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A person rearranges ceramic jewellery on a patterned blanket
Photograph: Supplied/ Visit Victoria

Seven gift ideas that also support Victorian creatives

Spoil yourself (or someone you know) with these luxe gift packs, creative treats and self-care ideas

Written by
Claire Finneran
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We could all use a bit of a treat right now. If, like us, you've found yourself mindlessly scrolling through online shops seeking that little drop of purchase dopamine, we've got you. We've compiled a bunch of covetable gifts, self-care must-haves and luxuriant gifts for someone special that will soothe what ails you while keeping some of our state's tireless makers in business. 

In fact, your phone can be transformed into a vending machine for all sorts of local treasures with Click For Vic, an initiative that compiles all the best regional produce, products, booze, coffee and experience vouchers in one handy location. This online platform directs you straight to the maker's online stores and ensures your purchase supports the business directly.

So dive in. Check out our gift and goods ideas below.

We'd love to be exploring the cute shops and blossoming food scene of historical Ballarat right now but buying from one of its local creators is the next best thing. Ruby Pilven's studio in Ballarat is home to her technicolour ceramic practice. Using a Japanese technique called Nerikomi, Pilven's works are hand-built with coloured clay. You'll find dreamy pastels with gold accents and bold glaze vessels and accessories on her online store. Give your mate a pair of handmade porcelain earrings, treat your pooch to an ultramarine dog bowl or covet a gilded rim serving platter for yourself.

Just north of Ballarat is the heritage town of Creswick, a cute country outpost with stunning walks, bike trails and a historical mill that's been in operation since 1947. Creswick Woollen Mills has been making Victoria's finest natural fibre wares for decades. A visit to the mill and its adorable llama viewing platform is off the cards right now but you can purchase any of their lush products online. They'll even gift wrap them for you if you wanna treat someone to an ultra-soft merino blanket or wrap yourself in a soft possum cardigan.

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Right about now we might be swinging into Echuca on the banks of the Murray after having a little springtime jaunt on a cute houseboat. Unfortunately steaming down the river isn't an option for us right now but we can still savour a little taste of freedom by sampling one of Echuca Chocolate Company's handmade goodies. Spoil yourself with a bottle of chocolate liqueur or a decadently decorated truffle box. Or send one of their pre-prepared "supporting local" gift packs to that mate you were planning on having a houseboat adventure with. Gorging on riverside choccies is the next best thing to a holiday.

Fitzroy North's LoveHate studio has been owned and operated by local designer Geneine Honey since 2002. Known for its handcrafted jewellery design and sustainable practices (something that is often overlooked in the gemstone industry), LoveHate is your go-to for gold, silver and rose gold accessories. Lock in a future heirloom for your descendants with a gem-dotted signet ring or shower your special friend with love with a pair of LoveHate's distinctly textured drop earrings. They're all about recycling existing jewellery and custom design jobs too, so if there's a giant gem-encrusted bangle you've been dreaming of, hit them up.

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Nothing has the power to transport us quite like a good book. Since the 1960s, the Paperback Bookshop has been perched near the top of Bourke Street plying passersby with somesuch mini brain holidays (books). Keep this gorgeous bookseller in business and shop from their online store. Much like the IRL experience, the web store has staff recommendations for you to browse. If you miss book clubs and talks, check out their cute YouTube channel that features relaxing readings from authors.

Missing those revitalising spa days? Lockdown blues starting to seep from your pores? Scrub it all away with some of ENA products natural ingredient skincare, oils, hand creams and hair treats. ENA doesn't use any synthetic fragrances and chemicals so your next trip to the shower will be a sensory treat with body washes made of luxe ingredients like geranium, eucalyptus, pink grapefruit, lavender, lemon myrtle and more. You can send a thoughtful package to someone who needs some spoiling too with one of their spa-invoking gift bundles. Melbourne-based and proud of it, spend some self-care savings on ENA products and you'll not only be helping them keep their lotions in motion but for every purchase, they donate $1 to charity.

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The modest House of Handmade bricks and mortar store in Richmond is home to excellent one-of-a-kind wares from local makers. You can access an Etsy-rivalling amount of beautiful goods on the online store that are all created by hand and cover all sorts of gifting needs. From stationery to knitted children's toys, House of Handmade is a present time go-to. Get a bamboo swaddle for the new baby in your life, a beeswax candle for your spiritual aunt and a Willychoo vitamin E-enriched, organic dog shampoo for your furry friend. You'll find so many cute treats here you might find yourself converting the online cart to a fantasy Santa sack for yourself, and why not? It's all going to regional and local Victorian artists, so spend big.

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