Best of Melbourne Small Businesses

Over the past three years, American Express has been the big business that champions small businesses in Australia through the Shop Small movement.

Shop Small is a nation wide initiative which runs throughout November and aims to shine a spotlight on Australia’s most-loved small businesses, reconnecting customers with the wonderful, big things that small businesses do for our community.



Shop Small Map


This November, I’m thrilled to be teaming up with American Express as a Shop Small Insider to share my favourite hidden shopping gems, delicious eateries and stylish shops in and around my beautiful home city of Melbourne.

My chosen stores are currently being showcased on an interactive digital map on the Shop Small website, alongside other top picks from selected Amex card holders, and fellow tastemakers.


Best of Melbourne


Melbourne is the capital of culture and I love supporting the small businesses who inject us with style and uniqueness.

Best of Melbourne by Emily Collie



SWISH dresses


Swish Clothing
469 Chapel St, South Yarra
Accepts Amex

Swish Clothing is a haven for dresses, with a style for every occasion and every body shape. This season, structural cuts and dresses with unique layering are very on trend.

My top picks are dresses by Keepsake The Label and local fashion house, Very Very. Both brands have a beautiful selection of dresses (and skirt sets) in store, which are sure to get you trackside in style.


Rubiki Cafe

Rubiki - North Ringwood


Rubiki Café
Shop 13/204-206 Warrandyte Rd, Ringwood North
Accepts Amex

I start most my days with a Rubiki mocha. A new player in Ringwood North, my local café serves up a variety of seasonal breakfast and lunch menu items which are mindfully sourced from local producers and vendors.

They have also started ‘Burger Nights’, where customers can enjoy delicious (healthy option) burgers in their modern-industrial space, or pick up and takeaway on the way home from work.


fenton & fenton

Fenton & Fenton - Prahran


471 High St, Prahran
Accepts Amex

I love fenton&fenton’s unique offering of home wares and lifestyle products. They are my go-to store for feature artwork for every room of my home, I have to hold myself back from buying too many pieces!

You’ll also discover a great range of vintage furniture, textiles and beautiful, one-off jewellery designs.


Manning Cartell

Manning Cartell Spring dresses


Manning Cartell
Emporium Melbourne
221/287 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Accepts Amex

I just can’t walk past a Manning Cartell boutique without going in. Especially when they have just released a bold, and brightly coloured Spring collection that is taking the meaning of “wish list” to a whole new level.

Manning Cartell is my go-to brand for the perfect party dress or Spring Racing outfit.


Bared Footwear Armadale

Bared Footwear


Bared Footwear
1098 High St, Armadale

If you haven’t already heard of Bared Footwear, I promise you, you will thank me after reading this post… As a long-time fan of the Melbourne brand, I assure you their range of shoes are super stylish and unbelievably comfy.

Bared’s design ethos is about creating modern, classic footwear styles that are wearable, timeless and transeasonal. Their head designer, Anna Baird (a qualified podiatrist), could never find stylish shoes to recommend to her clients, so she developed a range of unique ‘sensible shoes’ which are sure to keep all style lovers satisfied.


Market Lane QVM

Market Lane coffee


Market Lane
Queen Victoria Market
Shop 73-76 Dairy Produce Hall, Melbourne
Accepts Amex

Market Lane is a specialty coffee roastery and cafe, born and based in Melbourne. Market Lane specialise in one thing… delicious, high-quality coffee.

The fact that they have the coolest takeaway cups I’ve ever seen certainly helped me fall in love with this passionate and vision-forward local retailer.


Vanishing Elephant

Vanishing Elephant - QV Melbourne


Vanishing Elephant
QV Melbourne
Shop 14, Albert Coates Lane, Melbourne

QV Melbourne is one of the coolest precincts in Melbourne. It is home to some of the best local street labels in Australia including local label Vanishing Elephant. Their range of fashion and accessories are understated and chic, put together by a small team who hope you’ll love to wear them as much as they do.


The Cupcake Queens

The Cupcake Queens gift box


The Cupcake Queens
3/974 High St, Armadale
Accepts Amex

Next time you’re in Armadale, be sure to swing past The Cupcake Queen’s gorgeous little store in the King’s Arcade.

They are a family owned and operated business and have been consistently voted one of Melbourne’s top destinations for quality cupcakes, for good reason – they are amazing!




Where are your favourite places to shop small? Be sure to support the Shop Small movement in 2015. Let’s make it a goal to re-connect with small businesses in our local community and continue to support small businesses around Australia.

Read more about the wonderful initiative on the Shop Small website here.


Share your favourites and WIN!

AMEX is running a social giveaway during the month of November – To enter, all you need to do is tell others about your favourite local small business on social media with #Share4ShopSmall and you could win a $500 Accorhotels voucher from American Express. For more details head to


November Promotion for Amex Card Members:

At participating small businesses across Australia throughout Shop Small month, Amex card members will receive $10 credit when they spend $20 or more, up to ten times during the month.



If everyone shops small – it will be big!




This content has been created as part of my involvement in the American Express Shop Small program.





Emily Collie is Founder and Editor of well-known Australian travel blog, Melbourne Girl. Emily has written travel articles for Expedia, eHarmony, Amex Shop Small Blogger Series and, and has been featured on many Australian websites including Mimco Mimzine and Bonds Australia Blog, and was invited on behalf of the VRC and Myer, to judge the Myer Fashions on the Field competition on Emirates Melbourne Cup Day.

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