Start ticking off your Christmas list with these gift ideas that support local businesses in the Geelong region

Start ticking off your Christmas list with these gift ideas that support local businesses in the Geelong region

The Cocktail Cart DIY Cocktail Kits
Words by Bethany Long

Avoid the stress of those online delivery cutoffs by shopping small and local this year.

Christmas is quickly approaching (way too quickly!) and if you’re anything like me you maybe left Christmas shopping a little bit late.

Like not, night-before-Christmas late, but certainly “will my online shopping arrive in time?” late. 

Not to worry though, there are plenty of local businesses that are perfect for supporting your local community and making sure your gifts don’t get held up in transit!

This year, I made a loose resolution to do all of my Christmas shopping locally. Meaning no international orders, nothing bulk produced, just small, local businesses.

We all know the damage that COVID has caused the pandemic, so supporting local this Chrissy really is the perfect way to help your presents give back!

Need more gifts? Why not head to the best Christmas Markets in Geelong, Melbourne and surrounds for 2021.

Millie Candle Co.

Ok so first up, these candles are stunning. And I mean the type of stunning that is so aesthetically pleasing you may never want to burn them. But once you do burn them, they take on a whole new level of cool, melting down the ribs and creating all manner of delightful pastel drips.

Plus, they are super affordable! In a world where a decent, non-Kmart (aka small, handmade) candle can easily cost $40, these cuties are the perfect stocking stuffer, finishing touch, or KK gift. With candles ranging from as low as $5 (their gorgeously vibey cloud candles), there is something for every budget here! My fave? The Flower Pillar candles- equal parts cute, summery and fun. 

The gorgeous scents span from tropical and fruity scents like Blood Orange & Grapefruit and Coconut & Lime to sweet dessert-inspired scents like Musk Stick, Chocolate Fudge, and Vanilla & Caramel. Perfect for that person on your list you forgot about, or as a backup for those awkward moments when someone gives you a gift and you hadn’t even put them on your list – this is your problem solver!


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Cohen Luxe

Cohen Luxe has stolen my heart. I want everything. Quite literally everything.

Their tagline is ‘curated products for an effortless lifestyle’ and boy have they curated the ultimate gift list. Based in Geelong, they thoughtfully and ethically scour the globe to find the most stunning art-inspired pieces for yourself and your home. 

With sculptural decor pieces like the Ripple Vase, their stunning array of candlestick holders, gorgeous and affordable gold jewellery, and a divine selection of bath salts you’re sure to find a unique gift for the art-lovers in your life!

My picks for the perfect gift include The Mystify-Me Spritzer, perfect for the plant lovers in your life, the Harma Star Rise Necklace (perfect for a sister, bestie, or girlfriend!), the Teshia Mini Dishes and Everyday Rainbow Throw.


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Wakatobi Eco

Have an eco-warrior on your list and are not quite sure where to start? Wakatobi Eco Supplies is the local business for you. 

Boasting options perfect for those just starting their sustainability journey and for those who live and breathe for a reusable product. We love a reusable, sustainable product, and what’s more sustainable than supporting local businesses promoting environmentalism and minimising the environmental footprint of shipping your Chrissy presents? Not much in the chaos of Christmas!

They’ve got some awesome gift bundles to make the process even easier, with gift options tailored to make every room of your house as environmentally friendly as possible. 

I’m a huge fan of the plastic-free supermarket bundle which contains all you need to avoid plastic on your next shop! 


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The Cocktail Cart DIY Cocktail Boxes

Founded by Geelong born and bred Alistair Bullock, The Cocktail Cart has kept many of us well sauced over the past year with its  DIY cocktail kits. Packed with all of the ingredients to make recipes, developed by Alistair himself, these kits are the next best thing to having a live-in bartender – but they also make for excellent gifts, too.

Designed to serve six to 12 people, each box comes with Australian ingredients required to make your chosen cocktail. You’ll find alcohol and liqueur, sugar syrups, fruit, mixers, cold brew coffee (for espresso martini), garnishes, a 15/30ml Japanese jigger and, of course, a recipe card. There’s the favourites like the Margarita, Pornstar Martini or Espresso Martini, or if you’re after something new there’s the Ginger Yuzu, Spice It Up or Drunk Sailor.

