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Where to Find Wondrous, Unique & Unusual Gifts in Victoria

Home > Melbourne > Gifts | Lists | Shopping
by Jeni Wilson (subscribe)
Teacher educator and author of many teacher reference books. Amused by random ideas and loves random acts of kindness. Enjoys writing humour...seriously!Please see my Instagram: wilsonjeni
Published October 8th 2013
Gifts or art?

Over the socks for Father's day, slippers for Mother's day, and books and towels for Christmas? Looking for something a bit different? Something unique, quirky or original that no one else will give? You can be the super sister, amazing aunty and doting daughter with an original gift that's perfect for that special occasion.

Here are four of the best places for gift shopping to suit most budgets.

1. Oku Den in Hurstbridge
I confess I thought this shop would be full of tie dyes and incense so almost didn't want to go in. Instead it captivated me with its Japanese influenced remastered textiles, jewellery and wearable art. At the time I couldn't think of anyone who would appreciate the handmade fabric kimono brooches (only $12) but of course I have since then.

There is a large amount of multicolored, typewriter key and rare letterpress jewellery, bags and eclectic style clothes, all very good value. The aroma of the assorted candles and aromic detox salts was compelling.

2. Rivers of Yarrambat
This is a must stop shop for indoor and outdoor gifts. Plants, pots and other outdoor furniture are classy and quirky. The gift shop has been expanded to include new season clothing, accessories and hats. Bigger than ever, their gift shop has the biggest clock I have ever seen… just perfect for your castle!

Been looking for the right pair of printed gumboots or a fancy umbrella. Look no further. They stock a large range of beautiful homewares in a range of colors to mix and match. They also have a card and wrapping service.

Rivers is not a budget shop but they stock high end, quality products. They have the added benefit of a café and beauty facilities so after you've shopped 'til you drop you can have a well earnt coffee, cake, light meal or perhaps a facial at the Rivers Beauty and Spa.

3. Grace of Plenty
The pride of this quaint church converted shop is that it stocks mostly arts and crafts made by the community artists. You can buy a work of art that is one of its kind. The Grace of Plenty
provides a unique service of personalising gifts with embroidered names.

Hand painted ceramics, locally crafted glassware, leadlight and mirrors to order, local conserves and other produce and hand crafted furniture are amongst the items sold at the Grace of Plenty. Because of the nature of their artist provided stock you never know what you will find.

4. River Clay in Eltham
When in Eltham I cannot resist a visit to River Clay. You can't miss it, the shop is brightly painted and right next door to the Eltham station. With French, Asian and other international influences, the displays are nothing short of awe inspiring.

I try to imagine how the feminine and exotic bedroom display and bold dining settings would look in my house. Their specialty is furniture and accessories. I am in love with their cushions. As a frequent gift shopper at River Clay, I can count on the staff pointing out possible gifts that I might have missed or not considered. They also provide an impressive wrapping service like no other.

Characteristic of each store is the massive amount of stock. Allow plenty of time to have a good look around. You never know what you'll find behind the pig with wings moneybox or between the melting shelf clock and the wombat Christmas decorations.

I dare you to resist touching the treasures. If you can't find something extraordinary to suit your needs in one of these shops you aren't serious about gift shopping. Anyway, it's worth a look just for the fun of it.
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