Friday, July 15, 2011

Lost Crates

One of the most interesting ideas I've come across is Lost Crates, a "stationery-of-the-month" club of sorts where you sign up, take a short personality quiz, and then receive stationery and other office supplies on a monthly basis. You get an assortment of notebooks, pens, pencils, and many more items every month, and while you can't choose what goes into your crate you can be assured of a great selection of products.

Sara Ostman, Communications Analyst at Lost Crates, very generously offered to send me a sample crate to try out and I'm very grateful to her (and Danny, the founder) for the chance to review both the concept and the contents.

As you can see from the above picture, the boxes are sturdy and there's a wonderful personal note inside (thanks, Danny!). I like the idea that this company is small enough, or just interested enough, to hand write notes. Notemaker does this as well and I find I really like this extra, personal touch.

Lost Crates makes sure everything is wrapped securely and packaged so that nothing can get dented, ripped, or broken. The old-fashioned brown paper wrapping tied with string comes straight out of the 19th century, and is charming. I also like the label, which lets you know exactly what's inside.

Finally, there's the shipment. This one included a fantastic Archie Grand notebook in turquoise (one of Pantone's recent color-of-the-year choices) with the inscription "Lies I Told And Liked" front and center. This particular notebook had different paper than the one I reviewed a short time back, smoother rather than pebbled and bright white. It looks like a real conversation stopper as well as a great notebook, and I'm looking forward to using it.

Also included:

  • a Lamy red ABC Fountain Pen for beginners, one of the cutest fountain pens around. I haven't tried one and am looking forward to writing with this;
  • a Made By Humans eco eraser stick: the exterior is made from recycled bamboo paper and is a wonderful tawny color, the eraser is made from recycled rubber and is a great orange color with a blue recycle logo in the middle; and,
  • a Bob's Your Uncle Soup to Nuts tear-off note pad with lots of space for shopping lists and blocks for checking off purchases.
Lost Crates is a great idea, and while I am a bit hesitant about the $38 a month price (it seems so much!) I have to admit that the total amount of the items I received was well over that. So I've decided to take the plunge and become a member. I'm looking forward to receiving a monthly box, and likely will blog about the crates and their contents in months to come.

I'm also interested in how the personality quiz changes the contents and will likely play around with that from month to month. In my first quiz I chose, among other things, paisley and steak ans two favorites. This new quiz, I changed to ice cream and chintz. Can't wait to see what my next crate looks like!

I would guess that if two people wanted to split the cost of a Lost Crate membership, changing the quiz on a monthly basis (or adding other personality clues in the blank space at the end) would make the boxes more personal and interesting for both people. It's certainly something to think about, if you're mulling over membership.