So you say you don’t like surprises. But what if it was one you had signed up for yourself?
A host of new surprise subscription services are offering to send you a customised gift box every month. Unlike a regular subscription box, where you know what you’ll get when you sign up -- three cheeses, say, or half a dozen magazines -- here you just fill out a form and never know what might be coming your way.
There’s something for everyone too -- some boxes offer stationery items, others, men’s grooming products; still others, women’s fashion and accessories.
“Being a stationery nerd, I was always looking for interesting buys but most of what I found online either didn’t ship to India or had high shipping costs,” says marketing manager Brinda Jayaram, 25, a subscriber with Origin One, which sends surprise stationery ware to its members. “Now I just sit back and play guessing games about what will be in the next box, based on the teasers that Origin One posts on their Instagram page. My favourites so far have been a ‘This book belongs to’ stamp and a cute mini-chalkboard I received last month.”
Origin One, launched in September 2015, is for those people who can’t get enough of cutesy post-it pads and elegant diaries.
“I’m a stationery fan myself and I decided to start this because nobody else was doing it,” says founder Pushkar Thakur, 32, laughing. “We tweak our range of products every month, so you will never get the same thing twice.”
Among Origin One’s subscribers is blogger Sudha Ganapathi, 45. “Over three surprise boxes, my favourite products have been the mini-blackboard with set of chalk pieces, and badges that said ‘Have a nice day’.”
The little slate was a big hit, says Thankur. “Many of our subscribers just loved it.”
Cost: Subscriptions start at Rs 1,000 per month
Adam Box, in its monthly box for men, sends out a mix of products that is both functional and fun -- ranging from beard shampoo and face wash to wallets, pens, cufflinks, fragrances and socks. If you have special hair care needs, you can also check out the nine-month-old Singh Styled, for a box that includes a new coloured turban each month, in addition to ties, socks and beard-care products like shampoos, oils, combs and brushes.
“It’s really exciting getting a surprise at my doorstep every month,” says techie Sudarshan Sampant, 27, who has signed up for the Adam Box for a year. “All the products so far have been branded and of very good quality.”
“What I like most about this box is that it contains a letter from the founder giving a few suggestions and fashion tips,” adds Singh Syled subscriber Sukhdeep, a 30-year-old risk consultant. “Plus, it sends out stuff that’s hard to find locally.”
Where: singhstyled.com; bit.ly/1QbrIak
Cost: Subscriptions start at Rs 800 for Adam Box, Rs 1,500 for Singh Styled
You likely put together outfits in your head as you shop, but when it comes to accessorising, most of us just scabble about at the last minute, sorting through the contents of upturned jewellery boxes.
To avoid this, Zotiqq and Little Bauble Box help you put together a collection, one month at a time.
Zotiqq, founded by siblings Ritu,29, and Arjun Rajput, 25, in April 2014, offers a themed box each month, usually based on a trend or ongoing season. May was minimalistic, keeping it light for the summer; November was, of course, ethnic, for Diwali. Each box includes five pieces of costume jewellery — one statement neck piece, a dainty neck piece, a ring, a pair of earrings and bracelets.
The Little Bauble Box, founded by Sakshi Tikya, 28, offers a more customised service.
Each member answers a style quiz while registering. They then receive three pieces of costume jewellery a month, selected on the basis of their responses and preferences.
These could include, over time, statement necklaces, earings, body chains, palm cuffs and head bands.
“It’s like having a one-stop costume jewellery shop – and your personal stylist,” says Tikya.
Neha Bhattad, 33, a homemaker and subscriber for eight months, says: “I have always loved wearing accessories but never had the time to shop. Thus The Little Bauble Box suited all my need, providing me with new pieces with every box. The pieces are sent as per my choice and preference. For example, if I don’t like wearing necklace the box would not include that. And I think it is really cost effective to get an entire collection of jewellery that too delivers at my home.”
Where: zotiqq.com; thelittlebaublebox.com
Cost: Subscriptions start at Rs 1,500 for Zotiqq, Rs 2500 for Little Bauble Box
How would you like to receive little trinkets to mark your menstrual cycle? Two subscription boxes - Cosset Box and Being Juliet — offer to send you your choice of sanitary napkins or tampons, and goodies such as aromatherapy oils, artisanal soaps, body mousses, comfort foods, energy bars and herbal teas each month.
“Why not pamper yourself when you need it the most,” says Gunjan Parulkar, 33, founder of seven-month-old Cosset Box.
Being Juliet, founded by childhood friends Rashi Bajaj and Anshu Sinhal, both 32, offers similar comfort.
Most boxes also bear complimentary samples of cosmetics, skin and hair care products too.
“I signed up because I loved the idea of gifts at your door at that time of the month,” says homemaker Cheryl Saldanha,35, a BJ subscriber.
Adds social media executive Sunakshi Goel, 25: “My box came five days before my period and included moisturiser and homemade lavender soap. It just felt good.”
Where: cossetbox.com; beingjuliet.com
Cost : Subscriptions start at Rs 300 for Cosset Box.