8 Indie Maltese Brands Not to Miss Out On

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8 Indie Maltese Brands Not to Miss Out On

Malta’s thriving handcraft community has been a notable aspect of the island ever since the first settlers made landfall on the island, and over the years, it has developed into a point of pride among the Maltese people. Go to the provincial shores of Gozo in summer, and you’ll see a line of older people deftly making Gozitan lace at a rapid-fire pace; visit Valletta, and every side-street in the capital has at least one small silversmith shop that has handmade filigree and lace for sale in the windows.

Maltese crafts have a distinctive appearance - if you’re a frequent flyer to the islands, then you’ll be able to tell the elaborate, Maltese-made designs from a split second glance, and nothing quite says ‘Maltese’ like delicate whorls of silver bent and molded into a five-pointed flower broach, or layers on layers of knots to form a table-runner used only for special occasions.

With the advent of the internet, however, Maltese artisan crafts aren’t just limited to filigree silver and handmade lace, but to anything your heart desires. If you’ve just been paid, and you’re itching to get something to celebrate payday, these ten Maltese brands have you covered, and stock everything from clothing to makeup.

Heri Cosmetics

If you’re a makeup lover, or you know a makeup lover, this one’s for you: Heri Cosmetics is the first Maltese-owned, cruelty-free, vegan makeup brand on the island, and true to character, goes leaps over standard colours to bring the true spirit of the Maltese islands to cosmetic brilliance. If you’re looking for more standard colours - glossy red lips, soft pink eyeshadows - those are also available, but 18-year-old CEO Henry Galea’s hoping that his foray into makeup will inspire people to go for bolder and better colours.

At the moment, Heri Cosmetics ships for free around the Maltese islands, and has two eyeshadow palettes and a rainbow selection of metallic, matte, and shimmer lipsticks and lipglosses in stock.


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Soap Cafe

A long, hot soak in a bath-tub is the perfect solution for unwinding after a long day - but finding the perfect, skin-friendly blend of scent and affordability could be difficult, and very few shops in Malta stock brands which are good for you, and don’t contain any of the harmful ingredients and parabens that drugstore brands carry.

Soap Cafe was created to address those issues. Developed and spearheaded by Charlene Mercieqa, Soap Cafe was a response to the numerous ailments she experienced when she was just a teenager including severe eczema, dramatic weight loss, and aleopecia. It stocks over 50 types of soap for all skin types as well as different ailments, and also sells lotions, balms, and scrubs to beautify and smooth.

Soap Cafe is especially rigorous about the production of its soaps, which are made using locally-produced goods such as goat’s milk, olive oil, and, when in season, fruit such as prickly pear and pumpkin. Also, Soap Cafe isn’t just for adults - it has its own baby range, with all-natural ingredients made to soothe and tend to sensitive skin.


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Stephanie Borg

There’s nothing more Maltese than the antique cement tiles used for the last three hundred years. Opinions are divided over where the tiles originated from, but the most likely scenario is they are inspired by Turkish tile patterns, but made in Spain. They’re a laborious, one-at-a-time procedure, as it involves layering patterns and colours individually, but the end result is an effect made to stun.

Of course, Malta doesn’t need an excuse to break out the bright colours - the island is known for its sunny facades and colourful choices, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that local artisan Stephanie Borg uses this to her advantage in her highly artistic print collection inspired by Maltese tiles, Maltese doors, and Maltese landscapes. Featuring an almost Romanesque style, Stephanie Borg’s prints are an eye-attracting statement piece to any house - and if you’re not looking for artwork, she also sells mugs, notebooks, textiles, and magnets, among other things!


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A cup of tea is the perfect antidote for anything. Stuck in traffic? Tea. Had a bad day? Tea. The Maltese penchant for tea is so strong that there’s even a series of blog posts on which cafeteria serves the best-of-the-best ‘te fit-tazza’, a milky tea served in a tall, handle-less glasses, accompanied by the Maltese traditional pastizzi or qassatat.

