Believe it or not, the countdown to the silly season is on. Instead of pulling out the same old cookie-cutter decorations this year, why not make this your most creative Christmas ever? Now, we’re not saying you need to go off and make your own decorations and ornaments — that’s what Etsy is for! Here’s our edit of the Aussie stores selling the best, most beautiful and quirkiest Christmas wares.
This store is owned by the creative and charismatic Amy. She stamps her style on everything she makes and her enthusiasm is infectious — every customer has caught the bug! Amy has a keen and curious way of observing the world around her, and the result is Gloriousmess: a shop brimming with whimsical and quirky gift tags, cards and wall art. If you’re looking for a unique set of gift tags this Christmas, this store is a good place to start.
SheKnows: What made you take the plunge and open an Etsy store?
Amy: I loved drawing the little moments I’ve observed during my previous life as a doctor, and often drew to de-stress. I also loved surprising my seniors and hospital staff with a custom illustration of themselves at the end of each stint. Sometimes, they had no idea about their quirks or habits (which I observed and then drew), but they liked their mementos. I have always wanted to touch more people, bring them into my whimsical world and make them smile with my art. I finally had the opportunity to chase my dream this year, so I did!
SK: Can you tell us about the creative process behind your gift tags?
Amy: With my trademark CurlieQ gift tags, I want to evoke happy memories for both the giver and the recipient. Each CurlieQ scene was carefully brainstormed and, in the end, I picked five of the eight designs to use on my gift tags. Every tag conveys happy thoughts about gifting and hopefully leads the customer to excitedly wonder what their present might be. I also wanted to incorporate some of the magic associated with the holidays, so I hand-inked a layer of subtle glitter onto specific parts of the tags, like the snow.
My Paper Planet
This store boasts an impressive range of one-off gift bags, giftboxes, invitations, buntings and, now, Advent calendars (just in time for the Christmas countdown). Mara, the designer, has a knack for creating items that are not only beautifully simple, but useful; the kind of bags and tags you won’t throw away. Best of all, she’s happy to add custom text to any of her templates — all you need to do is ask!
SheKnows: What makes your store unique?
Mara: The phenomenal size of Etsy can be a little daunting as a new seller. The potential competition is huge and having a point of difference or a distinctive style is the only way to get noticed. I have a unique range of gift bags and giftboxes that are all original designs — for parties, gifts and decorations. These are primarily set up as DIY printable templates, but I also handcraft pieces for customers. My philosophy is to create products that are simple, useful and beautiful. I try to be innovative and explore new ideas. I make mini gift bags for holidays and hang them as garlands — I haven’t seen anything similar to this. For Christmas, I’ve numbered the gift bags to count down the days in December.
SK: What inspires you?
Mara: I’m constantly looking at colour combinations and patterns in all sorts of places. Homewares stores and interior design sites are good indications of trends, as are fabrics. I like decorative clips and pegs and I sometimes create a bag inspired by these cute little embellishments. There are many traditional ideas in terms of motifs and designs for all the annual events we celebrate, the challenge is to take these influences and to rethink them in terms of how they fit my templates and my style. Interestingly, whenever I think I “should” do a design, it often turns out being something that I don’t feel a connection to and it doesn’t make it to my Etsy shop.
If Mossy Jojo were a retail store, its wares would be spilling out onto the street — that’s how much stock the talented Mia has to offer. The Melbourne-based designer’s distinct style — which is a fusion of Eastern and Western influences — has earned her some serious cred in the Etsy world. At the moment, the store is bursting with decor and design items, including Christmas-themed calendars and dry erase boards. Mia’s philosophy is just as beautiful as her creations: She hopes her work will help bring the love and joy back into the festive season.
SheKnows: Where do you find inspiration?
Mia: My inspiration comes from many different sources. I take leads from the beautiful things I see every day, as well as trends, my family and friends and even my customers. I’m also inspired by Japanese design. I love its delicate design and patterns. My own designs are modern, colourful and very East-meets-West. I was born in Asia and grew up in Melbourne (one of the most multicultural cities in the world) and I’m blessed to be surrounded by such diversity and beauty.
