We’re right in the middle of the silly season. Westfield carparks are chock-a-block, the Drive Slow For Sam speed sign near my house is now sporting a Santa hat (pure!), and I’m dying to whip up another batch of my annual Christmas Tree Brownies – it’s all happening. You’re also most likely buying gifts for
yourself your loved ones, which brings us to this post.
A couple of weeks ago Brisbane creative Jasmine Dowling published her Gift Guide which had a heavy emphasis on shopping locally this Christmas. As I was reading her post, I realised just how many small businesses I’ve discovered and keep up with through Instagram. I’m constantly browsing the colourful feeds of their products, bookmarking the items I’m obsessed with and don’t want to lose, and sending their posts to my friends who I think would love their newest release. After buying myself a bunch of items from independent brands and seeing Jasmine’s post, I was inspired to share 6 businesses here that I’ve been following for the better part of this year. They’re all from Australia, they’re all independent, and they’re all female owned! If you find some Christmas items through this post, fantastic, but I also hope you become just as big of a fan of these women and their incredible work as I am.
By Alex Daffara
Based on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, graphic designer and creative director Alex Daffara is the creator and owner of Tees By Alex. Her brand consists of tees, tote bags, patches and other accessories, all designed by her and injected with her signature bold colours, personality and flair. I’ve been bookmarking links from her site for months on end while trying to figure out how I can justify buying like 20 shirts for myself. The other night I was scrolling her online store and saw her Yeah, I Went To Art School tee and gasped. “That’s the one,” I said, adding it to my cart. I saw the design also came on a tote bag and couldn’t not buy it as well. The tote is currently set aside to go under the tree as a little present from me to me. Click through her Insta below!
By Elly Malone
Coming down the coast to Brisbane now (my hometown, woohoo!), Cactei is a small business run by illustrator, painter and designer Elly Malone. Her online store boasts an array of tees with gorgeous designs in heaps of different colours. I’m constantly torn between buying the Baby’s Alright tee or one of her cupid tees, so I feel like the answer is to just buy both!
From pretty things for your body to pretty things to hang on your ears. Just like the two previous brands, Pop Jewels has so many incredible designs and styles and colours that I can’t pick just one pair to finally buy. But I’m definitely buying a pair soon, I have far too many sitting in my Saved folder on Instagram, and have sent so many designs to my friends going “you!!!!” only for them to reply “omfg yesss!!!” Pop Jewels was born, raised and hand made in Melbourne by a woman called Sharni. Her last name isn’t on her website, but that’s okay. She’s “a big believer in splashing around in what makes you happy and for me that’s largely glitter, particularly when that glitter adorns your bloody beautiful face.”
Designer & Illustrator
Jumping to Sydney for a hot minute to discuss a woman I’ve admired all year. Remember those Instagram Story Templates that took over the app? Remember the Gif Challenges you could put on your story and fill in yourself? Martina started that whole thing – she’s the O.G. I found her through her first Gif Challenge template way back at the start of 2018 and have watched her platform grow, seen her travel solo around the world, and saw the birth of her online store where she now sells shirts, stickers, wallpapers, Instagram highlight icons, pins and prints. Over the year she’s created gifs for Gify, Instagram and Snapchat, and has now partnered with Adobe. She just launched her 2019 calendar and I bought one straight away! I can’t wait to display it and in turn have 12 new prints all about positivity. She’s always posting inspiring quotes on her feed and uploads free tutorials to her Stories, so she’s one of my favourite people to follow in general.
Letterer / Graphic Designer / Blogger
Brisbane based creative Jasmine inspired this whole post, so I couldn’t not discuss all the beautiful things she creates! Being a jack of many trades means she’s able to produce so many different types of content and products. Her online store features prints of her photography, typography, card sets, love notes, notebooks and even yearly calendars, with limited stock of her 2019 one still available! She recently won Cosmopolitan’s Creative of the Year award and is always showing snippets of her behind the scenes processes over on her Stories.
Designer and Planner Extraordinaire
Based in Melbourne, Bianca Cash specialises in her yearly planners, fittingly titled The Datekeeper. I discovered Bianca at the very end of last year and completely missed her batch of pink and red 2018 Datekeepers, but this year she’s back! With four colours to pick from, including lavender, rust, sage and mustard, her planners are gorgeously minimalistic with little touches of her personality on every page. Plus, each order comes with sticker sheets all designed by herself. Her planners would make a beautiful gift for yourself or a loved one. Now all I need to do is pick a colour!
So those are the 6 independent, female owned small businesses I’ve been super interested in for ages! I hope you gained some Christmas present ideas from these women, or discovered someone new to love and support online. If you have any local businesses you’d love to share, please leave them in the comments below, I’d love to get more recommendations!
Also, if you enjoyed this post, give it a “like” so I know.
All the love,