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Not Your Typical Subscription Box: 5 Unique Subscription Boxes

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Washington chapter.

Subscriptions boxes are a great way to give yourself a little gift each month because you not only get to unbox the goodies, which are often a surprise, but you also end up with new items to use. They also make fantastic presents, especially since there are so many subscription services to choose from nowadays. Beauty boxes were perhaps one of the key pioneers in the market, but today there are boxes for cooking, reading, art, fashion, and everything in between. Below are 5 unique subscription boxes that offer a fun activity or treat for a wide range of personalities. 

Hunt a Killer

Hunt a Killer is a subscription box I just learned about. The subscription uses a series-based design to guide its subscribers through solving a murder mystery. Each box includes a variety of clues and details that create a fully developed world in which murders occur. For example, Chestnut Falls is a fictional town created for a season of Hunt a Killer and a map of the town is provided to aid your investigation. Other clues may include yearbooks, police reports, newspaper clippings, and other realistic pieces of evidence. Each season includes six “episodes”, or six months of subscriptions boxes and subscriptions begin at $25 per month. Reviews of the box have been extensively positive, claiming the subscription box is an addicting activity that can be used as a personal challenge or way to bond with family and friends.  

Succulents Monthly

Succulents are a trendy and practical plant to add some life to your dorm room, home, or office, and, as described on their website, Succulents Monthly prides itself on the benefits succulents offer, including enhancing air quality, helping you focus, and improving your mood. Each subscription box includes a succulent, specially chosen pot or container, and information about the plant and care instructions. Succulents Monthly also offers an Air Plant Box to add variety to your succulent garden. Monthly costs start at $18.95 and longer term subscriptions are available too. The Premium Mix Collection includes both a succulent and air plant as well as unique containers and care instructions. 

Smartass & Sass

Smartass & Sass subscription boxes make perfect gifts for your sarcastic friend or provide you with a constant stream of snarky and inspirational items. This subscription box focuses on supporting small business and includes a variety of goodies. It’s difficult to categorize the items found in each box because they range from notebooks and mugs to ice cream scoopers, candles, and other miscellaneous items perfect for decorating a dorm room, giving as gifts, and highlighting the sarcastic side of your personality. The company doesn’t hide the fact that it uses profanity in a lot of its products, so this box may not be the best gift choice for some people, but is likely an ideal gift for others. The boxes start at about $14 and range in size and item quantity. Each box is themed; for example the “I Need a Nap Box” features a snarky eye mask, a candle, socks, a sticker, bath salts, aromatherapy spray, and a little stuffed animal for $38.95. 

Anchor of Hope

The Anchor of Hope subscription box provides monthly surprises while supporting a greater cause. The Anchor of Hope Box website succinctly describes their box model: “We fill your monthly box with beautiful handmade products created by refugees, survivors of human trafficking, and others in vulnerable situations. We invite you into their story as they work to overcome the painful circumstances that brought them to this place.” This subscription box spreads awareness of global issues through personal stories and handmade goods. The Anchor of Hope Company strives to provide vulnerable yet talented creators with a way to share their goods and support themselves and their family, as the subscription fees for the boxes directly benefit the items’ makers. This subscription company tackles poverty by providing a source of income, spreads awareness of global issues, and enables the distribution of unique, handmade items like jewelry, artwork, and even spices along with cards explaining the makers and products. These boxes are $33 per month and include 3 handmade items.

Puppy Paws Coffee & Company

Living in Seattle, this list wouldn’t be complete without a coffee-oriented subscription box. While Puppy Paws Coffee & Company is also an online store selling coffee, they offer a subscription gift box that makes a great gift or fundraiser auction item. The boxes cost $32 each and including three self-chosen premium coffee packs. 50% of the company’s net sales support dog rescue efforts and shelters. Their coffees are all dog-themed, for example, you can buy a chocolate lab coffee pack (a medium roast with chocolate). The online store also sells dog toys and treats and, with their sales, the company aims to “provide food, shelter, and medical attention to needy animals.” 

Amelia Nathan

Washington '22

My name is Amelia and I am studying Comparative History of Ideas and Math at the University of Washington. I was born in California but love my home in Washington and when I'm not writing, I love hiking, painting with watercolor and alcohol inks, and watching crime shows!