When I was a young girl I used to go down to a local seaport tourist site which featured a permanently docked old-fashioned paddle river boat that held all sorts of amusement for young visitors. The most alluring deck on the river boat contained a trinket shop which had a huge ‘grab bag’ barrel overflowing with little brown paper-wrapped packages, filled with surprises you’d only get to unveil if you purchased one for fifty cents. The best part was deciding which bag to select and then running outside with your friends to unwrap and compare your swag. The bags usually held small toys, candies and other assorted gems which, to a young kid, seemed like a treasure. The grab bag never disappointed.
Today shopping has become less impulsive, with buyers wanting guarantees with their purchases. They want to know what they’re getting ahead of time. Is it worth their hard earned money? None of this grab-bag mentality for today’s consumers. Today we have to try it on, sample it, and take it for a test drive. Gone is the mystery and allurement that the river boat trinket shop held. We’re all responsible adults after all, no longer gambling on the surprises that lie within a grab-bag. However, a fun new shopping trend has recently surfaced – for the adventurous, for those of us who still like living life on the edge. The monthly “subscription” box! (Cue the heavens opening up and angel choir singing.)
The idea behind the subscription box is that each month, for a membership fee, you receive a different “themed” box filled with fun SURPRISE gifts and food items targeted at your interests. I’ve seen ‘subscription boxes’ for every conceivable interest from bath and beauty to fashion, food, candy, gardening, baking, lingerie (yes, lingerie) and more. In the beginning subscription boxes encompassed a rather small market, however now it seems every brand and company has hopped on the subscription box band wagon.
Although the choices seem endless, nothing has caught the eye of this Anglophile more than the British-themed subscription box offerings cleverly brought to you by UK-based Quaintly & Co, which boasts of “Delivering British lifestyle” to your door each month. Quaintly & Co’s gift boxes feature quintessentially British products designed by skilled artisans from all over the Isles. This is not your trinket shop fare that will end up in a tag sale, these are gifts of the highest quality.
Each month the Quaintly & Co. team creates a fun theme, usually coinciding with some exciting event in British pop culture such as The Queen’s birthday, a royal birth, or nods to popular television shows such as Downton Abbey, Outlander and Poldark.
Like with my grab bags of yon – the contents are a surprise! The only thing the subscriber knows is what each month’s “theme” is – until it reaches your doorstep and you find yourself tearing open the box like a kid on Christmas morning. And I’m not kidding when I say it feels like a special occasion, because each box is lovingly packed and wrapped to perfection, making you feel like every “Quaintly & Co. Delivery Day” is your birthday.
Quaintly offers a couple of different ‘levels’ of membership. A “Classic” box containing at least 3-6 full sized products, and a “The Quintessential Box” which has up to 8 fantastic Brit-centric gifts to share at your next Anglophile show and tell. There is also the option to purchase one box at a time. You can subscribe month-to-month or commit to a 12-month subscription guaranteeing you one full year of Brit-tastic deliveries!
Here is a peek at some of the items Quaintly has offered in the past:
Nary does a special occasion go by on the British calendar that Quaintly & Co. doesn’t honor it with a unique gift box. The much anticipated Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is no different.
But Quaintly doesn’t stop at merely one theme for the month, for it has expanded April’s offerings to also include a Royal Wedding Tea Kit – for anyone hosting a Royal Wedding viewing party – and a Royal Baby Set in honor of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s upcoming royal birth.
Quaintly and Co. was founded in the summer of 2016 as a small family run business. Owner, Louise, used to live abroad for work in the Middle East and her sister lived in Japan for 7 years. During their time away, they both missed home terribly and often received little care packages from family and friends. That experience bought about the idea of Quaintly & Co. Today they cater almost exclusively to international customers and British expats who look forward to their gift boxes of British lifestyle items every month. To date, they have sent over 10,000 boxes to customers all around the world. That’s a lot of happy people unwrapping the 21st century version of grab-bags.
The subscription boxes are suitable for both women and men, and they have become a GREAT gift idea for birthday’s and special occasions!
The Anglophile Channel will be in in Windsor covering all the excitement leading up to The Royal Wedding, and we are happy to announce that Quaintly & Co. will be supplying the winners of our “Royal Wedding Experience” auction with some exciting Quaintly swag of their own to take home. In the meantime, orders for the Royal Wedding/Royal Baby boxes close soon. Get yours in before you miss out! Orders for the Royal Baby box close by April 10th and the Royal Wedding box by April 13th. http://www.quaintly-uk.com
Here are some fun upcoming themes to add to your wishlist: 1940’s Keep Calm and Carry On, The Queen’s Coronation Anniversary Tribute, Harry Potter, British Murder Mystery, The Tudors, and Doctor Who – which I truly hope includes a life-size David Tennant tea towel.
I don’t know where they find the time but Quaintly & Co have expanded their offerings to also include theme boxes centered around our love for London (London Pop Box) and afternoon tea (The TeaTime Box).
I’d really like to thank whoever thought up the idea of the subscription box. It has brought back fond memories of purchasing exciting little grab-bags on the river boat oh so many years ago. On a much royally grander, Brit-tastic scale, of course.
For more information on Quaintly & Co visit: http://www.quaintly-uk.com
Marlise Boland, Lady Anglophile ~ Always looking for the next Quaintly & Co box in the post!