Quarterly Co. Subscription Box Review

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Quarterly Co.  is one of the subscription box companies I mentioned way back in July as one I wanted to try. Its unique in that, rather than basing the subscription boxes contents on specific types of items, such as make-up or foodstuff, they base it on a specific person. The company has asked several people they feel are culturally influential to curate or "contribute" to a subscription package. Basically, you sign up for who you want to choose the items for your box, and they will send you the box. Its pretty much a surprise as to what could be in there! They selling point is learning and being introduced to new things and concepts by people who are interesting and/or admirable.

The surprise was what drew me to  Quarterly Co. so I was pretty thrilled when I was given a one time subscription to them. I chose Gretchen Rubin, author of the book The Happiness Project, to be the person contributing to my subscription box. Past boxes from her have included things like art supplies or items to make a terrarium, so I was pretty curious about what my package would bring.

Finally, a small, compact box appeared on our front steps; here's what I got:

  • Think-It Party Game- a bag of tiny objects. The game is you pick five objects and then tell a story about them. 
  • Iwako Dessert Puzzle Eraser Set- What it says on the tin. Erasers that look like desserts.
  • Amac Box Set- A set of very small, semi-translucent, and translucent boxes. 
  • 1 hashtag to use when tweeting about the package
  • 1 letter from contributor Gretchen Rubin explaining her theme and item choices for the package. 

QuarterlyCo2 Collage

All in all, I had mixed feelings about this package. I'd been waiting several monthes (the packages only come out quarterly), so perhaps it would have been hard to beat expectations.


  • Worth of the items in the package exceeded the cost of the package ($25)
  • It WAS a surprise
  • Gretchen Rubin's letter/mini essay was interesting and made me think about miniatures  I too like the idea of tiny things and had even considered sending a package of tiny items. 
  • Professional looking packaging
  • Fun idea to use the hashtags. Makes it seem like the company is investing in hearing from its customers. 


  • What the heck am I going to do with all these miniature items? I'm trying to get rid of clutter.
  • The quality of some of the items (specifically the Think-It items; why is it ten dollars for this item?) was low; I would not have put some of these things in the treasure box of my old classroom, and let me tell you- kindergarteners are not discerning about prizes. Literally years-old tinsel or old hotel swipe cards will make them happy, so....
  • And while I liked Gretchen's essay, I can get similar little essays/thoughts on her blog.

Overall,  the idea of sending miniature items is cute and fun, but probably not what I'd pay twenty-five dollars for . Still, its not a complete strike out for the company; I'll probably try Quarterly Co. again, perhaps with a different contributor. I'm sure any future packages Gretchen Rubin does will be good too. Perhaps, though, there is such a thing as too much of a surprise with hers; some of the others look like there will be a better chance of items I'd want to keep and use more often. Plus, the variety is always fun.

Have any of you ever gotten a subscription box from Quarterly Co? What did you think, and who was the contributor?

P.S. I'm also the guest blogger over on Treasure Tromp today, showing you how to get an easy "Gibson Girl" hair style! 


  1. That's a cool concept - that it's tailored to each person. It looks cute! I love the Happiness Project :) I have a diary from there that I write a sentence in each day. x

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  2. This is so cool! I especially love the picture of you with your gifts. You are such a cutie <3



    Southern (California) Belle

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  3. I have never heart about this boxes before. I already now cosmetic ones but these are quite interesting and original. I must have a look.

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  4. I have gotten a number of boxes from Scott Belsky and they are hit or miss. I loved this month's, but last month's was just meh. I kind of want to subscribe to someone else, but I also kind of want to stick it out with Scott. What to do! I'm already spending $100 a year on this stuff, which is kind of ridiculous. But then again, what's $100 a year? Not much. I am overthinking this, clearly.

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    1. What type of items or themes does Scott do? Also- as you point out it is $100.00 over the entire year, which spread out does not seem as much.

      I think the Standford D. box might also be fun.

  5. I am dying to try Tim Ferriss's box! His theme is "obsession," as in things he's currently obsessed with. Like, if it's a box of coffee-related items, it might have an aeropress (best way to make coffee, with a bunch of talk about how baristas bring them on airplanes to make their own espresso), some crazy super-specific coffee beans.... etc.

    On one hand, I know whatever it is will be interesting, and it seems like it's in my wheelhouse because I am a total shopping perfectionist too... if I'm going to buy something, I want it to be the BEST of all the somethings out there! On the other hand, his box is $100 a quarter.

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  6. I would definitely be interested in a box from Gretchen Rubin, having read her book, and then again I feel like her written note might be the best part! My only hesitation with signing up with a box service is like you mentioned, the clutter! I'm afraid I would end up with more stuff sitting around that I just don't need! Still, I love getting stuff in the mail so this looks really fun! You can never have enough eraser desserts, ha!

    perfectly priya

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    1. I think part of it is getting a box of items you really would like and use (for example, someone who works in an office getting one for cute office supplies etc.), which admittedly can be hard to predict with Quarterly Co. since they are more centered on who is curating the box than a theme of items.

      I love Gretchin Rubin and her books. I'm reading her Happier at Home one now, about her second Happiness Project.


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