The Inner West Mums popped into the charming Pure Apotheca homewares store, a family-owned Summer Hill business which launched in September 2022. Although a newcomer to the Summer Hill area, the family have roots in the community having lived in the area since the 1970s. This longstanding connection with Summer Hill, combined with the area’s strong sense of community and welcoming atmosphere, made the Village a natural fit for the location of the Pure Apotheca store which showcases and celebrates locally-made and handcrafted skincare, homewares and gifts.
We spoke with owner Rachel who shares her thoughts on what’s new for Christmas this year – and why Summer Hill is a perfect destination for local gift shopping.
I love a warm summer Christmas! There’s such a light and fresh feeling in the air that just adds to the excitement. Although it can feel like the busiest time of the year, my family love the traditions that the festive season brings, especially creating a space in which we can celebrate. Once it’s December, our family gets together to set the festive mood and we slowly start to transform our home into a haven of Christmas joy. It’s so beautiful to be able to spend time with my family – my parents, sister and two brothers – putting our 10-foot Christmas tree up with festive tunes playing in the background. It’s become a family event and one I look forward to every year.
For my family, Christmas Day on December 25 always begins at our church celebrating what we believe is the ‘true reason’ for the season. The family then get together for lunch and being Lebanese, there’s usually a lot of food involved! We typically have dishes like kibbeh nayeh (spiced raw minced lamb), riz a djaj (rice with chicken), and a Christmas meghli (spiced rice pudding).
Once the family have exchanged gifts, an afternoon nap or swim usually follows. We spend the rest of the day enjoying the slow pace and relaxing together.
Christmas is a time when people really feel like making their homes a special place for their families to get together and celebrate – so unsurprisingly there are always new and exciting additions to Pure Apotheca’s collection of festive decorations.
After years of uncertainty in the world, we’re seeing a lot of traditional burgundy and champagne ornaments as families re-embrace the Christmas spirit and surround themselves with decorations that recall familiar and happy times. We’re also seeing touches of cut-glass in the decorations, the type that glisten beautifully in the sun and create a modern but vintage feel.
Where do we even start? There’s so much on offer in our Summer Hill Village store that it’ll be easy to find something for everyone on your gift list – from husbands, dads and brothers, mums, aunts and nieces, furry friends and even that friend who has everything!
A crowd favourite are our range of ceramic tea light houses. These stunning little houses add a touch of old-world charm and are a collector’s dream. With new additions to the range every year, in different hues, shapes and sizes, you can ‘grow’ your village each year. In fact families who don’t have a Christmas display could make it a tradition to get their kids to pick out one house each year. In several years the kids will have heirloom ornaments and an entire ‘village’ that they’ll love setting up each Christmas. The hardest part is putting these ceramic houses away – some of our customers tell us they love the look of the little tealight ornaments that they leave them on a shelf on display all year round.
Yes – we love to support local. Pure Apotheca began with a desire to keep hand crafted skills alive in Australia. We offer a range of consciously curated Australian-made and locally sourced skin, body and hair care, homewares, décor, garden ware and delicious treats – for you to enjoy or gift.
Whether you’re starting to prepare your gift-list or refreshing your Christmas décor, pop by Summer Hill Village to visit Rachel – or one of her other family members – at Pure Apotheca. With ample parking and easy access by train, light rail and bus, as well as being a foodie-lover’s haven with gourmet cafes, family friendly restaurants and hip wine bars, Summer Hill Village is the place to visit this Summer festive season.
🎁 Looking for more gift ideas this Christmas? Check out the Inner West Mums’ 2023 Gift Guide here.