Essential Gift Guide for Christmas - A Client Showcase

It’s beginning to look a lot like just around the corner! WAAAAAIIIIT WHAAAAT?! Where has this year gone?

As if I needed any more excuses to brag about my gorgeous clients, but Christmas is coming (which I get VERY excited about) and I work with many businesses who have great products which would make fabulous Christmas gifts.

I can’t mention everyone unfortunately so for this post I am focussing on New Zealand products (with the exception of SOS who has a connection to NZ) to narrow my options. Please note that not all the images are mine (I will credit images where credit is due) and the products I display might not incorporate my designs, but I will mention how I work/have worked with each client. I just need to make that clear so I’m not getting credit for someone else’s beautiful work.

Otti & Olli
Gorgeous bespoke treats by Auckland-based Otti and Olli. Andrew and Susan are the brains behind this brand and I have been lucky enough to work with them on their rebrand, business cards and label design (see more here). Andrew is a creative perfectionist, which is just the kind of personality you want when sweet treats are concerned.

Pictured below are their Melting Moments (pictured left) and Shortbread (pictured right) - $6 each. Otti & Olli's goodies are the perfect gift for someone with a sweet tooth. They're also great as a stocking filler or on the table for your Christmas party! Design, styling and photography by Design by Cheyney).

Find Otti & Olli at Crafternoon Tea (Dec 1st), Coateseville Market (Dec 2nd), Alberton Market Day (Dec 9th), Crafternoon Tea (Dec 15th) or SKYCITY Christmas Wonderland (Dec 23rd).


Jennifer Strange
Jennifer is a designer/maker with an eye for detail and beautiful design. Jen and I have been friends for years through meeting at markets (with Camille Co.) and I design bits and bobs for her from time to time (mainly labels, tags, flyers etc). I am in awe of Jen’s work ethic and the quality of anything she produces.

Jen designed, embroidered and photographed this ‘Tartan Hare’ (pictured below). I worked with her to design the instruction leaflet and chart which guides others to embroider their own ‘Tartan Hare’. Her kit is available online at Felt for $34.90. Either give this design a nudge yourself as a thoughtful gift or buy it for the creative person in your life who has a keen eye for detail. 

Tartan Hare designed, embroidered and photographed by Jennifer Strange

As well as embroidery, Jen also designs and makes stunning leather pieces. I own the metallic purse (pictured below), I use it ALL the time. I have given these purses as gifts to others and they are extremely well received. This photo I styled and photographed for a Camille Co. blog a year ago. The products are designed and made by Jennifer. Follow Jennifer Strange on Facebook and Instagram to find markets around New Zealand she will be attending in the lead up to Christmas.

Bag by Jennifer Strange - Styling and Photography by Design by Cheyney

Two Black Dogs
Before encountering Two Black Dogs I consumed olive oil but never paid too as much attention to it as I perhaps should have. Two Black Dogs has now turned me into some what of an olive oil snob. You can TASTE the quality. Nicky and Graham harvest olives from their grove in Mangawhai to make these gorgeous extra virgin olive oils. Using different olives, they produce oil which have their own distinct characteristics. It’s amazing how different the oils taste between each olive variant. Koroneiki, a Greek olive, produces a fruity and aromatic oil, Ascalano, an Italian olive, produces an oil which has a green flavour and Frantoio (limited edition) is also an Italian olive which has a creamy, buttery quality. For garlic lovers, try the Garlic Infused Olive Oil (great for those on a FODMAP diet because they use garlic oil). Their Balsamic & Red Wine Vinaigrette is AMAZING. Buy any of the mentioned individually or purchase a Giftpack (like the one pictured) for $35 from the website or find them at their next markets, either Crafternoon Tea (Dec 1st) or Lopdell House Twilight Market in Titirangi (Dec 7th).

Nicky asked if I would design a sticker for the gift box which pointed out that they were NZ made oils and I jumped at the opportunity. The logo and labels were designed elsewhere and it was a fun challenge to design something that fitted with their existing branding. Photo supplied by Two Black Dogs and photography credit goes to Nicky Beatson.

There is a good reason why these olive oils are award winning. Perfect for the entertainer or foodie in your life!


Morepork BBQ
Working on the packaging for Morepork BBQ retail products has been so much fun. Clint and Ryan who own Morepork BBQ have an American-style BBQ restaurant in Ponsonby (which I HIGHLY recommend). They make their own delicious smoked meats, sauces and rubs in-house. I was given total creative freedom to go to town on their suite of packaging and I am stoked with the results. This Damn Good BBQ Sauce is a must for the person you know putting on the BBQS this Summer! Buy online here for $12 or purchase in-house (even better, stop for dinner) at Morepork BBQ restaurant 5/1 Jervois Road, Ponsonby, Auckland. Morepork BBQ also has a sweet spot at Our Place in Tauranga where you can try their food and house-made products.


These Good For Everything Cleaning Sprays are really good for everything! Seriously, I can not get enough! There is a reason I have featured them both in the Camille Co. Christmas Gift Guide and this gift guide. Never have cleaning sprays ever smelt so good. Effective and free from nasties to ensure your environment sparkles, the healthy way. The trigger is great on the bottle and I’m a big fan of how conscious Katie (the owner) is of the environment, offering refill options for the Hand Washes and Cleaning Sprays. Buy Santosa products online. Products start from $19.95 with free shipping on orders over $59.99. Santosa products make the perfect gift for any clean-freaks you know (like me).

Side note: I have worked on some wholesale material and signage for Santosa. Katie came to me with an already established brand and beautiful aesthetic developed by someone else (so nothing you see in the picture below is my work, I wish it was, but I can’t take the credit) Image Credit: Erica Boyd-White. The design work I have done for Santosa has kept inline with this aesthetic which was nicely complimented with my style.


