Friday, September 19, 2014

Crushing On : Subscription Boxes

{A vintage subscription service: The Milk Man}

Subscription boxes are having a definite moment. Anyone who follows me on Instagram knows that the hubby and I receive Blue Apron occasionally (a service I wrote about here). Ever since signing up for BA, I’ve been seeing tons of ads (thank you, Facebook) for other subscription box companies. I’m tempted to try a few, but I’m not sure I should sign up for many more home delivery services. I may never leave the house! But seriously, a girl can only commit to so much. And yet, I have the urge to give ‘em a whirl… Here are the ones that have piqued my interest:

Truth be told, I’ve been coveting a Birchbox for years. At my last job, a couple girls even got the cute pink boxes delivered at work, which I thought was a fun and clever way to spice up a mundane day at the office. For those not familiar with the four-year-old company, Birchbox offers monthly deliveries of personalized beauty (or grooming, for the boys) and lifestyle samples. Depending on your preferences, you get a mix of four to five large-size samples (such as skincare, haircare or fragrance products) from up-and-coming as well as cult brands.

Birchbox is not terribly expensive: You can sign up for a monthly subscription for $10/month or commit to a year at $110 (meaning you get one month free!). I think the reason I haven’t signed up is I have a bad habit of not using samples. Whenever I order from Sephora, I carefully pick out samples and even use my points to get the deluxe offerings. And then they get stashed in a bathroom drawer, never to be thought of again! Maybe if I put them in a more visible place I’d use them… and maybe if they came in a cute pink box…

Darby Smart
I only recently heard about Darby Smart and I thought it was such a smart idea! The company’s mission is to make DIY simple and fun. Darby Smart sends customers the exact craft supplies they need to make a modern craft that they will love and be proud to show off. I always see brilliant DIYs online and pin them to my crafts board, but I never actually get around to sourcing the supplies and sitting down to make them. With Darby Smart, if you see something you want to make, you order the project and the supplies are sent right to your doorstep. Easy peasy. 

I took a peek around the website and there are so many beautiful projects that I’d love to create: jewelry holders, chic terrariums, monogrammed totes, beaded and braided bracelets, gilded votives, coasters, painted planters… So many creative ideas!

Club W
In San Diego, GT and I were less than an hour drive from so many wonderful wineries. We visited Temecula wine country often and we were even members at two wineries. But when we made our cross-country move to Florida, we sadly decided to drop those memberships since we could no longer take advantage of all the perks (the pick-up parties, namely), not to mention having to foot a hefty bill for shipping.

So when I found out about Club W, I was intrigued. The club sends monthly shipments of wine based on your “palate profile” and three bottles cost just $39 (plus $6 flat rate shipping)—quite a steal compared to other wine clubs! (We were paying about $60-$70 for our Temecula wine club shipments.) According to the website, Club W builds direct relationships with vineyards and farmers to make "exceptional" small lot wines at low, better-than-retail prices. You can skip or cancel any time, with no fees or hassle, which is a must for me when it comes to signing up for a subscription box. I don’t want to be locked into something long term.

The thing I like the most, though, is that Club W enables you to learn about the wine in your shipment. For every wine, Club W produces a short video that includes tasting notes and other background information such as the producer's story, an explanation of the growing region or a primer on the varietal. Some people just want to drink and enjoy their wine, but the hubs and I love learning about what we’re sipping, too.

So, what’s your take on subscription boxes? Do you receive any of these direct-to-doorstep services, or others? If so, I’d love to hear your about your experiences, and any recommendations, of course :)

(Vintage Milk Man via Pinterest; Collage images via the company websites, linked above, and Facebook pages: Birchbox, Darby Smart, Club W)


  1. The only subscription box I use is graze, which sends me a box of snacks each month. They tend to be healthier snacks, and thinks I probably wouldn't go out and buy myself, so I'm having a lot of fun with it.

    I have been thinking about trying out Stitch Fix though, at least once I'm no longer pregnant, which sends you a box of clothes each month picked out by a personal shopper. Especially since in general I hate shopping. And while I hadn't heard of Club W before, I do think that'd be a fun one to try out as well!

    1. Ooh, Graze sounds fun! I'm always on the hunt for healthy snacks. They can be so hard to find! Stitch Fix sounds dangerous for me though, I already have a problem with online clothes shopping! I get so many emails from my favorite online boutiques and I have to delete, delete, delete to avoid the temptation! Lol. Thanks for sharing your recommendations with me, Shoshanah! I'm going to check out Graze...


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