!
- Bird and Blossom is a delightful locally based online boutique store filled with hand-crafted goodness. Prints (personalised and inspirational), jewellery, home decor and felted toys. It’s the perfect place to find a ‘one of a kind’ gift for someone special.
- Antipodean Love is the online home and now retail space, for the best Australian and New Zealand designer gifts and homewares, whether it’s for a ‘thank you’, new baby, birthday, anniversary or to treat yourself. Antipodean Love believe that Australian and New Zealand gifts definitely do not need to be tacky and that you want to give and receive a gift that makes you feel happy and proud.
- Formosa Gardens Nursery Cafe Gift Shop is a local family owned business that’s been operating in Ballarat since 1977! They stock cute animal statues, vases, hand-made jewellery, ladies and kids boots, watering cans and children’s capes clothing just to name a few! Well worth stopping to explore.
- Visit Audrey a local Ballarat Phoenix Trader consultant for cards and gift wrapping for Christmas.
- For those who love fabulous nails, you’ll find some awesome gift ideas at Jamberry Nails with Adrienne.
- Independent Scentsy consultant Lorenne has a safe and delicious alternative to flamed candles. Specialising in electric warmers and fragranced wax bars to make your home smell divine!
Are you a local Ballarat Business that needs to be on this list? We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below and we’ll get in touch.