Shop in Walcha and have Christmas in the bag

WRAPPED: Paperdolls House owner Janelle Archdale recommends Moko jewellery and MOR products as good Christmas gifts for women, while men will enjoy Didgeridoona and Bamboozld socks and jocks.
WRAPPED: Paperdolls House owner Janelle Archdale recommends Moko jewellery and MOR products as good Christmas gifts for women, while men will enjoy Didgeridoona and Bamboozld socks and jocks.

DIDGERIDOONA AUSTRALIA is the go-to gift for the man in your life this Christmas, according to Paperdolls House owner Janelle Archdale.

The all-Australian bags are made of wool and oilskin and can keep goods cool or warm.

“Whether it’s a stubby holder for a nice cold beer, or stowing your prawns or Thai takeaway, these bags are terrific and are selling fast as Christmas gifts,” Mrs Archdale said.

The one-time Walcha mayor says there’s been a constant stream of shoppers in her emporium since October.

“We get many people travelling through, en route to Sydney or Brisbane, who buy gifts and especially fashion here,” Mrs Archdale said.

“They're frustrated with the repetition of shopping malls and are looking for something different, and we have that in spades.”

Clever gifts for her this Christmas include Australian made Moko jewellery, MOR products or staff at Paperdolls will make up a beautiful hamper brimming with everything a girl loves.

For him, the Didgeridoona is always popular, as well as Bamboozld socks and jocks, Mrs Archdale said.

She started her boutique and home decor shop in 2014, while still mayor.

“It was a crazy time, but I had a vision of creating a business to enhance shopping locally and I haven't looked back,” Mrs Archdale said. Paperdolls House is aimed at all ages, “from 18 to 100”, with fashions in sizes from 8 to 24.

“We have some beautiful stock including French Country, EB and Ive and OneWorld for Christmas,” Mrs Archdale said.

She is part of the reinvigoration of Walcha after the “amalgamation debacle”, she said.

“Walcha is a smart, supportive community and appreciate local businesses.

“Christmas shopping is very easy and relaxing here, with plenty of parking and space to make it fun and not a chore.”

For more information, phone 6777 2233.

Walcha Handmade is gearing up for this year’s busy season, with a selection of handmade arts, crafts, clothing, jewellery, homewares, gifts and edible products from local makers.

Begun three years ago, the community cooperative is a retail shop and studio, where members produce and sell handcrafted items.

There is also a generous studio available for hire –warmed in winter by a roaring fire – making it the perfect creative area for all types of makers.

There’s a children’s craft corner and for only $5, children can create for as long as they like using the materials supplied.

The space in on the corner of Fitzroy and Derby Streets.

It is open Wednesday to Sunday, from 10am to 4pm so feel free to drop in.

TREASURE TROVE: Antique Junque co-owners Margaret McGirr and Chris Page specialise in selling china, books, nostalgic items and other collectables.

TREASURE TROVE: Antique Junque co-owners Margaret McGirr and Chris Page specialise in selling china, books, nostalgic items and other collectables.

At Antique Junque, owners Margaret McGirr and Chris Page stock collectables that would make for a nostalgic, quirky gift.

“We concentrate on the humble, rather than the ‘high end’ of the collectables market,” Ms McGirr said.

The shop, on the corner of Apsley Road and Derby Street, will mark its 30th anniversary in January.

“Customers have a powerful reaction when they walk into the shop,” Ms McGirr said.

“There are a lot of memories and nostalgia associated with goods that we sell.

“Quirky goods are our bread-and-butter, as well as china, which is good for weddings and high teas.” 

Ms McGirr and her partner and co-owner, Chris Page, initially ran an antique shop in the Blue Mountains.

But Mr Page noticed the shop, then for sale, on a regular trip to Armidale.

“Our offer was accepted and we haven’t looked back,” Ms McGirr said.

The market has changed considerably in the past 20 years, with heavy, dark furniture no longer in vogue.

But customers still enjoy smaller collectables which would make good gifts.

“In the past week alone we have had customers from as far afield as Norway, Holland and Denmark,” Ms McGirr said. “People often remark it is like the Tardis, unexpectedly bigger on the inside than the exterior suggests.”

The shop is open from 9.30am to 3pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday and often on other days.

The New Birds owner Shelley Relf said her boutique was “an icon in Walcha”, having been in business for about 45 years.

“The New Birds caters to many customers,” Ms Relf said.

Brands stocked for “younger girls” include Tigerlily and Thurley, and Pingpong, Gordon Smith and Yarra Trail for the more mature customer.

“The relaxed bo-ho atmosphere lends itself to appreciate what we have on offer,” Ms Relf said.