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These are some of the best Australian and New Zealand stores on Etsy

Vintage and handmade marketplace, Etsy, can be an overwhelming place to explore, but there are some gems lurking if you look in the right place. 

The site has just given out its 2016 Australian and New Zealand Etsy Awards to six amazing and niche designers. You won't see these unique products all around town, so if you like an individual style and something out of the usual, the depths of Etsy won't disappoint.

The awards recognise creativity and craftsmanship in the marketplace of vintage and handmade goods, while also pointing easily lost shoppers in the right direction. That is, where all the good stuff is at. Let's go shopping, shall we?

The publicly voted Community’s Choice prize at the Etsy Awards went to a New Zealand wooden toy store called Needle and Nail. You can find yourself a toy sewing machine, a wheelbarrow, a bow and arrow set, plus a fishing set — all made from wood. It's good old-fashioned fun.

These unconventional hanging vases by Kirralee & Co in Brisbane, Australia are made from reclaimed wood, which is why it is the winner of the "Lasting World" award — highlighting creatives that make products out of sustainable materials. We're digging the whole flower in a test tube thing too.

No, the secretary-general of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, doesn't run this store — despite its phonetically similar name. Although it would be fantastic if he was making cactus-shaped plant stands to sell on Etsy.

Bankymoon Plantstands from Melbourne, Australia is the winner of the "New Talent" category, by making just that — stands for your plants. 

Melbourne-based Min Pin specialises in alternative jewellery, homewares and illustration featuring pretty rad prints that you'll be so damn keen to wear out. A winner in the "Art & Illustration & Paper Design" category, you can sport Min Pin's cute designs by grabbing a tote bag, a poster or a tea towel. 

Paterson and Salisbury are a small workshop out of Wollongong, Australia specialising in making kangaroo leather goods that are very schmick. The store is the winner in the "Fashion and Accessories" category, and a worthy alternative to the glut of Michael Kors handbags.

That crusty IKEA crockery won't age as well as you do, so you might as well invest in some handmade ceramics like these from La petite fabrique de Brunswick. It's taken out the "Home & Living" category award, and the company's plates and bowls are sure to convince people you're an adult.

So there you go folks, go forth and be hip.

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