Christmas has suddenly crept up on us again, and with the season for loving and giving just around the corner, My Cyprus Insider has decided to put together a present guide for readers looking for unique gifts inspired by or related to our beloved little island. So before you make your Christmas 2016 present list and hit the shops for that seasonal festive spree, check out these six cool alternative options from some of Cyprus’ most innovative and creative local brands.
1. ‘Made in Cyprus’ by Anna Koumoushi
Taking a unique and innovative approach to Cypriot souvenirs, design duo Anna Koumoushi and Myria Konnari sell a range of simple but cool t-shirts, purses, bags, postcards and baby-grows, under their Made in Cyprus brand.
Founded in 2013, the brand was created to promote the island as a fun and multicultural destination, and minimal the chic collection reflects this incentive. Co-founder, Anna Koumoushi, also doubles up as an accessory designer, selling her wonderfully colourful and jewellery from her annakoumoushi Studio in Strovolos – a perfect gift for anyone who’d like unique earrings, necklaces, bracelets or rings inspired by Cyprus.
Where? 6 Sozou Street, Strovolos, Nicosia. Tel: (+357) 99-376070
2. Gaia Olea
Know anyone who loves deliciously fragrant natural aromatherapy beauty products? Gaia Olea is a local brand with a dedication to quality and sustainability in an era where chemicals used in beauty products are increasingly being shunned as unhealthy.
Not only are Gaia Olea’s soaps, balms, healing salves, therapeutic oils, lotions and other body care products made by hand – exclusively from natural Cypriot ingredients – the collection also smells utterly divine and works like an absolute charm. Perfect for the festive season, the brand also sells beautiful gift sets for an extra special present this Christmas.
Where? Various locations around Cyprus. Tel: (+357) 99-675618
Describing their products as the coolest t-shirts a Cypriot will ever own, RomeoTees are a small company founded in 2007, whose main goal is to create unique T-Shirts that represent Cyprus and Cypriots in an amusing and creative way.
Although the weather isn’t exactly T-shirt friendly around the Christmas season, these cool tees make an awesome gift for someone with a sense of humour and an in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of Cypriot culture. The T- shirts only cost €19, and Cypriots living outside the island can also purchase them online at a minimal additional cost of €3. The collection also has hoodies for €35.
4. JAR Preserves
The charming little village of Kato Drys is home to one of Cyprus’ greatest hidden treasures – the JAR Preserves shop, a little café, which not only serves some of the best brunch on the island, but also sells delicious homemade jams, marmalades, preserves and chutneys that have really helped to put the village on the map. So why not treat your loved ones to a tasty treat with a selection from JAR Preserves this year?
Each jar is packed full of fresh, local produce, grown in Cyprus and made by Elli, with love. The options are endless and include unique and interesting mixtures such as banana and hazelnut; tropical fruits with halloumi, apricot, almond and amaretto or mandarin and lemon grass. The only difficulty will be deciding which one to get! Keep in mind that Elli’s jams are also available from Get Fresh in Nicosia.
Where? Kato Drys village – shop opposite Kato Drys coffee shop. Tel: (+357) 96-476265
5. Love From Cyprus
Another gift that might not necessarily be that useful in the winter months, any of the fabulously chic and stylish bags and shoes from the Love From Cyprus collection, would make a perfect addition to a fashionistas wardrobe. Founder and designer, Anastasia Gerali is a South Africa born Cypriot, who created the brand out of a deep-seated love for her Mediterranean island heritage.
The result is a stunning collection of unique pieces which seamlessly merge traditional craft concepts, with a more modern island lifestyle. Gift ideas from the Love From Cyprus collection include gold Pegasus winged sandals, glossy black snake skin or pony hair pouchettes; kids Ermes winged sandals in 18 different colours, trendy ankle boots, or handy crossbody bags in whisky, nude, black and navy.
6. Jumping Gypsies
Feeling nostalgic for the pre-euro currency days when Cyprus had its own unique coins? Well now you can wear the island’s monetary history around your neck or in your ears, with the amazing and innovative jewellery by Jumping Gypsies.
The artists create accessories based on an upcycling concept of taking something that is no longer in use and breathing new life into it through art and creativity. The team are currently at the Ark Pop-up Shop in Limassol until January so you have plenty of time to head down and find some cool coin inspired gifts.
Currently selling at Ark Pop Up Shop in Limassol until January. Tel: (+357) 99-073100