One of the newer itterations of fun mail is gift subscription services. You sign up and get sent a mysterious package in the mail. You don't necessarily know what it is, but you probably have some sense of the type of things that this particular subscription might bring you. They work a lot like our R.S.V.P. program in that sense.
There are a bunch of different options out there. In the interest of SCIENCE!, I have tried out three of the most popular office supply/stationery ones: Rad & Hungry, Quarterly Co. & Olive Box. It's a bit too long to go into how I felt about each in one blog post; so we get a whole week of reviews! Fun, right? I hope you think so. Let's start out with Quarterly Co.
Quarterly Co. sends you out a package every 3 months (hence the name) which has been curated by one of their contributors. They pick people from all across the Internet who are experts or tastemakers in particular fields. You can go on the Quarterly site and read about all their different package selectors. They have a wide range of people and interests covered, from food and home styling to robotics and outdoorsmanship. For my package, I picked designer/blogger Tina Roth Eisenberg of Swiss Miss.
This is how my Quarterly Co. subscription came packaged. I love the branded tape and the stickers and rubber stamp usage. Plus, anything referencing Carrier Pigeons always gets a plus with me. The box contained a new Beginner's fountain pen, refill cartridges, a letter and a handwriting practice pad by MakeWellMade.
I'm not even a fountain pen person, but the fancy boxed pen and Tina's lovely letter about how she is "curious to see your handwriting" really gave me the warm fuzzies. For $25 with shipping included, it seemed like I got more than I paid for; a welcome feeling for any received mystery box.
I was less when my credit card was automatically charged for the next shipment. I thought I had selected the option for just one mailing, but perhaps I was wrong. It is a "subscription" after all. However, it was easy to cancel and I'd be willing to try out other contributors. I've had a couple of other Alliance members tell me that they also enjoyed using Quarterly Co. (and one also had the same autocharge grumble I did.)
As a bonus, the creator of Quarterly Co., Zach Frechette, has some really lovely things to say about the mail in his essay on their site. I was especially fond of this: "There’s a gap in our lives where we used to get something in the mail that mirrored our interests, reflected our values, and made us feel like a part of something bigger than ourselves."
In reward for reading this whole review, I'm having a giveaway of this box! The giveaway is for MEMBERS ONLY. If you win, you'll need to supply your Letter Writers Alliance member number to redeem your prize. We'll cover the shipping domestically, but International friends will be asked to reimburse us any shipping costs. The rules are simple. Check out the Quarterly Co. contributors and let us know in the comments which one you would pick. A winner will be picked at random next Monday! ***This contest is now closed. Thanks for playing everyone.***