The past few weeks I’ve been obsessed with subscription boxes. Not slang-obsessed like those people who say they’re obsessed with anything that appeals to them. Obsessed-obsessed as in I’ve spent hours browsing through box sites (I’m especially a fan of Canadian Subscription Box Addict since she only lists and reviews boxes that ship to Canada, provides Canadian pricing and makes it clear which boxes are from Canadian businesses). At work, I’d daydream about getting boxes in the mail. On trip-to-the-community-mailbox days, I’d feel sad about not having anything to wait for.
Eventually I broke down. I settled on two boxes, Rawspice Bar and Yegbox. (Once my stockpile of coffee runs out, I want a coffee subscription box too but haven’t decided on one yet. The one I originally wanted went out of business – a common problem in the subscription box world I’m discovering – so I’m still shopping.)
I chose Yegbox because I’m curious about local businesses (YEG is Edmonton’s airport code and for some reason Edmontonians use it as a nickname for their city. I suppose a one syllable code is more convenient that a three syllable name.) and even though I have yet to actually live there, I do feel like an honorary Edmontonian. When you look beyond the chilling wind and terrible road design, Edmonton has a lot of personality. There are small businesses and artists everywhere you turn, and there’s a lot to be discovered by hanging out in Farmers’ Markets or stopping by little shops. Unfortunately for me, trips to YEG generally involve rushing into the city, grabbing what I need from Superstore and T&T, going to the bank, maybe catching a show at the Varscona, cursing about how the roads make no sense before hurrying home. So I was thrilled to have someone curate a monthly box of products from local artisans for me.
Yegbox is rather pricey. After the base cost, shipping and taxes, you’re looking at 62.50$/month. It was a deterrent for me since I’m not someone who spends a lot of money on myself, but I figured I really want to give it a try. I could cancel after a couple months once I feel like I’ve experienced enough.
Note, I don’t run a review site. I bought my own box and wanted to share some of my love of Edmonton along with some personal perspectives. I have no contact with Yegbox beyond having purchased their product. I’m actually hoping they aren’t upset that I write about them without their permission.
So, my box!
While the box is a bit expensive and doesn’t include shipping, you can tell your money isn’t going to waste. The box looks fantastic and they put a lot of care into packaging it well. There’s a card with short bios of the craftspeople and their businesses which I love. Having an idea of the story behind the product is one of the reasons I like buying from artisans. Having an emotional connection to my purchase is really satisfying to me.
Product #1 – Hipbee Grrrl Sassy Pits (retail value 12$)
I’m not natural bandwagon person. I know there’s a lot of worry about traditional deodorants/antiperspirants but I couldn’t find any reliable evidence either way (I’m a pharmacist, I live on Pubmed’s search page). I figure if it carried the same risk level as say, smoking, we’d know so it’s not something I concern myself with.
I do, however, appreciate quality, unique products with personality and this deodorant stick has got me served. I love the smell, it reminds me of a fresh forest with a hint of spice. Plus, my old trusted Lady Speed Stick had been making my itchy lately, so I had been experimenting with new products. It’s too early to tell if it’s powerful enough for me (I can be a stinky gal if I’m not careful!), but it goes on well and seems to last most of the day.
Product #2 – YEG Coasters from Engravables Design
I’m absolutely in love with these coasters! They’re exactly the kind of thing I was hoping for when I signed up for the box. I have no tables to protect, but I keep the coasters out on the counter to show off to guests. The quality is top notch and I’m really glad to have learned about Engravables Design.
Product #3 – Salted Caramel Chocolate from Bakers Block Chocolates
This chocolate was devoured pretty quickly in our house! Really enjoyed it! I’m not normally a fan of caramel or salted chocolate but the balance of texture and flavour was really impressive and made a for a great tasting experience. From what I understand, the chocalatier Erin doesn’t have a storefront but takes online orders and visits artisan events throughout the city. Great discovery for those of us who love to give chocolate for birthdays and milestone events.
I’m always a little uncomfortable around religious symbols (especially after spending months in Thailand where a lot of people implore tourists to not used Buddha as decoration) so I probably wouldn’t have purchased this candle on my own.
That aside, the candle is beautiful and makes our house smell wonderful. And we haven’t even tried burning it yet.
I also had a lot of fun browsing Mamata Holistics’ Etsy page. While they aren’t the kind of product I would normally buy for myself, she had a brilliant selection of gift ideas for bath enthusiasts, yoga practitioners, new and expecting mothers. If her other products are the same quality as the candle, you can’t go wrong.
Product #5- Natural Laundry Detergent and Natural Glass and Multi Surface Cleaner from Clean Conscience Canada
Very cool idea! I was excited to discover Clean Conscience since I’m always looking for cleaning alternatives to my trusty non-name brand ammonia-based cleaner. I haven’t tried these yet, but I’m really looking forward to it!
I know official box review sites end reviews by comparing item value to the price of the box, but I find that hard to do since some items (notably the coasters) are custom made. Since all items were of excellent quality and someone else did all the work of finding them and shipping them to me, I feel like I definitely got my money’s worth. I’m also excited to have discovered some new Edmontonian go-tos for gifts and special events.
Really excited to see what next month will bring!