SK: What kind of work goes into your Christmas calendars and dry erase boards?
Mia: Between gift shopping and celebrating with family and friends, Christmas is a hectic time for everybody. Some people actually miss the joy and the essence of Christmas as they get too busy with their preparations and schedules. I hope my dry erase calendar helps people to organise themselves so they can really enjoy this special time of year. In terms of the actual work that goes into it, I hand-drew the leaf wreath and garland. After customers get the print framed, they can write on the glass and use it over and over for years to come.
Are you searching for Christmas decorations and ornaments that are a throwback to a bygone era? Are you a fan of vintage design? If you answered yes to these questions, you’ll absolutely love Creative Mindfulness. After flogging her wares at the markets for a year, Catherine decided to launch her Etsy store — and she hasn’t looked back. Her store is full of gorgeous vintage paper goods, most of which are limited editions, and all of which have a story behind them. Browse and you’ll see for yourself why Catherine’s “made” it in the online world.
SheKnows: Why do you think your store has been so successful?
Catherine: I started an Etsy shop as a way of extending the audience for my creations. I have had regular market stalls for 12 months and my customers always say they’ve never seen anything like what I sell. My creations are tactile and familiar, yet unique and varied. There are several creations that I regularly stock as I love making them and the rest are limited editions. My Etsy shop, in particular, features many of my one-off and limited edition pieces — and that exclusivity is very attractive to my customers.
SK: What are your best sellers?
Catherine: Without a doubt, my most popular items are the ones that present a unique twist on my choice of materials. My song and fairytale envelopes and my song boxes are such examples. It’s not what I’ve made per se; it’s what I’ve chosen to make the item with that seems to appeal to people. As an Etsy shopper myself, I love old items that “ask” me to dream them into a different existence, or someone else’s unique handmade twist on an old theme.
Run by mother-daughter team Marta and Julieta, Jitterbug Craft stocks a massive selection of handmade crochet and knitted goodies for both adults and children. Both ladies are crochet queens with a sense of humour and they are quite famous for making items that are not only admired, but also passed down for generations. While they are both incredibly talented and passionate about what they do, they’re inspired by different things, so customers are treated to a real range of designs.
SheKnows: What inspires you?
Marta: We are both inspired by different things. The mother is interested in making practical homewares, but she is also inspired by her grandson. She looks at him and instantly gets ideas for clothing and toy designs. The daughter is more inspired by the outside world and how she can single-handedly include crochet into everyone’s lives. You could say she wears crochet-covered glasses!
SK: You’ve recently branched out into Christmas decorations and ornaments. What’s that process been like?
Marta: This year, we tried to look beyond traditional Christmas decorations and think of ways to add our own personal touch to them. The result? A selection of crochet baubles, wreaths and stockings. We also looked to our own meaning of Christmas and came up with a bunch of Christmas pudding decorations. As a customer, you would be right in guessing that Christmas, to us, means food — and lots of it! Don’t be surprised if we end up crocheting some roast dinner decorations…
Ruby Victoria Letterpress
For truly original items, check out this store. Narelle is a printmaker who specialises in hand-carved lino block prints. In other words, she’s a pro at a really traditional printing method, where the designer sets and carves the type and designs by hand. She’s incredibly talented and Etsy shoppers have noticed. While we could easily buy everything from her store, now that the silly season is around the corner, we’re loving the gift tags and vintage-style letter sets.
SheKnows: What sets your store apart?
Narelle: My ability to keep my images simple and uncluttered, yet beautiful. I create images that can be used at any time of the year and that work well as different items, like gift tags, greeting tags and even printed fabrics. I also think my customers love that my images come with all the little imperfections of linocut printing — it’s a reminder that human hands have created the item and there’s something special in that. The quality of the paper I use is another appealing factor. All of my greeting cards are printed on 100 per cent cotton rag paper or 100 per cent post-consumer recycled card, while my gift tags and buntings are printed on waterproof soft coaster card paper.
SK: Where do you find inspiration?
Narelle: I am inspired by vintage illustrations, wood carvings and expressionist printmakers from Germany. I also get ideas from looking at the small details of nature, such as plants and animals.