It should be no surprise then that one of the entries on this list is Tetteira, a Maltese artisan tea house that specialises in like-nanna-used-to-make-it tea blends and loose-leaf tea. Styled by Stephanie Borg, Tetteira is designed to bring back the wholesomeness of the tea ceremony back to popular use.


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Marie & Co

Malta’s jewellery-making roots have already been spoken about in this article, however it does not do justice to the sheer amount of jewellery-makers on the island. There’s an indie company for every aesthetic and look that you want to accessorise for, but for a classic, timeless look, Marie & Co rates high on the list. Marie & Co’s tiny boutique in simple, minimalist jewellery with gemstones for spots of bright colour. It also uses multiple metals, including rose gold and brass, for a muted elegance that’s hard to find in standard stores.


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We can’t finish the list and not include a single option for your furry friends. Crafts4Cats is a sweet little etsy store that brings handmade attention to cat and dog collars. Choose from a number of fabrics and little details to really personalise your best friend’s clothing to the maximum, and if you’re worried about safety, don’t worry: all the collars are made to break away when the slightest bit of pressure is put on them, making them 100% safe for all your pet pals.


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Stephen Cordina Aroma & Therapy

With over a decade’s worth of experience, Stephen Cordina Aroma & Therapy is a household name in luxury scents, with a range encompassing room sprays, linen sprays, soaps, and shower gel, to really pamper yourself and take the atmosphere at home to another level. Stephen Cordina also has a range in support of Maltese charities, and scents inspired by famous Maltese cities - fancy making your house smell like Valletta? Well, there’s a scent for that, starting from just €12. If you know someone in your life who is a complete scent-hound, you can’t go wrong with a Stephen Cordina original.

Stephen Cordina has the illustrious accolade of being the first Maltese perfumer, with a beginning retail date of 2005. Since then, Stephen Cordina has gone on to refine his craft, and his unique combination of scents have proven popular with both locals and foreigners. Stephen Cordina has also expanded his range to include salient must-have products in Malta, such as after-suns with a blend of essential oils to soothe and soften sunburned skin.


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Desirably Yours

Who doesn’t like to indulge every once in a while? Desirably Yours makes small-batch chocolates, truffles, chocolate bars, and cakes, and their menu is constantly changing, so you won’t find the same flavour combinations twice! Pick from a few truffles, a single chocolate bar, or a massive chocolate box filled with all the flavours that Desirably Yours makes, including exotic combinations such as lavender and chili.

If it’s handmade you’re looking for, then Malta’s artisan scene has everything that you could possibly want, and this list is just a small selection of the offerings. Malta prides itself on its roots as a hand-working society, and you don’t have to look further for the proof than the buzzing stalls of the Ta’ Qali craft village. Packed into 105,000 square metres, the craft village hums with stalls offering everything from silver filigree to lace, and everything in between. Finding other types of craft - beyond jewellery, lace, and silver filigree - might be difficult, but that’s all the more excuse to go diving into the stalls and portion off a whole day to explore the Ta’ Qali crafts village; you’ll find more than you bargained for, with people selling hand-painted silk handkerchiefs, Malta-blown glass, and more, all with the distinctive and cheerful colour selection and patternings of the Maltese islands. If you’re not sold on buying blind, then book a taxi to Ta’ Qali Crafts Village, and try before you buy. If you’re visiting around the Christmas season, you might even manage to score some interesting decorations to hang on your tree back home, and a couple of presents to put you at the top of the ‘thank you’ note list. Forget about buying from the high-street; handmade is always better, and with the Maltese artisans ready to help you with your gift-giving, you don’t even have to learn a new craft to make sure your present comes entirely from the heart.


A post shared by Desirably Yours (@desirably_yours) on


You don’t have to look hard to book your all-inclusive sojourn to the Maltese islands, either; Choice Holidays offers everything from hotels to flights to taxis, and their knowledgeable staff will be happy to help you make the best travel choices for your purposes.

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