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Pop CBR: local gifting in the city

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Tea, body scrub, biltong, candles, chocolate, beer and wine. What do they have in common?

Firstly, they make excellent Christmas gifting and secondly, they are all offered by boutique makers right here in Canberra.

With online shopping just a click away, you’d be forgiven for letting your gaze drift interstate or even internationally when it comes to Christmas gifting. But as we’ve proved many times, there’s plenty of festive inspiration right here in Canberra and this December, a trio of locals are making it even easier to shop local.

Taking over one of Canberra’s coolest spaces on the corner of Edinburgh Avenue and Phillip Law Street in NewActon (formerly occupied by Dionysus and now hosting Keep Co CBR for the month of November), Pop CBR will be a pop-up Christmas store and then some.

For Mikhaila Pennell of Tea Garden Co, Finn McGrath of Waypoint Tea Co and Gabe Trew of Crush Skincare Co, joining forces to sprinkle a bit of local on the Christmas gifting scene was an easy decision.

“Mikhaila [Pennell] and I were talking about building the Canberra tea scene and being collaborators not competitors,” explains Finn, whose tea company, Waypoint Tea Co was established earlier this year. “Mikhaila was looking for a pop-up shop for Tea Garden and generously asked if I wanted to be involved. It snowballed from there.”

Having established Tea Garden in 2016, Mikhaila quickly developed a cult following and was facing the issue of where to house her range of over 70 blends of tea.

“My plan when we first started thinking of the concept was that I needed a place to house all of Tea Garden’s range over the Christmas period, but I wanted somewhere that wasn’t just us – where people could buy other things as well,” she explains. “Being a local company, I loved the idea of just focusing on local. There are so many amazing brands in Canberra and I wanted to help showcase that.”

Pop CBR opens on Saturday 1 December and will trade until the end of January 2019, stocking a wide range of Canberra-made products and consumables from over 30 local makers – all perfect for gifting.

This includes laser cut jewellery from LLL Designs, vodka and gin from The Canberra Distillery, cider from Three Sons Cider, illustrations from Paris Does Art, chocolate from Jasper and Myrtle and Enigma, plant hangers from Leaves and Fibres, papercraft from ALTA Papercraft, everlasting baubles, wreaths and bouquets from Saint Valentine, chocolate and caramel sauces from Lavender and Lace, soft furnishings from Tango and James, soaps from Base Soaps, infused honey from Honey and Bee, candles from and Little Flame Co, biltong from Barbell Biltong, baked goods from The Sicilian Biscuit Company and boutique beer and wine from local breweries and wineries. As you may have guessed, tea from Waypoint Tea Co and Tea Garden Co and body scrubs from Crush Skincare Co round out a very impressive list of locals.

Can’t decide on one? Pop CBR will have hampers available, including a build-your-own option.

For Finn and Gabe, Pop CBR is the first time their products will be physically shoppable, which is another aim of the pop up – to give small Canberra businesses the chance to branch into physical sales.

“Crush Skincare Co was born out of a frustration about cosmetics containing so many inauthentic ingredients and toxic chemicals. A dissatisfaction that products come first and ingredients second,” explains Gabe. “I’ve always had sensitive skin and wanted to make something that could be enjoyed and be beneficial for everyone, made with high quality ingredients, all-natural and cruelty-free.”

Currently, Crush Skincare Co offers two scrubs – Organic Coconut & Caramel, and Turkish Delight, both of which will be available for purchase at Pop CBR as well as a Real Indian Chai Bath Soak containing magnesium salts … Meanwhile, Waypoint Tea Co will host cupping sessions at Pop CBR in an effort to bring a fresh perspective on tea to Canberra.

“We really want Waypoint to be an innovative tea company and we want a world where tea drinking is interesting, surprising and is used in collaborative ways,” explains Finn. “We’re keen to bring in small amounts of high-grade tea and really just expose the general public to what tea can be.”

If this has given your Christmas list the inspiration injection it needed, you can follow Pop CBR’s Instagram for more updates on participating makers and brands.

the essentials

What: Pop CBR
When: Until the end of January 2019
Where: 2 Phillip Law Street (on the corner of Edinburgh Avenue), NewActon
Instagram: instagram.com/pop.cbr
Facebook: facebook.com/popcanberra

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