It started innocently enough with a friend posting a picture of a gorgeous dress she got from StitchFix. The next month, she posted another. And another. Where was she getting this stuff? Soon enough, I learned that StitchFix was one among many in the new trend of monthly subscription boxes.
So first, the “what”. What the heck is a monthly subscription box? Well, that varies a little from company to company, but generally speaking it is a subscription that you pay a monthly fee for (think: magazine) and you receive a shipment about every 4 weeks of products (product selection is usually based on a fairly in depth profile you complete when you sign up).
Now, the “why”. This concept allows you to try new products (new to the market, or just new to you) without investing full price, without the hassle of the shopping. For the subscription boxes I’ve signed up for (which I’ll cover later), it’s really allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone in both beauty products and fashion, finding several brands and products that have quickly become favorites, and were things I would’ve probably never picked up on my own.
It’s not just clothes though… you can find a monthly subscription box for just about everything. There are boxes for fashionistas, beauty product lovers, foodies, crafters, kids and even your pets! Here are some favorites, both of mine and friends that have subscriptions (and yes, some the links are referral links – some mine, some not. Most of these services let you earn extra goodies by referring others, but I would never ask you to sign up because of that. I pay for all of the boxes I get straight out of my pocket, and have no outside relationship with any of these companies… I just think this concept is awesome and it has been SO MUCH FUN to come home to surprises in the mail!)
StitchFix – Since I mentioned StitchFix first, we’ll start there. StitchFix is probably the most expensive of the monthly subscription boxes, but that’s assuming you keep everything you get. StitchFix is unique in that you have a personal stylist choosing 5 unique items for you (clothing and accessories) and you only pay for what you keep. There is a $20 monthly “personal shopper” fee, but that fee is applied toward the purchase of any items you decide to keep. Keep what you want, send back what you don’t. You package comes complete with everything you need to send back the whole box if you want. Love it all and can’t bear the thought of sending any of it back? You get to apply your $20 “personal shopper” fee, plus get a 25% discount. I’ve had three shipments from StitchFix and have kept everything from all of them. You can check out StitchFix by clicking here.
Julep Maven – If you like beauty products, especially nail polishes, you’ll love Julep Maven. Each box comes with $40 worth of products and polishes, all limited-run colors, and will run you between $19.99 and $24.99 depending on your subscription options. I don’t personally subscribe to Julep Maven, but that is only because I’m not big on nail polish. If you love it and want to try 1 or 2 new colors a month, plus some other cool beauty products, check out Julep Maven by clicking here.
Ipsy – I have fallen in love with Ipsy. I’ve never been a big beauty product fiend, but lately I’ve found myself wanting to experiment a little more. Experimenting can get expensive, especially with some products being $20, $30 or even more! And this is why I love Ipsy. For $10 a month (yes, $10!) you get 5 products (some full sized and some travel sized) and a cute “glam bag”. Each month is different and you never know just what you might get. You can see the contents of my May Glam Bag here. For $10, I was thrilled! Ipsy is by far one of the more affordable subscription boxes. If you like beauty products and want to give it a try, check out Ipsy by clicking here.
BirchBox – This one is a lot like Ipsy as far as the cost ($10/month) and type of products you get. I’ve only received my first BirchBox monthly subscription box and haven’t had a chance to thoroughly review the contents yet, but so far I am pleased with what I got. I received well over $40 worth of products and I think I will enjoy most of them. I’ll update you guys on this one after I get another box or two. If you want to check out BirchBox, just click here.
GlossyBox – GlossyBox is similar to Ipsy and BirchBox, but a little more “high end”. You’ll see the difference in the price (ranging from $18.33 – $21 per month, depending on your subscription length) and will sometimes include gift cards and other perks you might not necessarily get in the less expensive monthly subscription box options. Since I tend to stick with more mid-range price points, this subscription box is a little much for me, but might fit some of you perfectly. If you want to check it out, just click here.
Other Awesome Boxes
BarkBox – Yes, we leave no one out, not even your furry companions. There is a monthly subscription box for Fido too. BarkBox will run you from $19 – $29 a month (again, it depends on what length of subscription you sign up for) and gets you a box of goodies for your BFF (best furry friend!). Each box contains 4-6 treats, toys and hygiene products, as much of which is sourced from the US as possible. BarkBox also supports many shelters and non-profits who work to make life better for dogs in need. That’s a definite “+1″ in the plus column for me. If you have a BFF who would love a BarkBox subscription, click here to check it out.
ConsciousBox – For those interested in all natural, non-GMO products, check out ConsciousBox. In addition to being all natural and GMO-free, ConsciousBox also offers Vegan and Gluten Free box options! ConsciousBox will run you $10 a month for their “taster” box option, which features 5-8 products every month. If sustainable, healthy living is on your radar, maybe ConsciousBox should be too? Check it out by clicking here.
NatureBox – Looking for wholesome snacking options? NatureBox might be right for you! Choose how many snack bags you want per month (5, 10 or 20) and wait for delicious snacks like Lemon Pucker Pistachios, Bombay Curried Cashews, Dark Cocoa Almonds, Garden Tomato Crunchies, Blueberry Almond Bites, and Dried Pears to show up at your door! Prices start at $19.95 per month and go up from there. Check out NatureBox by clicking here.
KiwiCrate – For the little crafters in your life, KiwiCrate offers a monthly shipment of all you need keep your kiddos busy with an interesting and unique craft. Each crate contains materials and inspiration for several craft projects, but you choose the direction your creations take with a little imagination. Crates will run you $19.95 a month, and there is the option to add additional material for $9.95 (if you have more kiddos and want to craft without starting World War III). Check out KiwiCrate here.
WhimseyBox – For the bigger crafters (ahem, you!), WhimseyBox will ship you everything you need for a modern, fresh, DIY craft each month for $15. If you sign up for a Pro (multi-month) subscription, you’ll have the option of customizing your color pallet for your project box too! You can see examples of past project boxes on the WhimseyBox website by clicking here.
Citrus Lane – If you have little one between the ages of birth and 5, Citrus Lane might be right for you! Citrus Lane is a monthly subscription box service made just for parents with kids within that age range, and sends out a box of 4-5 items tailored to you and your little one each month. Items are age appropriate, based on your profile, and may include toys, books, gifts, household items and more! Citrus Lane will run you between $21 and $29 per month (subscription length strikes again) and includes items from some big name partners, as well as smaller companies too. Check out Citrus Lane by clicking here.
Do You Subscribe?
I personally subscribe to StitchFix, Ipsy and BirchBox – and hope to add WhimseyBox, BarkBox and maybe GlossyBox to my subscriptions soon. So you subscribe to any monthly subscription boxes? Which ones are your favorites?