There’s nothing that makes me feel more like an excited child than getting the mail anding a surprise in there.  It could be something I’ve ordered.  It could be a letter or card.  It doesn’t matter.  It feels like winning the lottery.

That’s part of the reason why I love two new services- one is called Birchbox, where, for a small fee, they send you a box of samples of beauty products and occasionally other items, each month as a subscription kind of thing.  The items are useful, neat and satisfy my need to explore new stuff without spending time scouring the mall or Sephora.

The real winner in the care packages by mail contest is  Quarterly allows you to subscribe to quarterly boxes/packages of nifty stuff, found and “curated” by designers, web folks, creatives and more.  Just reading about the folks involved is fascinating- getting boxes from them is even better.  I have several subscriptions, and I’ve gotten nifty things including:

  • A shower note pad (something I did not know was around but is incredibly helpful since I get half my best ideas in the shower)
  • a leatherman-like tool, great for any geek’s travel gear bag
  • a small cocoon grid-it cord organizer, perfect for my laptop bag
  • A 3-d printed filigree skull sculpture that was incredibly neat
  • A metal magnetic kitchen timer and recipes

The items come with notes, information about them, and it’s been a really fun experience.  Even better, when I had a small problem with one package, I sent an email about it to Quarterly, and the CEO responded personally and sent me a note in the mail.  It was an amazing customer service experience, and was really thoughtful.  I was already a huge fan- this just helped seal the deal even farther.

The whole concept of getting small surprises and items to spur thought, creativity and experience is fantastic.  It’s like having a great friend who is looking out for stuff you might like, and just pops it in the mail to you when hey get a chance.  (Yes, this is on a schedule and you are paying for it, but it feels much more like a surprise, since the items come every few months in the mail.)

I’m thrilled with these new services, and I hope you give them a try, too.  There’s nothing like getting a surprise in the mail, and it’s doubly terrific when it comes from folks you like and admire, and get to share a bit of what they find fascinating.  It’s well worth the “risk”- and really, it ends up being no risk at all, just delight.