Monthly subscription boxes have been slowly but steadily popping up, not only in our mailboxes but in variety and range. It’s easy to overlook them as a passing trend – especially the most popular breed of beauty boxes – something that you’d only try once or twice. Nice as it is to surprise yourself with a gift every month, we’d imagine that after a while, your delight at seeing a package on the doorstop would wear away to mild frustration at the little mountain of products you have piled up. It’s exactly the feeling we get when collecting free samples at a department store: a handful brightens up your day, but take more than that and your shrinking storage spaces at home make for a dismal sight.
This subscription box fatigue is what Babaobox is aiming to combat, with a unique concept of carefully curated items from local tastemakers. Rather than receiving an impersonal collection of random products every month, you get what feels like a luxuriously presented gift from a friend.
Firstly, there’s the conversation: each box comes with a cloth-bound book, where we are privy to an informal chat between that month’s curators. In the case of Box One, they are David Lai (chef), Wilton Ip (roboticist) and Michael Leung (beekeeper). As well as learning about their lives and listening to their stories, we get clues as to why they chose the products that they did.
As for the products themselves, they aren’t your run-of-the-mill samples. Instead, they were chosen according to a monthly theme. Quantity is substituted for quality, as you get one item per curator. For this box, it was the theme of firsts. What were some of the memorable firsts of a chef, beekeeper, and roboticist? That’s one surprise we won’t spoil for you. After all, it does go against the point of a subscription box.
The Babaobox will mail out quarterly. It debuted on 1st March and will take its last pre-orders until 1st April.