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Thursday, 22 October 2015

Has My Little Box Jumped the Shark?*

Dear Scribblers

If you've followed me on Instagram (@TheCraftyScribe), you'll have noticed I've given a lot of time to My Little Box UK. 

This is a French company which offers monthly subscription boxes containing beauty and lifestyle items for £14.95 a month (that includes p&p). It has been operating in France and Japan a while, and in September 2014, it opened its doors to Britain. I was one of the early subscribers. 

When I received my first box, I was overwhelmed, and my Instagram post reflected that, with the comment, "My, oh, my, oh, my!" Along with fab beauty goodies (Nuxe, Laura Mercier and their own, My Little Beauty) came with a super glossy mini magazine, a laptop cover, and a notebook and stickers - be still my journalling techie heart!!!

I adored the second box even more, with the fabulous collaboration with Diane von Furstenberg, receiving a gorgeous scarf and brooch, along with a decent selection of beauty items. 

This went on, and I continued to sneak in Instagram photos containing the occasional item found inside the subscription box, including this photo I took at the 8 month mark. 

I'd received some amazing parcels, including collaborations with Ines de la Fressange and Fleur de Force (although FdF was just the face, and the item collaboration in that box had been with French blogger, 'Make My Lemonade'.

Inside by now, the lifestyle bits had included: a mini-mug, phone holder, calendar, and - be still my stationery loving heart - pattern paper tape, superhero stickers, multiple-message stamp and ink pad. The beauty items had some additional impressive names of By Terry, Kérastase and La Roche-Posay.

One change had been our lovely glossy mini-mag had changed to a cheap recycled paper poster fold-out style, with no word as to why by My Little Box. Strange, as the French version of their box continued to receive the glossy version. 

Over the next few months, even though I found that not every box lived up to the standard they had set themselves in the beginning, I continued to subscribe and post photos on Instagram

I've noticed a change in the quality of the boxes. The collaborations have been not as high profile and with companies we don't know of, but sometimes this can be a good thing, as you discover fab new items. Like I said, sometimes, not all the time. 

The same goes with beauty items, lots of unknown names, although I received a lip/cheek mousse from a company called So Susan - Colour Hybrid in Marsala - and it's an amazing velvet matt in a perfect shade for me. It's in my top 5 lip products ever!

It also doesn't mean that just because a company is well known that you're going to always like the products. Take me and L'Occitane - I'm not a fan, so their colab on the Provence box was never going to be my favourite. Although, from what I read on the MyLittleBoxUK Facebook page, others were unhappy as the products in the box were being given away for free that week in UK L'Occitane stores! Another black mark. 

I've stayed with my subscription as I've always found at least one or two items in the box as worth having. That is until this month. Unfortunately, My Little Box raised my expectations when they sent this email: 

The email (sent on 7 October) went on to say this month's box was called the My Little Creative Box! Yippee! I thought, and Instagramed my excitement!

What was going to be in it? Maybe pens? A mindfulness colouring book? Sketch book? Little palette of paints? Maybe take the creativity into make up - cosmetic brushes? Or face paints for Halloween?... Not one bit of it!... Here's what I received on 22 October:

Can you see anything to do with creativity there? No. It's all about promoting Pinterest

The paper poster magazine is full of photos and an interview with a Pinterest slant, as is the gorgeously illustrated by Kanako, as normal, quote card. 

The lifestyle items have nothing to do with creativity. It's a jute bag with an advert on one side and "Collect moments not things" on the other, and a bag of tiny fiddly beads for sticking on your tech leads! They seem fine for a 8 to 12 year old, but for late teens and adults? Give us some respect! Plus the colours are more spring season - pastels - pink, blue, orange, cream grey, not quite right for autumn/winter, even if you were inclined to use them. 

The beauty products are just a bit 'meh!' Almost every month (in the last 5 months), I've received a body cream. I mean, how many can one person use? Also, once again on their Facebook page, I see complaints of people receiving the exact same make and colour of nail varnish they received a few months back! Now, that's just sloppy data keeping. 

also don't agree with their comment in the magazine editorial that it's time to say goodbye to old-school scrapbooking. Do they not see the craze of daily scrapbooking with items such as 'Project Life', We r Memorykeepers 'Albums Made Easy' and their like? What about smashbooking? Or the out and out phenomena of Pretty Planning and the planneraddict and filofaxaddict communities?

So has My Little Box truly 'jumped the shark'? Sigh! It's such a shame as they began so well. I always wondered if they would run out of steam. I had hoped not, but now I wonder... However, a fail in my eyes, does not make a disaster to all. I'm only one person, this is only my opinion, at this time. 

I could give a knee jerk reaction and cancel my subscription, but I won't. I'm going to give My Little Box the benefit of the doubt, and give them another chance, and stay with them to the end of the year before giving my final verdict. 

I'll keep you posted!

Happy Scribing!

* (Wonder what 'Jumped The Shark' means? Check out this excellent Wikipedia page, it'll tell you all you need to know! 😃👍)

1. Please note that I am not connected to any companies mentioned in this post. I do not receive any products, funding or gifting from these businesses. All products shown have been bought by me, or gifts from family or friends. I mention the items because I like them or have my own private opinion about them. It's just little old me talking about ma stuff! ;-)

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4. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram - @TheCraftyScribe which I update regularly with all things crafty, scribbling, beauty, fashion, the cats, sci-fi, fantasy, and the ephemera of 42*................... 

*42 = Life, The Universe and Everything!

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