A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Published August 20th 2014
Simply the (B)est
Est Australia sounds rather grand, but is in fact a small treasure trove of a shop, located in Auburn Village, Auburn Road, Hawthorn East. In its 16th year of operation, Est offers an Australian based range of all-natural products.
Inside Est Australia's Hawthorn East store
Est was first established as a provider of natural beauty and skin care products. Many of these are produced on site at the store. The aim is to use the highest quality ingredients including certified organic products wherever possible, which means the products - including soap, body butters and salves - are suitable for people with even the most sensitive skins.
Est offers a range of Italian string
Over time, owner Carolyn Imlach has selectively added to the Est product offering, now also selling beautiful Magnolia Pearl linen clothing, cotton/linen tea towels, hand crafted toys, hand knitted garments, ceramic dishes and bowls, and so much more. You'll even find a range of brushes (kitchen and personal), and Isle Jacobsen's stylish gumboots.
A selection of gorgeous braids
What I love about this store is being able to poke around and see what you can find. You simply can't take it all in at first glance, there are just too many goodies packed on the shelves. It's definitely worth taking the time to have a good look around, as you never know what you'll find.
This is a perfect place to keep in mind for Christmas, as there are many quality items with reasonable price tags that would be ideal for Kris Kringles. Browse the gift ideas section for inspiration.
Quality coloured pencils
I also found good solid chopping boards, made in Tasmania, beeswax candles, and quality stationery. I was very tempted to buy an enormous skein of merino wool, which came complete with a (simple) pattern to knit a wrap (but thought of the half-completed knitting projects sitting in the wardrobe at home and resisted!).
So for quality, handcrafted goods, you'd expect to pay a fortune, right? Well, not necessarily. Est's 'signature' product is soap formed into large balls, made with completely natural products; these are $10 (small balls $8). A lavender and tea tree balm, for moisturising and soothing minor burns, grazes, sores, dry skin patches and insect bites, containing manuka honey, is $16. Cute little tea light candle holders are $25.
Handcrafted, all-natural soaps are a speciality
And what did I buy? It seems I was having a 'practical' rather than 'indulgent' kind of day, because what I walked out with were an Est cotton/linen blend tea towel (these are great because they're a heavy fabric and an extra large size) ($12.50), and a double sided pear wood nail brush (just because I needed one!) ($17.50).
Est is open from Monday to Saturday, 9am - 5pm. Can't make it to the shop? Don't worry, there's a fantastic online store! Est also offers gift boxes of its products.