Where to shop for inspired and original gifts this Christmas

Find some unexpected treasures if you’re in the market for gifts that go beyond the usual shopping centre offerings this year...
09 Dec 2021
Wendy Hughes, Writer and social media smith

Ipswich is home to some of Queensland’s most unique and charming independent retailers meaning it’s a great place to visit for a shopping trip any time of the year but especially in the lead-up to Christmas.

The colourful array of boutiques and specialty stores in the historic precinct known as Top of Town has some genuinely unexpected treasures if you’re in the market for gifts that go beyond the usual shopping centre offerings this year.

Did you know this stretch is home to the longest-running hobby shop in Australia, and one of the state’s oldest businesses? CJ Vogler & Son was established in 1877 and has been owned and run by the Vogler family ever since. It stocks a range of model trains, planes and automobiles as well as more modern hobby gear – including drones! Wonder what they’d have made of those back in the 1800s!

Here are a few more places to get on your list around the heritage city.

Arttime Supplies

Arttime Supplies

Arttime Supplies has a pop-up Christmas market where you’ll find exquisite handmade pieces by local artists including charming ceramics from Lone Goat Studio and those iconic Ipswich textiles from Little Brown Dog. This art supplies shop also features a permanent gallery space at the front of the shop which is packed with items covering all price points.  

Arttime Supplies

Embers and Twine and The Soul Cauldron

Head to Embers and Twine in the Old Flour Mill for more gifting inspiration including handmade items, scented candles and succulents in cute pots. Be sure to check out the adjoining shop, The Soul Cauldron for all things spiritual from Tarot packs to sage smudge sticks and crystals, and an array of books covering all aspects of the spiritual world.     

Country House Gifts and Fashion

Country House Gifts and Homewares in the Boulevard Arcade is an overflowing Aladdin’s Cave of treasure with gift ideas and owner Ruth clearly loves the festive season, sprinkling handmade and Australian made Christmas ornaments, decorations, and homewares throughout her sprawling emporium. This is the place to come for items sourced from around the globe that are particularly hard to find. 

Cute To Boot

Cute to Boot

Cute To Boot is your go-to if you’re shopping for little folk this festive season. Owner Toni sources shoes, accessories, toys, and nursery items for babies and toddlers, from around the globe. 

Cute to Boot

Soul Sista, Oh! JoJo Boutique and Obsession Shoes

Soul Sista is a loved boutique on Brisbane Street and owner Erin has just moved her shop down the street creating quite the fashion hub with newly expanded and renovated Oh! JoJo Boutique and Obsession Shoes among her new neighbours. At Oh! JoJo you’ll also find a new skin care treatment room The Beauty Within, run by Jo’s daughter Tyler – and yes, she is doing vouchers for Christmas.  

The Vintage Advantage and Ipswich Antique Centre

The Vintage Advantage

For the antiques and collectibles lover in your family, be sure to check out The Vintage Advantage in the Top of Town and Ipswich Antique Centre in one of the city’s historic landmarks.  

A Lot of Books

A Lot of Books Marvel

A Lot of Books in the Brassall Shopping Centre has a title for everyone in your family – from Marvel Comics special editions to gardening and bee keeping guides and a large selection of novels. 

A Lot of Books

Tranquil Tea

Rose Tea at Tranquil Tea

For a unique gift idea, you could consider one of the beautiful teas directly imported and stocked by Tranquil Tea House at Tivoli. Owner Dona recently opened a tea house so you could even include a voucher for two for a tea experience. Check via the FB page for opening times and appointment options.

Trevallan Lifestyle Centre

Trevallan Lifestyle Centre

Trevallan Lifestyle Centre is a leafy wonderland where you can get your hands on rare plants, seeds and gardening items as well as a range of homewares and gift items. Also a pleasant spot for a wander in the crazy rush of the Christmas season!  

Trevallan Lifestyle Centre

A Gift With Love

A Gift with Love Elume candles

A Gift With Love is a shop in an old Queenslander Cottage at Churchill with a range of ideas for all budgets. The shop is also a stockist of Elume soy candles. Check the FB page for open times.

A Gift with Love decorations
Wendy Hughes Writer and social media smith
Wendy Hughes has meandered through a long career as a journalist, often with a fork in one hand.. or a glass. She spent several years as a food writer at the Sunday Mail and reviewed for various magazines. These days Wendy produces content and runs social media within the tourism, hospitality and travel sectors. Email [email protected]

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