I’m stuck at home. You’re stuck at home. We get it – the world is stuck at home.

But just because you’re stuck indoors doesn’t mean you can’t give the credit card a work-out, while at the same time buying ethical products and supporting small businesses. Plus, you or your loved ones will get the thrill of receiving a parcel from the postman – actual human interaction! Well, kind of – ours just honks and gives us a wave, but it’s often the highlight of our day.

Say it with sugar.

Who doesn’t love receiving sugary treats direct to their door? The very talented Mel from Bentley Bakes creates customised cookies to order, which look and taste wonderful. She bakes and decorates them in her rural kitchen and then ships them Australia-wide. We recently ordered some beautiful biscuits from her for my Grandma’s 100th birthday and they were a hit (check out the pic above). 

Speaking of grandmas, maybe it’s my nana tendencies, but I’ve always been partial to a prune. They might not be the sexiest of snacks, but they taste so good – especially these dark chocolate sundried prunes from Naturally Dried Prunes. The fruit is picked and dried on this family-run farm in the Riverina, before being smothered in dark chocolate. They also do milk chocolate and non-chocolate options – all available for purchase and delivery online. 

If chocolate-coated prunes sound too wholesome, why not go all out with a truly decadent treat from Coco88? Handmade chocolate lovingly crafted in the western suburbs of Sydney – check out the freckle eggs for Easter or the luxurious dark chocolate bar with roasted hazelnuts. Delightful. 

You. Smell. Amazing.

Waking up in the morning feeling a little… bleugh? Before you reach for the coffee, spray on a natural scent to reset your mood for the day. I’m completely addicted to the kalliope [driven] fragrance by IME Natural Perfumes – a special perfume company based right here in the Illawarra. 

Not only does it smell amazing, it makes me feel strong and grounded and ready to face the day. Plus it’s 100% natural with absolutely no nasties, so you can feel good about what you’re spraying on your skin. Not sure where to start? Try the Collections Pack to sample all the scents and choose your favourite. They also have fragrances for men – my man wears offshore [water] and it/he smells divine. 

For the little people. 

The Sensory Studio is a very special shop in Wollongong which sells educational toys and gifts, with a special focus on kids who have additional needs. As well as weighted toys, sensory items and things for kids who need to fiddle and fidget, they also sell fantastic books, puzzles and games which are ideal for keeping all kinds of kids entertained while you’re all stuck at home. 

If you’re like me and are partial to a vintage-inspired print, Banabae is my favourite for high quality printed linens for the home and nursery. Not only do their prints look amazing, they’re made with organic, sustainable and ethical fabrics. They also do uber-cool Rad Dad t-shirts and hats if you have a super Dad in your life who needs celebrating. 

Do good.

When you buy something for a good cause, it’s a total win-win. Baskin Bae is a very cool independent designer here in Wollongong – check out her fantastic t-shirts, particularly the ‘Slick’ range which supports the Cancer Council and raises much-needed awareness about sun safety, ‘cause the sun still burns during COVID-19. 

I’m also a big fan of the new range of t-shirts by my clever client Celebrate T21 – they were designed by Alexis Schnitger Design for World Down Syndrome Day – and the money raised helps their work supporting and celebrating families with a prenatal or postnatal Down Syndrome diagnosis. 

Thirsty work

Now, I’m not here to advocate irresponsible alcohol consumption, but it’s to be expected we’ll all be reaching for a therapeutic wine after a day of doing the working from home / home schooling the kids / trying not to go insane juggle. Even better if that wine is delivered directly to your door, and comes from an independent winery which could use your money-shaped support. 

Enter: Yarran Wines. This gorgeous little winery is located near my hometown in the Riverina, and whenever we’re back we always make an excuse to visit for a tasting. The outlook over the vineyards toward the Cocoparra Ranges is beautiful, and the wine is delicious. Whether you prefer red or white, this little superstar winery doesn’t put a foot wrong. Check out their amazing Corona Care Pack – a mixed case of splendid wine directly to your door for just $140. 

For a more calming liquid treat, check out the organic teas and herbal blends from Wollongong company Leif Tea Co. Their gorgeous teas and pretty ceramics are a perfect excuse to take a moment of blissful solitude in amongst the coronavirus chaos. 

Feeling crafty?

Looking for something crafty to keep your creative juices flowing? If you have a sewing machine collecting dust in a cupboard, now’s the time to bring out into the light and get reacquainted. The beautiful Rin from Sew in Love has fantastic tutorials and patterns on her website to get you inspired, including her popular Little Boxy Dress sewing tutorial. 

Get active.

Getting your daily dose of fresh air is essential in this crazy time, and if you’re lucky enough to be near nature trails for walking and running, even better. The Edge is an adventure store in Wollongong which specialises in gear for running, hiking, trail running and mountain biking. They’re doing free local area delivery at the moment, and while you’re on there, check out their sister site Maisy & Co for beautiful gifts and homewares. 

I could go on… there are so many awesome independent Aussie retailers who need our support right now. Let’s try and spend our money where it counts.

What are your favourite independent retailers? Let me know on Facebook or Instagram.

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