Delivering a surprise to your door, subscription boxes are a new consumer trend across the nation. While Amazon can deliver any item imaginable in little time, it’s exciting to get a package full of unexpected goodies that weren’t sitting in your digital shopping cart for a month.
Seattle-area startups and small companies are jumping on this trend, selling subscriptions that feature both local products and bigger brands. From fresh food to cosmetics, these boxes are like sending a present to yourself.
Creating a personalized closet based on the subscriber’s style and fit, this wardrobe rental service sources clothes from top designers and delivers four pieces right to your door each month. Subscribers can rent the items indefinitely or chose to purchase pieces they want to keep, taking the hassle out of shopping and keeping your wardrobe rotating. $149 a month. armoire.style.
Finding the best coffee in a city with a large coffee culture like Seattle can be challenging. Luckily, Bean Box helps novices and experts alike refine their taste and try new roasts.The Capitol Hill-based company offers a box of coffee samplers and a coffee of the month from local roasters like Slate Coffee, Caffe Vita and Victrola Coffee. The box also includes brewing tips and roaster profiles to help subscribers become coffee experts. $17-$23 a month, beanbox.co.
Based in the U District, Chococurb sends premium, gourmet chocolate to your door each month, making it the perfect box for anyone who wants to indulge. The box is personalized based on your preferences and includes bars from local chocolatiers like Theo Chocolate, Fran’s Chocolates, and Seattle Chocolates. $20-$35 a month based on subscription, chococurb.com.
Treat yourself with a beauty box subscription from local cosmetic company and nail salon Julep. Each package includes products from their nail, skincare and makeup lines, and are customizable to fit your beauty needs. $40 a month, julep.com.
OK, it’s not from Seattle, but this Portland-based book box is too cool to omit. OwlCrate believes no one is too old to enjoy a young adult (YA) book. To share their love of reading, they offer themed monthly subscription boxes featuring a newly released YA novel and related goodies like tote bags, bookmarks and notebooks. April’s theme was “head over heels,” featuring Becky Albertalli’s new book about a teen’s 26 crushes, The Upside of Unrequited, plus romance-related treats and a letter from the author. $29.99 a month, owlcrate.com.
Pacific Northwest Cupcakes
Fulfill your sugary cravings with the organic bakery’s “Sweet Tooth” subscription box, which delivers a monthly batch of fresh-baked cupcakes in flavors of your choice and select seasonal flavors. This service is currently only available for Western Washington residents in the greater Seattle and Snohomish areas. $12.25 to $36, pacificnorthwestcupcakes.com.
Keep your garden growing throughout the year with this subscription box from Seattle Seed Co., which sends 10 packs of organic, non-GMO seeds each season. The seeds range from vegetables to herbs and flowers, and are perfect for beginner and expert gardeners alike. $45 per quarter, $150 yearly with pre-pay, plowbox.com.
Safety Pin Box
Headed by Seattle-based activist Marissa Johnson and Ferguson Response Network founder Leslie Mac, the Safety Pin Box sends a box with a list of monthly tasks subscribers can do to help dismantle white supremacy, along with online content such as webinars and podcasts discussing race. Proceeds help fund Black Women Being, which gives one-time financial donations to black female activists. There is also a box for kids to help them talk and learn about race. The box has run into mixed reviews with some believing it’s a good way for white people to be an ally to people of color, while others see it as a commodification of white guilt. $100 a month, safetypinbox.com.
Subscription boxes aren’t only for adults. Designed for girls age 7 to 13, StemBox features all the items necessary to complete a different STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) experiment each month like making a microscope or creating a battery using lemons. Started by Seattle University graduate and Fred Hutchinson researcher Kina McAllister, StemBox is designed to help break down ideas about gender and toys, and to encourage more girls to get involved in STEM at an early age. $30 a month, mystembox.com.
Pair tunes perfect for cooking with seasonal ingredients by subscribing to the musical pairings box that sends out a vinyl record, three recipes and premium ingredients every month. Turntable Kitchen also offers a coffee and vinyl box that sends out a vinyl paired with fresh-roasted coffee from Slate Coffee Roasters. $25 per month, turntablekitchen.com.