All you need are things like cocktail shakers, strainers, glasses, ice, and a citrus juicer to expertly create your cocktails. There’s also a range of non-alcoholic cocktail boxes too, making this the ideal gift for absolutely anyone on your list.

Plus, for each box sold the crew plant a tree locally in the You Yangs State Park as part of their Cocktail For Trees program, so you know your gift purchase is doing good.

Shop cocktail kits here.


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Wild is She

Wild is She is a gorgeous business on the Bellarine crafting stunning gifts and even more stunning jewellery.

I first noticed their candle votives (look them up they’re so cute) at the gorgeous Highton shop Ruby and Leo (which could be its own category in this post!) I went home and followed them on Instagram knowing I would find so many excuses to buy their products. 

I’m currently eyeing off their huggies earrings (in black onyx if anyone I know is reading this!) and their clear quartz pendant choker (she’s literally stunning). 

These gorgeous pieces are sure to bring a smile to the face of whoever is receiving them. They brought a smile to my face just through their website!


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Del Rios voucher

What to get for the person that has everything? Or compulsively buys themselves everything?

What about a nice night out – something a little different than what they’d normally do? If your usual Friday night involves slinging back a cocktail at a bar in town or sinking some beers at the local pub, then Del Rios might be the perfect way to shake up your weekends.

Located in Anakie, Del Rios is the ultimate for making you feel like you’ve escaped the city, something I’m definitely grateful for on a Friday night. The sweeping views of the bush and farmland make the most stunning backdrop for a summer sunset.

But, it’s not all about their serenity, Del Rios serves up the Spanish vibes with absolutely delish tapas (including plenty of options for your vegetarian friends) and a carefully curated selection of cheeses and meat.

A voucher for Del Rios is the perfect gift for parents, in-laws, or anyone needing a little push out of their post-lockdown rut. Plus, I haven’t even mentioned the best bit! For $15 on a Friday night, Del Rios will handle the transportation. Their shuttle bus will pick you up from town and drop you back (and it’ll be wayyyy cheaper than an Uber!) They’ve truly taken all the hard work out of it for you!

Find out more here.

Wonderland Spiegeltent tickets

Every year when the Wonderland Spiegeltent comes to town I get tickets. The first year, my dad bought me and my boyfriend tickets to a verrrrry adult cabaret show. Very fun, but very adult. So you can imagine the nervous laughs we shared as we were seated next to my parents with performers in various states of dress (or *ahem* undress). Luckily, making the audience feel awkward is something the performers thrive upon. 

But despite the awkwardness, the show was incredible and I’ve been hooked ever since. This year’s lineup includes gigs from Ella Hooper and Kate Cebrano as well as their classic circus show and the two shows I’m most interested in Work It, an aerobics-inspired comedy-acrobatic hybrid,  and Yummy: Selects, a drag variety show promising “a unique brand of salacious comedy”. After 18 months with all of my theatre tickets being cancelled, I’m hanging to be part of a live audience once again!

Not only does a ticket to the Spiegeltent give you a fun night of entertainment, but it gives you an excuse to head across the river mouth to Ocean Grove for a cheeky wine at The Covenant.

I cannot describe how much fun this place is. It’s like an adult circus, combining comedy, theatre, acrobatics, and just the right amount of camp (let’s be really there’s no wrong amount). Every time I’ve been (even to the family-friendly shows) I’ve had an absolute blast! 10/10. Absolutely cannot recommend more!

You can purchase tickets here.

Ocean Grind Coffee Club Subscription 

While purchasing a perfectly made coffee from your local is often a highlight of the day, it’s not a reality for many. And often, making the occasional coffee at home is needed to savour the weekly budget. If you’ve got a coffee devotee in your life,  a coffee subscription could be the perfect gift. I mean, how great would it be to receive a fresh bag of coffee on a regular?

With a passion for quality coffee and a love of the ocean, Torquay cafe and roaster Ocean Grind are a favourite around the region among both cafe and home baristas for their selection of freshly roasted beans. You can give Ocean Grind’s coffee subscription as a gift, either as a three-month ($135) or six-month ($265). Or, start small with a $14 bag to get them started on their own.

You can shop coffee here.

Still looking for more? Check out the best local gift shops in Geelong here