In the last few months I have been working a lot for Apicare who make beautiful New Zealand-made products with Manuka honey. I have developed a lovely working relationship with Pam (who owns Apicare). I have created various packaging designs to sit amongst their existing ranges, which has been a seamless process. I was really happy to have some creative freedom and offer some fun concepts for this Lip Butter Trio. Buy this for $19.90 here or choose from their long list of stockists throughout New Zealand. These lip butters are nourishing and yummy and at under $20, make a great stocking filler or Secret Santa gift. Trio Box Packaging (individual lip butter packaging is someone else’s work), image styling, and photography by Design by Cheyney.


Earlier this year I worked on the rebrand for m_illustrate (image of new logo design below her image of the cards). Melina van Wyk is the talented Nelson-based artist behind the artwork for these beautiful Christmas cards. I love her fun and whimsical style. She captures animals so beautifully and has developed a style which is unique and distinctly ‘Melina’. See more of her work at doodlewear by doodle-design. I recently worked on a collaboration with Melina to create designs using her artwork for teeshirts to be sold by OnBoard Skate (using skateboarding for social good). These shirts will be available soon and proceeds from the sales will log to Autism NZ so watch this space.

I can’t wait to give these cute cards out this Christmas (haha, spoiler alert). But how ADORABLE are they? I am especially fond of the kea! Follow m_illustrate on Facebook and Instagram and fire her a private message if you want to purchase these NZ-designed and made in Aus cards ($6 each or 5 for $25). Below image supplied by Melina and logo design by Design by Cheyney.


Auckland Lash & Brows
If you are a regular to the Design by Cheyney website and blog, you will already be aware of my long-standing relationship with Kasey from Auckland Lash & Brows. I have worked a lot with Kasey (see more here). Kasey has two facets to her business, there is Auckland Lash & Brows (Albany based Lash & Brow Salon) and Lash Vibes (her training academy and product business). I have been very involved with creating designs and styled photographs for both businesses. Kasey is an absolute dream to design for. Our tastes align and she trusts me implicitly.
An Auckland Lash & Brows Gift Voucher makes a great gift and can be purchased online here or in the Salon located at Unit M, 4 Antares Place, Albany, Auckland. Choose your desired amount (between $30 and $150 online) and gift to the person in your life who loves and/or deserves to be pampered. Auckland Lash & Brows specialises in eyelash extensions, eyebrow microblading, Henna brows and permanent makeup amongst other beauty treatments. The salon is beautiful and her employees are lovely.


LOVE LOVE LOVED working on this vibrant packaging design for Sabun. It’s also been lovely seeing it on the shelf at my favourite grocery store Farro (does anyone else have the issue where they can’t go in there leaving empty-handed?). A wide open brief to get all creative and have some fun with this packaging. These soaps are gorgeous and affordable. Find these soaps at selected stockists throughout New Zealand. I know the Cardamom and Black Seed variants are stocked at Farro Fresh in Constellation drive for $10.09. Packaging, illustrations and photography all by Design by Cheyney.


SOS Hydration was formed by Tom & James (brothers) and James’s wife Bianca, who is a medical doctor. Tom became very dehydrated and ill after training for the Olympics in a hot climate. They weren’t able to find a decent retail product to help out Tom’s situation and out of this SOS was born. I was connected with SOS through my old flatmate who happens to know Tom through running. For over a year now I have been working on various jobs for SOS including their web design, flyers, point of sale display units etc. I didn’t design their SOS logo, however I was asked by their marketing team to fancy it up and make it festive for this Christmas (see below).

SOS is based in the UK, USA and NZ. I have been delighted to see their RTDS crop up at diaries and gas stations around the country. Their drink sachets are readily available in chemists and health shops around New Zealand or you can buy SOS online here. These sachets would make a great stocking stuffer for anyone who is into training, travelling, partying or for anyone else who suffers the consequences of dehydration.


Camille Co.
My other baby. I couldn’t write an entire blog post about gifts and neglect my other baby. And since I designed, well, EVERYTHING, it’s only fair it gets a mention. Camille Co. soaps and candles are made right here in New Zealand. Everything visual about the brand is created by me (which is Design by Cheyney) with the exception of a handful of images from Dan Trotter Photography and Shout & Co. The below image is one that I styled and photographed myself.
Both the candles and the soaps are made locally in Auckland and the packing is also printed locally using soy ink. I worked with a fragrance designer  to develop the bespoke fragrance which is from France. Buy Camille Co. candles ($48) and soaps ($19.60) online here or find the products at selected stockists throughout the North Island.


Design by Cheyney Prints
I get asked from time to time from friends for specific artwork to suit their home decor. The demand is obviously there because the requests haven’t slowed. After creating custom artwork I am left with the designs (which often have a lot of love and care put in to them, which means time) and they just sit there. So I thought it might be a good idea to put together an online shop to sell the designs. I wanted to sell digital files of the designs so people could opt to print and frame them however they like. Buy prints from $5 online here. There are 3 designs to choose from - Botanical Alphabet (an ABC poster, but a pretty one) perfect for a nursery or small child’s room, ABC Fruit & Vege (pictured below) and Palm Trees & Sunsets great for those you know who love minimal decor.


Obsiously Christmas and supporting local are subjects I am quite passionate about and I could write forever about. But I have to draw the line somewhere - It has taken me two days to write this and I must seek approval from all parties involved first to make sure I’m not providing you with any incorrect information. If you have and comments or have some suggestions of your own, drop me a line in the comments. It seriously makes my day when I get comments because I know all this writing is being absorbed, so don’t be shy! This might be my last post for the year, or it might not, but I will wish you all a very Merry Christmas now just in case. Until next time, Cheyney xxx