Haute JS Design Wander Box

The Wander Box from Haute JS Design is a seasonal subscription box with a set of functional and gorgeous items curated by owner Jessica Shaw.

Supporting local businesses is more important than ever during this time, and there’s a fun, rewarding way you can do it without ever leaving your house. It’s a win-win for everyone.

I don’t know about you, but I just love getting boxes of goodies and I especially love the feeling of opening up a box containing a set of mystery items. The anticipation, the excitement and the joy of feeling like someone has curated the items just for you makes it so fun to open up a box. Subscription services, like Ipsy or FabFitFun, have been popular for ages, but purchasing local subscription boxes (or other personalized one-off boxes) is where it’s at.

Make Scents: Scent Box

The Scent Box has been an ongoing subscription service for years and it totally “Make Scents.” The monthly box subscription, which you can find on the store’s website, is filled with various products, some of which the store carries, some exclusive to just the box and some are items the store is contemplating carrying. It’s a little bit of everything.

You can opt for just one box, or subscribe for three, six or even 12 months. You get one free box if you subscribe for six months, and two free boxes if you get 12.

Make Scents is currently only doing deliveries for their products, but typically pickup orders are  slightly cheaper at $15 per month, and they also include a bonus product. Delivery boxes are $17.

Owner Christina Kelley says the value is always at least $20 dollars, but sometimes goes up to $35 based on the products. The box is put together based on value of the items instead of just the number. Items in the box are selected to match the mood of the season.

The box can be a great way to practice some well-deserved self-care and  also makes for a great gift to give to people you love.

Yellow Dog: Book Box

Yellow Dog’s subscription-based Book Box is a perfect choice if you love books and you love to shop second-hand. Every other month, the bookshop will send you a handpicked book based on your preferences, which you can fill out when you subscribe to the service. You can fill in your what and who your favorite genres, books or authors are.

At $18 dollars per cycle, the Book Box also includes other goodies such as postcards, prints or bookmarks. Payment for the Book Box subscription is based on a cycle, meaning you can cancel at any time and you would be billed every cycle instead of prepaying for a few months in advance.

“A couple of the subscribers are people I know,” owner Joe Chevalier says. “They’ve read a lot of stuff from the category they like, so I consider it more of a challenge to pick out something they haven’t read.”

Chevalier puts a lot of thought into picking out a perfect book that readers may have missed and keeps an eye out for hidden gems and unusual oddities to make sure it’s something fresh and new for subscribers. You can fill out your reading preferences form and start your Book Box subscription through their website.

Brickwood Boutique : Brickwood Box

Have you heard of the Brickwood Box? If you haven’t, don’t worry—it’s new!

The Brickwood Box isn’t a subscription service, but it’s a one-off product you can purchase right now. It’s still experimental, but so far owner Christen Edmonds says that customers have been loving the items in the box.

Due to the pandemic, Edmonds decided to “reinvent” her business since the brick and mortar locations are temporarily closed. The Brickwood Box was created out of her desire to get creative. The box features $75 in the form of four handpicked items. Each item costs less than $20, which is plenty affordable since the items are curated based on customers’ style preferences.

The Box can be shipped for an additional charge of $7.50 but customers can choose curbside pickup as well. You can purchase the box and contact the boutique through their Instagram account.

Haute JS Design: Wander Box

Though this year’s summer version of the Wander Box is already closed for purchase, you can still plan ahead to purchase the fall box or maybe even get a yearly subscription.

The Wander Box costs $65 if you purchase it seasonally, $240 if you get the yearly subscription. The value of the boxes is always at least $90. The latest summer box was actually valued at $119.  

“I had a lot of people who were just really excited about everything and they were just saving up for that big purchase,” owner Jessica Shaw says. “So, I really wanted to create something for them that was a little bit more accessible but still came with the same level of quality of items.”

Shaw wants her box to feel more exclusive compared to subscription boxes from bigger companies that are filled with a lot of products that feel like clearance items. She sometimes debuts new items through her Wander Box too. She also likes to promote items with a multifunctional aspect to it, ones that would be perfect for busy people, such as moms on the go. She did a survey of her customers last year to make sure she knew what people wanted and loved.  

She also started the subscription service to give customers a spirit of adventure without overspending or going anywhere. She says that the anticipation and preparation of a journey is often just as important as the destination itself. “The name Wander Box just kind of encapsulates that thought and that vibe of just being in it for wherever the journey takes you, you’re just open to it for whatever it is,” Shaw says.

The Wander Box can be purchased on the Haute JS Design website.

Skylark Bookshop: Reading Subscription

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The latest batch of subscription books is ready to go out! Happy readers ahoy!

A post shared by Skylark bookshop (@skylarkbookshop) on

Alex George, owner of Skylark Bookshop, says that part of the joy of his job is giving book recommendations to customers, and the subscription service they offer at the bookshop is no different.

Skylark’s reading subscription service is tailored specifically for your taste in books, since customers will fill out a questionnaire online. According to George, people usually get them as gifts for other people, but “we have people getting it for themselves, which is great, because we choose the books so when it arrives, it’s always a bit of a surprise.”

Subscriptions can last for 3, 6 or 12 months and you can choose to receive soft or hard cover books. Each month, a bookseller, chosen to be your “bibliotherapist” will pick out a book just for you.

Although the bookshop closed two weeks ago, employees have still been busy mailing and delivering books. “We have had a lot of inquiries about it since COVID-19, as people are looking at different ways at expanding what they read,” George says about the subscription service. “People’s appetites for books have gone up. People are hungry to read, whether it’s to escape or distract themselves or anything else.”

You can place an order for this service by emailing Skylark Bookshop.  

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Digital editor, Spring 2020. Claudia is a journalism student with an emphasis in magazine writing. Feel free to contact her at claudiakhaw@mail.missouri.edu.

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