First published on 24 Oct 2011. Updated on 31 Oct 2011.
Opening last December in a rude explosion of colour, Holy Kitsch! is a veritable ossuary of Mexican Día de los Muertos curios. Skull necklaces and skeleton toys jostle for space with pink flamingos, Frida Kahlo tote bags, art prints and all kinds of ephemera from Mexico, Peru and closer to home. “We just love the craftwork of the Day of the Dead,” says co-owner Noni Daniels. “It’s really vibrant and life-affirmingly humorous. On the day the Mexican people go out and tend the graves, give sugar skulls to each other. It dates back to Aztec times but it’s become a date on the Catholic calendar.” Daniels and friend Phillip Masters, avowed kitsch collectors, were market stall owners who joined forces to open their Surry Hills shop and more recently its Newtown sister store. Popular items include handmade ceramic skulls the size of a fist for containing tea lights ($35) and hand-painted pottery candelabras called the Tree of Life and the Tree of Death ($95 each). Both Daniels and Masters keep an eye out for new finds whenever they travel. “I’m thinking of learning Spanish,” Daniels laughs, “because it’ll make bargaining a lot easier.” 321 Crown St, Surry Hills 2010. (02 8068 2437). Mon, Wed-Fri 11am-6.30pm; Sat 10am-6pm; Sun 11-5pm (closed Tue).
Toys, cards, amusements and a cracking selection of Pez dispensers. 330 Crown St, Surry Hills 2010. (02 9361 6075).
Hart & Heim
A fantastic range of gadgets, gizmos and crazy gifts. Shop 1018a, 1st Fl, Westfield Sydney, 188 Pitt St Mall, Sydney 2000. (02 8246 9064).
Super-cute character-driven stationery and gifts, including oversized dinosaur slippers and a cubic cow pencil sharpener. 22 Goulburn St, Haymarket 2000. (02 9267 7899).
Via Alley Select
Quirky giftwares. Need a hamburger ring or an acorn radio? Go here. Shop RG26A, The Galeries Victoria, 500 George St, Sydney 2000. (02 9264 7528).