Quarterly Co. is slightly different than a lot of other curated subscription services. First, it's quarterly, rather than monthly, which both keeps the cost down (it's $25/quarter for most boxes) and makes getting it feel more special. You can be pretty sure you'll have gotten around to opening the last box before the next one comes. Secondly, the "theme" of Quarterly Co. is much more varied than a lot of other subscription programs. When you sign up for Quarterly, you choose one of their "cultural icon" curators--anybody from Moonwalking with Einstein author Joshua Foer to "Style Girlfriend" Megan Collins--and that person decides what will be in each of your quarterly boxes. Each curator has a general theme to his/her mailings, but nothing too specific. For example, my curator is Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project. Her theme is "things that lift your spirits by making your life and home more beautiful, more productive, and more full of fun." One month, it was a nice notebook and colored pencil set. Another time, it was a collection of tiny objects with tiny boxes in which to put them. Each box has filled me with delight--these aren't things I need, of course, but they are things that make me happy.
This month's box, Gretchen's fifth installment, was no exception. On the enclosed card, she explained:
I love to make food festive with food dye, sprinkles, and bright wrappers. In fact, one of my favorite new traditions is the "holiday breakfast." On major and minor holidays, I now make a holiday breakfast for my family. I put out some holiday plates and placemats, a centerpiece, and--my favorite part--I dye the food to some theme-appropriate but crazy color...
Sprinkles, colorful wrappers, and the fabulous gold dust can transform a dish or an entire meal-with very little time or energy. Which is good, because for most of us, time and energy are in short supply. it's so much fun to play with food this way.
And what did she send?
As far as value for money goes, I'd say Quarterly Co. has been about average--if I add up the Amazon.com value of the five items in my most recent box, I get right around $25. However, Quarterly Co. is definitely not selling value-for-money. Nor are they necessarily selling novelty, though I suspect many of the products their curators send are new to the folks who receive them. Instead, they are very much selling the joy of a getting a little gift in the mail. Disillusioned as I may be with subscription boxes at present, I still dig that.
Were I to recommend one of the Quarterly Co. curators, aside from Gretchen Rubin, two I'd check out would be Liz Danzico, who promises a "series of portable explorations that help you mark time" and Joel Johnson, whose mailings will be inspired by his grandmother, with "a worldly sense of style filtered through post-Depression hillbilly pragmatism." Both are boxes I'd love to try, and if I weren't so pleased with the things Gretchen chooses, I'd probably jump ship to one of them.
I know there are some subscription box fans among my readers--have any of you tried Quarterly. Co.? Whose boxes do you get? Have you been happy with them?
To be clear--I am in no way being compensated by Quarterly Co. for this post. Didn't even get a free box to review. I just love 'em!