subscription box

Quirky Crate – 1950s Flashback

I’ve been toying with the idea for a quite a while of ordering myself a Quirky Crate, and now I’ve finally done it! Quirky Crate is a monthly subscription box containing a selection of fun, colourful and inspiring things that have been curated around a theme, featuring an item and bio card of a female artist (https://www.quirkycrate.com/). It’s a great way of bringing yourself or a loved one some joy and brightening up the day with a splash of colour. Although this isn’t technically a craft, I feel that treating yourself in this way every so often can really help to boost your creativity and act as great inspiration for future projects.

The April box that I signed up for was themed around the 1950s. I really love this decade, particularly the fashions and interior/furniture designs. I also really love the American pop culture of this decade that you often see depicted in films like Grease.

Included in the box was:

• Milkshake cross body bag
• Rockabilly sparrow enamel pin
• Dalmatian socks
• Pearl-vintage hair clips
• Polka dot headband
• Pearl cherry necklace
• Sticker sheet

The sticker sheet is designed by this month’s artist Natalie Michelle Watson, an illustrator from Melbourne (Instagram: @nataliemichellewatson).

It was really exciting to open this box when it arrived and see all the fun stuff inside. However, as Quirky Crate is based in the US and I’m based in the UK it did take a really long time to arrive. I signed up for the box on 25th March prior to the April shipment on 15th April. The next shipment date is advertised on the website for each box so you know when you can expect it to ship. I only signed up for the one box which was $36.95 (approx £29.80). I used a discount code which took off $7.39, but then had to add on international shipping at $17.25 so my total came to $46.81 (£37.78). Obviously the post is delayed at the moment due to the Coronavirus situation, so I wasn’t expecting it to come quickly. On 1st May I received an email from Royal Mail saying that I might have to pay a customs charge due to the declared value of the contents. According to the card inside the box the total value of the box is $101. Eventually I received a card through the post to say that I had to pay a customs charge of £15.63, which I sorted online (on the terrible Royal Mail website which kept saying they couldn’t find my tracking number and that the parcel didn’t exist) and finally had my box delivered on 27th May, over two months after placing the original order!

This is obviously not the fault of Quirky Crate, it’s just the hazards of shipping overseas, particularly at the moment. It does make me question whether or not I would order another one without first checking the value at which the customs charge comes into play though. My total expenditure on this box came to £53.41, including a discount, almost double the original cost of the box. If I saw another theme that really caught my attention I might consider ordering it, with the knowledge of how much it might cost, however I’m pretty glad I didn’t sign up for the three or six month subscription if it meant I had to pay a customs charge every month!

Having said that, I think it’s a lovely, well-curated box and I will thoroughly enjoy wearing all my new accessories! If I was based in the US I would certainly think about signing up and I know I would look forward to receiving it every month.

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