Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a great evening on New Years Eve, whether it was partying it up at a music festival, having a few drinks with friends, or just hitting the hay and getting a solid 8 hours on the 31st December 2015.
While it may seem like a long time ago, Christmas Day was in fact only 11 days ago. If you can cast your mind back that far, you may also be able to remember that I promised via Instagram that I was going to challenge myself to only buy Chirstmas presents from Wellington businesses/makers.
The idea came to me while I was searching for stuff to investigate for The Residents. It struck me that if I want to talk the talk - about how great Wellingtonians and our businesses are - , I had to also walk the walk. I need to put my money where my mouth is! And that means choosing to buy local, rather than from a chain or online. How much more merriment is there in a present with a provenance from a cool Wellington store, rather than a generic T-Shirt ordered from ASOS?
"How much more merriment is there in a present with a provenance from a cool Wellington store, rather than a generic T-Shirt ordered from ASOS??"
So in the spirit of giving myself a challenge, I dove head first into the first The Residents Christmas Haul 2015 (to give it an official title).
- All presents must be bought from somewhere in Wellington, New Zealand (Wellington FL does not count).
- All items or any experience must put funds back into the local Wellington economy or support local industry.
- Items may be made in Wellington, but do not have to be if they are purchased from a Wellington founded business.
- Despite rule 3, bonus points for new, original, valued or innovative businesses/products.
- As is standard with Christmas present buying (except for distant cousins) presents should be generally useful or desirable for the gift receiver (i.e. cannot give a tiki keyring, unless to someone who loves tikis, such as Tiki Tane).
Check out what I bought, from where and why I bought it below!
This was a really fun way to buy presents that everyone absolutely loved for Christmas 2015! People might think only buying Wellington would be really hard. It takes away lots of things we would usually reach for. But actually, I found it made it easier! The overwhelming choice Christmas presents was narrowed significantly. I knew what I couldn’t buy, so I targeted stores specifically.
I also had some mental goals, on top of my rules. For example, I wanted to try and support new and up-and-coming businesses where possible, or places that really mean something to me (i.e. Unity Books, because I believe in bricks and mortar book stores).
The Actual Present Buying Experience
Me being me, I left most present buying until the 23rd (except for the Okewa Rainwear coat, which I had bought in October, popping into Nick and Nevada Leckie’s brilliant pop-up shop in collaboration with Max Patte). So, had I had planned better, I am sure I could have come up with an even more varied and interesting list of Wellington presents.
"This was a really fun way to buy presents that everyone absolutely loved for Christmas 2015"
I did go for a few brands I had already become aware of through this blog. But disclaimer: these brands I have already covered were certainly not encouraging me to do so - and I got no discount or incentive for writing about these brands again. It was simply because they fitted the bill, and also I knew friends and family would like the product.
My first stop was Moore Wilson’s for Libertine Blend Tea. I also popped into Let Liv because I knew someone should get some Wiki Skincare, having reviewed it and loving it myself. On the 22nd I went with a pal from work who was giving her brother a Chemex filter. I got some beans. A plan had started to fall into place. On the 23rd, I rushed into Unity Books, followed by Caughley and then again Moore Wilson’s. And that was that. Done. Very happy.
Boyfriend - A Coat From Okewa Rainwear
Purchased from? Okewa Rainwear’s Pop-Up store on Victoria Street which ran through October, paid-off lay-by, posted by Okewa Rainwear to me.
Manufactured/ Made in Wellington? Made in NZ, designed in Wellington. Japanese fabric.
Why did I buy it? It is 100% waterproof for Wellington weather, but also very stylish and avoids the ‘Mac-Pac’ syndrome - great when walking around the city for boyfriend, especially to university.
Boyfriend's Sister - Libertine Blend Teas in Runaway Rose and Kapow
Purchased from? Moore Wilson’s, College Street, Wellington.
Manufactured/ Made in Wellington? Made in Berhampore from local and imported ingredients.
Why did I buy it? All girls love tea. It is a little burst of love in your cup (see previous review). Runaway Rose is for the heartfelt times, Kapok for the non-caffeinated kick sometimes required to get to work. I love Libertine Blends.
Boyfriend’s Dad - Brazil Blend Coffee from Coffee Supreme
Purchased from? Coffee Supreme Store, Midland Park, Lambton Quay, Wellington.
Manufactured/ Made in Wellington? Beans from overseas but roasted and packed in Wellington.
Why did I buy it? Boyfriends Dad has coffee machine and is official barista when visiting his family. All hail!
Boyfriend’s Mum - Wiki Skincare Citrus Cleansing Oil
Purchased from? Let Liv, 11 Hunter Street, Wellington.
Manufactured/ Made in Wellington? Made and packed in Brooklyn.
Why did I buy it? I really love WikiSkincare (see my previous review). All natural and mostly organic, smells like citrus bursting into sunshine on your skin first thing - considered not gifting, but keeping for self, but realised would be being miserable. But still.
Father, Mother and Brother - Books (various)
Purchased from? Unity Books, one of Wellington’s last independent bookstores on Willis Street, Wellington. Gave self bonus points for this to cancel out fact books not made in Wellington.
Manufactured/ Made in Wellington? Books are not, however, completely justifiable on the basis on keeping bookshop alive and kicking in Wellington.
Why did I buy it? My family are bookworms - we love a good book, whatever our varied interests are.
Brother - Champtaloup Boxers
Purchased from? Caughley, 57 Ghuznee Street, Wellington.
Manufactured/ Made in Wellington? Made in New Zealand by Champtaloup aka Harry Champtaloup who says on the website for the Champtaloup boxers he makes that he went to Wellington University (wherever that might be).
Why did I buy it? A wee reminder for brother that when the going gets tough, box on!
Boyfriend’s grandfather - The Wellington Chocolate Factory ANZAC chocolate
Purchased from? Moore Wilson’s, College Street, Wellington. From Wellington Chocolate Factory.
Manufactured/ Made in Wellington? Beans from elsewhere, but imported and made from bean to bar in Wellington on Eva Street.
Why did I buy it? Even though I know that boyfriend’s grandfather not around in WW1, liked the nostalgic air and appropriate packaging.
Boyfriend’s Family Dog (Ruby) and own family Dog (Timmy) - The Barking Lot Liver Treats
Purchased from? The Barking Lot, Wellington dog-sitters.
Manufactured/ Made in Wellington? Unsure of where liver sourced from. Did not want to ask.
Why did I buy it? Making sure dog does not feel left out of fun.
N.B. - Dogs do not need to know that they were given same present. Colour of bows changed to reflect gender of dog.
Boyfriend’s Sister’s Boyfriends - Anonymousism Socks (knitted)
A great experience - totally would suggest doing it yourself. Getting Wellington presents was fun, and taking out choice made me free to focus on more important activities over the holidays....