Surprise in the box

Companies offer gift boxes via monthly subscription


Whether it’s the monthly surprise, the bang for your buck, the off-the-wall products or the convenience that has attracted the attention, subscription boxes appear to be the new way to give, gift and try new products. Simply place an order online for a trial or subscribe for multiple months and await your box and its mysterious content.

Subscription box companies vary by theme and intention. All sorts of audiences are marketed to, including makeup fiends, foodies, accessory hoarders, coffee addicts and the eco-savvy.


skosh box april

Photo provided by SKOSHBOX

The founders of Skoshbox, a subscription box service that delivers monthly Japanese candies and snacks, decided to start the company after spending time in Japan and receiving requests from friends to send treats and snacks.

“For us, we saw a common worldwide love for all things Japan, primarily the anime characters, kawaii culture and obsession with the foods and flavors that are released only in Japan,” said Candice Kawasaki, marketing director of Skoshbox.


With the popularity of the do-it-yourself movement came Lullubee, a company that delivers crafting kits complete with everything the recipient will need to produce anything from flower crowns to owl embellished pillowcases.


Wantable, a company located in Milwaukee, allows its users to choose from intimates, makeup or accessories in its box. The team at Wantable seeks to make your brand and product selection experience less overwhelming. The box uniquely considers subscribers’ preferences. As part of order placement, the site offers a quiz where you select your preferred colors, styles and products.

Lindsey Townsley, public relations and communications associate, describes Wantable’s exclusive approach as a “relationship-based discovery experience.”

Sock Panda

Sock Panda offers a pair of uniquely designed socks in every box. For each pair of socks its sells, a pair is given to the homeless. The company has donated more than 1,000 socks so far. Owner David Peck designs the socks according to his own view of what is trendy and hot in pop culture, from jellyfish to a literal interpretation of the band Radiohead.


GlobeIn partners with individual artisans from around the world, bringing social justice to subscription boxes. It is inspired by the evolution of microfinance, which involves smaller amounts of money to create a larger impact on real people. One-third of GlobeIn’s profits go to the individual artist, 15 percent to GlobeIn and 10 percent is reinvested in the country of origin through job training programs or education.

Box of Happies

Box of Happies delivers three to five handmade items from jewelry, home décor, office, paper goods and more in each box. Owner and operator of the company, Anna Vickrey, is a crafter herself who is passionate about jewelry making and upcycling old items. The company was created in order to support other independent crafters.


THE THING is an off-the-wall box that operates quarterly, sending subscribers an artistically interpreted everyday object that somehow incorporates and showcases text.

“We publish objects. We started this as a way to examine the physicality of publication,” said co-founder Jon Herschend. Each issue is brainpowered by a different artist, writer or director.

Past contributors have included James Franco, the Levi’s company, and founders of the clothing brand Rodarte. Objects that have been published include playing cards, pillowcases and an organic multi-use salve.


Photo provided by MY COTTON BUNNY

My Cotton Bunny

A box designed specifically for females, My Cotton Bunny, allows you to pick the delivery date and will send you a choice of pads or tampons from companies like Tampax and Always along with a few treats and gifts. Each box has a theme, such as a spa box or a box filled with tea.

Subscription boxes come in every color of the rainbow, representing many aspects of our pop culture and everyday needs. If you are at a loss for a birthday gift, or need a little happiness without much effort, perhaps a subscription service is for you.

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