I’ve been thinking a lot about this silly season we have coming up. Each year it seems to come around a little earlier. By early September, I’d mapped out all the important dates, cut extra stock, and planned what date the last orders would have to be to make the last post run for the year.
So I wanted to chat a little about the whole gift giving thing. I’ve been in a sort of internal conflict...
Five or so years ago I made a decision to stop buying physical presents. To be honest, this was mainly a conscious effort to reduce my consumption and the risk of receiving something I didn’t need, or that may not hold my own values. Instead I’d offer to take my loved ones out for a coffee, meal, experience or indulge in choosing them a beautiful bunch of flowers.
After a while I realised I also really love giving treats and seeing friend’s faces light up whether it's a birthday, Christmas, or just coz.
This year has been a significant birthday in my high school friendship group. Each time we’ve chipped in and treated our birthday gal to some flowers (genuine question though are snap dragons having a moment?), jewellery, maybe a facial voucher, rounded out with a great catch up over a boozy lunch.
Now that I’m one of the only ones left, I wanted to share some of my go to ideas... I tend to use it as an excuse to vote with my (and my friend’s) wallet(s) and support local businesses as much as I can!
Here’s some of my secrets –
For my sister’s birthday, a few years ago I organised with our group of friends to get her a delicate gold chained necklace from her mate Bella Clark. It was really special to know that we were gifting something from someone she loved too!
Phoebe Wyatt Edge’s earrings became a pretty popular choice among our friendship group this year. We've ended up going back again and again. I had the pleasure of collaborating with Phoebe for her shell and sea glass buttons that were sewn onto Chore pieces from around 2019. Beautiful pieces, beautiful energy, beautiful girl!
I was very lucky to get to trade some HB pieces for one of Kate Dansey’s necklaces a few years ago. I pull it out when ever I want to feel a little fancy. My school friends all helped choose a necklace with all of Bezzy's favourite colours. It makes me so happy to see her wearing it almost every time we see her.
Another lovely jeweller I’ve had the pleasure of trading with in the past is Laura Armstrong. Laura is stocked in Practice Studio in Brisbane like me! and I love the community it has brought (one day I gotta visit). We traded bolster for signet ring, where she let me decide on which coloured sapphire I’d like. It’s been on my finger ever since.
The next catch up we celebrated with lunch and cocktails for two darlin's, along with some ceramics by Kristin Olds. I’d enjoyed Kristin’s work for a while, and thought it suited both girl's style. We chose a large serving bowl for Katelyn who always brings a yummy big dish of home cooked food to every occasion, and a pair of mugs for Lyons who'd moved back to Melbourne.
I’d been admiring Lucy Tolan’s vessels in Modern Times with their bold primary colours. Then last year Lucy and I realised we were actually in studios next door to each other! I loved our corridor chats on the way to make a tea. I ended up gifting one of the vessels to my friend. We gave it to her on the beach at sunset and she was coincidentally wearing a matching cobalt coloured jumpsuit.
My very first studio in Brunswick had a kiln inside run by the lovely Daisy Cooper. I remember walking past as she’d be loading or unloading it and being in awe. Once I was leaving late, and on the bench was a large fruit bowl with a subtle crack at the base. A sign on top read “Free to a good home”. It’s been in said good home for six years now.
Together with some of the girls at my casual job we gifted our pal a couple of ocean toned mugs for a house warming gift. I chose ones with a teal glaze because it matched the colours she often wears.
For the wedding present of two of my dear friend’s, Bezzy and I chipped in together for a voucher for a painting by Evie Cahir. Evie being the incredibly generous thing she is, not only let me choose a small original piece of artwork to use as the voucher (without realising, I chose Carlton Gardens!!) but she'd wrapped it up in hand painted paper like a pass-the-parcel.
Some other ideas my friends and I have had is a day trip to the Daylesford hot springs, and then going to a winery, or a pasta making class in Rome :O for Jessie girl. I’ve also always liked the idea of heading to Sense of Self or doing a ceramic making workshop – although both are still on the list ;)
A few less $$$ focussed options could be collecting flowers during a walk, painting a card with a special message inside, a batch of homemade jam, muesli, or relish. A spice mix, an essential oil blend, some tea. Sew a tote bag, linen napkins or dish cloths, maybe make some bees wax wraps.
Don't underestimate a visit, cuddle or phone call checking in.
While writing this newsletter, I realise I may have made some slightly contradicting points. I stand true knowing that my personal values, and the way I run my business are aligned. Somehow I always find the longer and more windy road, but believe that by being thoughtful in what I create will mean they are looked after and cherished by you and those you love for a long time to come.
If you’d like to gift HB or something from my store (thank you!!) you could try going for practical things like hats, bags, clips or socks. I’ve also got physical vouchers I can send to you.
First published in the Newsletter, December 2021.