When I saw a post somewhere on the interwebs about Umba Box, I thought, well I will give it a try. The idea is for $26 a month (inclusive of shipping) you will get something: "home goods, women’s accessories, jewelry, stationery, and bath products" mailed to you monthly. What I like is the items are homemade or artisan made. This appeals to me on so many levels. I think we have moved away from homemade items and it is at our own peril. Call me old fashion, but I do think homemade goods, can be superior to mass production. I have committed myself to trying to shop local and if not local, then stay focused on small businesses, specifically artisan and homemade businesses.
Subscriptions are sold as 1 month, 3-months, 6-months and 12-months. You can also give a subscription as a gift, which is a nice option. Signing up is easy, you don't get mountains of SPAM, just a confirm email and an email letting you know your item has shipped. I like this. If you choose, you can also follow Umba Box on twitter and facebook.
When my first box arrived, I couldn't wait to see what was inside.
Inside I found a plain fabric drawstring bag and some beautiful packaging material. The children love shipping peanuts, I do not.
Inside the fabric pouch, I found a very pretty make up/what not pouch. In cream canvas and buttery brown leather. (and yes I consider this a twofer... the little drawstring bag is so nicely made, I plan to use it as well as the actual make up/what not pouch.)
I was busy thinking about how I might use the pouch, when I stopped and read the card. At first, when I read about the artisan enclosure card, I thought, well I guess that is nice, but will it actually add to the buying experience? I think it does. On the Umba Box website the artisan enclosure card is explained:
What makes Umba Box so special is the personal relationship each subscriber has to the artisans who make them; stories of the artist and product are included in every delivery. Stories that artisans can share with consumers are what the Big Box sellers just can’t match. It’s so much more enjoyable to buy something when you feel connected to the person who made it. Umba Box brings together the best from the handmade community.
After receiving my first box, I have to agree. I liked hearing about Angeline's experience and learning about her business, Velle Purse. She went to school in the US, studied for a field that she did not enjoy, went back to school and then returned to the country of her heritage, but not her language and stumbled upon something, in her case a scrap leather shop, and that was the spark.
As a creative person and a woman, who has had similar career dissatisfaction, this speaks to me. I also have to say, I have a beautiful hand made pouch, from an artisan in Indonesia. The craftsmanship is exceptional and I know I am going to enjoy using this little pouch.
When I signed up for Umba Box, I decided I would try it for a few months. It is a nice way to perhaps find some great gifts for friends, meet new to me artisans and test out this new way of shopping. I do think the subscription service is a nice way to shop, you answer some questions about your skin type, your color preferences or find a service like Umba Box, where they narrow the field to a list of types of items and you are good to go.
I am already wondering what Umba Box might have in store for me next month.