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One Stop Shop: The Individuals & Inspo Behind Homing Instincts

One Stop Shop: The Individuals & Inspo Behind Homing Instincts

Here at Homing Instincts, we like to refer to ourselves as Melbourne’s one stop shop for gifts. Not because we’re arrogant, but because it’s true (and there’s nothing wrong with a bit of trumpet blowing every now and then anyway…)

Stocking a huge variety of quirky and quality gadgets, games, homewares and more in-store and online – over 30,000 in fact – we easily cater to all ages, interests and budgets, so that “perfect present” is often just a brief browse away.

Our products are wonderfully weird and wacky, and we cover every occasion, from Christmas to Valentine’s Day, from a big birthday to a special anniversary. If you want it, we’ve got it! And we’ve no doubt got what you don’t want too!

Now that you know our mottos, it’s time to get to know our motivations.

Keep reading for industry insights and advice from Homing Instincts funny-man, & gift shop guru, Jackson Lane…

1. Who are the fine folk behind Homing Instincts and how did the company come about?

Mum started Homing Instincts in a little store in Warrandyte 13 years ago. The name came from a family round table discussion. I was working in banking and joined after Mum opened the second store in Hawthorn. I then set up shop in Malvern and together we opened in Moonee Ponds (with another one stop shop coming soon to Bentleigh).

We’ve got an incredible team of casuals who have been with us for a long time. They’re led by Georgia in Moonee Ponds, Cassie in Hawthorn and Tori who runs Malvern and the online store. My dad is our in-house store fit-out and maintenance extraordinaire while my brother Tim is our driver and all-round logistics expert.

2. What kinds of things are you looking for when you’re on the hunt for products?

We’re constantly on the lookout for the next must-have gift! We’re in contact with over 150 existing suppliers and are hunting down new ones all the time. These days, the latest trends seem to be turbocharged by social media, being in hot demand almost overnight. If it’s fun, useful and left of field, we’re generally into it.

Think heatless hair curlers, microwavable slippers, Frida Kahlo door curtains and Orbitkey organisers!

Heatless hair curlers, Frida Kahlo door curtain, Orbitkey and heat slippers

3. What are some of your newest & best-selling products?

Frank Green continues to grow in popularity, checkered fringe scarves have been keeping people toasty warm this winter, and we expect Kollab picnic mats to be popular again this summer - and for good reason. They’re the best!

4. What are the weirdest/funniest things you’ve stocked, and what products have surprised you by their popularity?

Donald Trump toilet paper, ‘Fuck off I’m Gaming’ socks, eggplant emoji stress ball and kids squishies are all pretty random but have been at the top of people’s wish lists in the past. The Seletti Monkey lamps are incredible, the White Moose Peeing Pug is a different gift for an animal lover. Or there’s the bacon scented dog frisbee! 

5. What are some of your favourite brands & why?

Annabel Trends for making as much as they can in Australia. Bopo Women for being more than just an amazing brand, for really standing for something (check them out and their story). Blue Q socks because they’re hilarious. Solid State Cologne because it’s genius and it was founded in Melbourne. Tiger Tree for everyday jewellery gift ideas and because they do a lot for the community behind the scenes which they’ll never tell you about.

Halcyon Nights do amazing baby clothes and gifts and are a great Melbourne success story. Jones & Co have been setting trends with their impeccable sense of style - there’s great reason for their huge following! Jellycat because… have you felt one? Gentleman’s Hardware, Cristina Re, Robert Gordon, Keep Cup, Bellroy, Status Anxiety, Orbitkey... The list goes on!

A view from the aisle of one stop shop Homing Instincts

6. Shopping for others can be hard, how do you and your staff help people find what they’re looking for?

We usually start by asking who they’re shopping for, what they’re into, any quirky interests, hobbies or in-jokes. My favourite is when two interests intersect in the one gift. The more specific it can be the better in my experience.

7. What makes Homing Instincts different or better than other gift shops in Melbourne?

We definitely don’t take ourselves too seriously and I think we cover more categories and gift ideas than any other one stop shop in Melbourne. We’re not afraid of funny and rude cards either!

8. If Homing Instincts could be endorsed by a celebrity/public figure, who would it be, and why? 

I feel like Kath and Kim would be our spirit animals. To have Prue and Trude work behind the counter for the day could be fun…

Kath & Kim characters Prue and Trude
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