You know when you get a brand email and you know they've researched your blog and know you're a good fit for eachother and they send you a personal email and are lovely and you're all like YASSSSSS. That's how I felt when Cratejoy got in touch to discuss their subscription box service, and more importantly for me; their bullet journal boxes.
It'll come as no surprise to you that bullet journaling and planning is one of my favourite things to do and the idea that there might be a subscription box based on the humble bujo.
Subscription boxes are no new concept and Cratejoy is no different, except it's a one stop shop for ALL the subscription boxes. You'll find everything from homeware to stationery to food to plants to books to gaming and familiar faces like Papergang and it couldn't be simpler. Search for what box you want and you can subscribe, grab one as a one off, send one as a gift, sample them all - anything and everything you could want.
Cratejoy is an Austin based company and whilst a lot of their sellers are from the States, lots ship worldwide and there's plenty of UK based brands too.
Cratejoy offered to send me a bullet journal inspired subscription box to try out and share my opinion on because if there's anything that suits my readership- it's the chance to get 204897238473 new stationery picks delivered to their door.
The box I was sent was this month's Spotlight Stationery bundle and whilst a complete surprise which one would arrived, I was immediately in love. FYI for every sale Spotlight Stationery makes, they make a donation to Gloucestershire Young Carers, a charity that provides a range of services for young carers and their families. I adore them.
The first thing that strikes me about this service is the box was super small and flat which meant it went through the letterbox smoothly whilst I was out, a feature which I love because nobody needs that red 'please collect your post from the depo a billion miles away from your home' notice.
The second thing was despite the size, the box was FULL. Honest to god I kept unpacking tissue paper and digging through and more and more and more kept spilling out. It is BEAUTIFULLY packaged, some items were wrapped in delicate navy tissue paper, some were bound, some were in envelopes - it makes such a difference to a service when there's so much care put into hand packing something.
When I opened the box, the first thing I found on top of the beautiful wrapping was a hand written postcard (seriously, can we talk about the badger/strawberry design please) with a little note from the Cratejoy team. It's little details like this that make brand collabs stand out, the little bit of thought that makes your day when you open it.
And what happened when I peeled off the sticker? A hand written envelope with my name on. I die.
Inside the envelope was a bunch of postcards designed by some (obviously talented) young people, including another copy of my fav little badger guys. Every month Spotlight Stationery work wth young illustrators and designers on their postcard packs and I'm undecided what I want to do with mine. I'm either going to be selfish and adorn my bujo because they totally fit into my black and white theme or I'll be nice and send them in the post to some pals. Wait and see.
The theme of this month's Spotlight Stationery box is Texture so as well as the postcards (of which there are many) there was also a snazzy pencil and pen which are designed around their grip and ease of use, a bookmark, some super fancy envelopes which tie closed with string and the highlight for me, not one but 2 full sized notebooks.
Obviously with everything based around texture that's the first thought you come to, the corrugated cardboard style, the polka dot cut outs, the pencil is ace and you can't beat a handy little pen which it comes to a bujo themed goody box.
My absolute favourites were the notebooks, one is plain so naturally handy for that illustrator life I lead but the second is a squared notebook which is IDEAL when I've just started a new bullet journal for 2017 in the same format. The notebooks aren't thick, remember they have to fit through the letterbox but I plan on using mine as a sort of tester notebook for my real journal, a place to do a few doodles and try out some layouts before making the commitment to the journal itself.
When it comes to brand collaborations I really try to give the best information I can and recommend something I'd genuinely spend cold hard cash on and I can honestly say a subscription box from Cratejoy is right up there.
Bullet journals are the love of my life and to find a service that will send you new goodies every single month through your door is the way to my heart. I was sent my box as a surprise but I've since spent countless hours searching the Cratejoy website and everything they have to offer and stationery aside a minute, the range they have is ridiculous. I found one full of white and gold homeware. I don't even need to tell you what an excellent idea that it.
There genuinely is something for everyone box theme wise and budget wise, there's cheap ones, middle range ones and luxury ones and I think they'd make such a fun alternative gift. I mentioned 3 other subscription boxes in my Valentine's Gift Guide because as I said there, how can you say I love you better than a years worth of gifts?
As for bullet journal obsessives like me? Get your butt on Cratejoy and get ordering!
* My subscription box was sent to me for free in exchange for a review but all opinions, words and bullet journal goodies are very much my own.