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By Cordelia Williamson
November 27, 2020
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Ten Perfect Gifts to Buy Your Mate to Say Thanks for Their Support This Year

Because your bestie deserves the world.
By Cordelia Williamson
November 27, 2020
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in partnership with

Mates are great. They're there for all the highs and lows throughout our lives, from popping champagne when we land a promotion to bringing us ice cream in the middle of the night after a bad break up. With 2020 being such a dud, we've come to realise even more how important those close to us are. So, as Christmas is just around the corner, it's time to show your friends a big fat thanks for all their love and support this year.

In partnership with Square, we've searched through Victoria's independent shops to help you do just that. Why? Because your pals deserve the world, not yet another book or pair of socks you picked up in a hurry. And, because we don't want you to go breaking the bank over these, we've put together a list of ten cracking gifts that each cost under $100. Plus, you'll be buying from local legends who, after a pretty tough year, need your support. If you are a small business owner, Square has the tools you need to take payments and maximise your sales, including an ebook with tips to help you get started this holiday season.

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BUCKET HAT, SECOND STITCH ($55)

Social enterprise Second Stitch employs refugee and asylum seeker workers in its Coburg studio. As well as making a heap of cotton face masks during lockdown, it also peddles non-COVID-related accessories such as giant scrunchies, bags, cushions and purses. Now that the sun is coming out to play, we're sure your mate will want to spend as much time outdoors as possible. So, perhaps a fun bucket hat is the perfect way to say thanks and, in turn, have their back this summer. After all, nobody likes a sunburnt scalp. Second Stitch's hats come in four different colours — black, navy, khaki and blue check — so you're able to get them a hat that'll suit their style, too. Add in $8 for shipping, or pick up in store.

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HER BEST FRIEND PUZZLE, OKAY LADY ($79)

If your mate sent you a bunch of fun activities to help you pass the time during lockdown (and lockdown 2.0), then it might be wise to return the favour. Chances are you have at least one friend who developed a penchant for puzzles this year and, if that's the case, a pressie from online jigsaw puzzle company Okay Lady will be a winner. Okay Lady puzzles champion Aussie women illustrators and come in environmentally friendly packaging — no plastic in sight. If you're gifting this to your bestie, get this super-cute 400-piece jigsaw by Queensland artist Sophie Beer that features two besties and some adorable pups. Shipping is free across Australia.

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'STEAL THE LIGHT', THE CAT EMPIRE, COTTONMOUTH RECORDS ($37)

If you've got a muso mate, there's no question a record makes for a great gift. But, with taste in tunes being such a personal thing, it can be hard to pick a piece of black gold. Enter Sydney's Cottonmouth Records. Sure it may be across the border, but you don't need to live nearby to take advantage of owner Zachery Williams' eclectic vinyl collection. Its online store has everything from the Pixies and New Order to Groove Armada and Action Bronson. If your friend is a fan of joyous, trumpet-laden tunes, we think a record by Melbourne-based musicians The Cat Empire will be a hit. We've picked the band's sixth studio album Steal the Light not only because it has some great tracks, but the cover art by Graeme Base is pretty sweet, too. Shipping is $15, or free for orders over $100.

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ONE-LITRE CANIMAL, THE MILL BREWERY ($15–22)

We all know someone who loves a good craft brew. The one who plans the perfect brewery crawls, orders strange brews even at your local and scoffs at the idea of a schooey of VB. Luckily, Melbourne has craft breweries aplenty, so finding a top-notch tipple for them isn't all that hard. If you don't know where to start, though, The Mill Brewery is a great port of call. Mostly known for its ales, the Collingwood brewery sells one-litre tinnies of its brews for those wanting more than a stubby but less than a growler. Cheekily called Canimal, the one-litre can can be filled with any tap brew. If you're planning on ordering a few, shipping is a flat rate of $19.95, otherwise swing by and pick it up in person.

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ARC VESSEL SMALL, MILK WORKSHOP ($65)

Milk Workshop is a small ceramic studio in Melbourne by a former fashion and graphic designer, so you can bet these wares are as beautiful as they are functional. It produces everything from planters to plates, mugs and vases, with every piece hand-built. Expect minimalist clean lines, organic textures and subtle detailing across Milk's products, including this beautiful (and watertight) vessel that's ideal for holding flowers. If you really want to show your friend how much you love them, you can pick up a teeny-tiny bunch of blooms to accompany this sleek ceramic vase, too. Shipping is a flat rate of $10, or you can drop by the workshop and pick it up for no extra cost.
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MAISON BALZAC LE BOIS CANDLE, THE PLANT SOCIETY ($70)

French-born and Sydney-based Elise Pioch had the right idea when she created Maison Balzac: she wanted to develop a product that would take her right back to her childhood. Short of creating a time machine, she achieved that goal with her wonderfully fragrant candles, as well as colourful retro-chic homewares like wine goblets, tableware and vases. If you want to throw your support behind a local business, you can purchase her perfumed candles through The Plant Society's online store. Our pick is Le Bois, with notes of cedar wood, leather and smoke. The Plant Society offers free local shipping for orders over $50, too, or you can pick it up in store.cp-line

COCKATOO CUSHION IN ROSE, COCKATOO COLLECTION ($69)

Melbourne-based brand Cockatoo Collection is a one-stop-shop for cute, colourful homewares, from tea towels and trays to cushions and candles, that combine simple Scandinavian design aesthetic with bold Australiana nods. Most pieces are designed and made in Melbourne by the brand's owners Helena and Katarina, while the rest comes from other Aussie designers, illustrators and creators. Everything the brand touts is pretty cute, but we reckon your supportive soul mate will love a cushy pillow sporting a cockatoo, naturally, and available in pink, aqua and grey. Shipping is free for orders over $25.

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THE OG BLO BRUSH, BLO BRUSH ($89.95)

For all the sophisticated glamour queens in your life, look no further than this three-in-one hair styling wonder from Blo Brush. Part-hairdryer, part-straightener and part-volumiser, this nifty machine lets you recreate a salon blow-dry at home in a fraction of the time. And, it's pretty portable, too. So grab it for your pal who is constantly on the go, but loves to look chic day and night. You can even opt to have it boxed in Christmas-themed packaging. Orders are shipped via express post, so it'll be on your mate's doorstep in a matter of days.

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ONE FINE SUNDAY TOWEL, THE SHEARER'S WIFE ($55)

It's summer, which means there are many beach days on the horizon. If you've got a mate who's beach towel is looking a little threadbare, gift them a brand new one like this chic number from Aussie brand One Fine Sunday.  Available in an array of colours and patterns, including mustard green, beige and white stripes and charcoal stonewash, these Turkish towels are made from high-quality cotton, traditionally loomed and hand tied in Turkey. Not only will your mate tout it at the beach, but it also makes for a great picnic blanket. Shipping costs $10 around Australia or you can pick up from The Shearer's Wife in Cooma.

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SCALLOP TASSEL LARGE, SEASHELLS & CO ($60)

If you don't want to turn up empty handed at Christmas lunch with friends, these hand-painted scallop shells from Seashells & Co make for an excellent pressie. The decorative shells will liven up any interior, so perhaps nab one for your mates who'll be WFH for the foreseeable future. They're made in sunny Port Douglas and come individually gift wrapped, so you don't have to worry about picking up wrapping paper either.

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Find out how Square is supporting small businesses with the tools they need to grow, here. If you are a small business owner, Square has guidance on how best to maximise sales in the run up to the Christmas holiday period in its ebook, found here.

Published on November 27, 2020 by Cordelia Williamson

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