Design Sponge Quarterly Co. #DSQ01 Box Review

When I first heard that Design Sponge was a new curator for Quarterly Co., I had to sign up right away! This is probably the box I was looking forward to the most this season.This subscription is $100/shipment. In theory, it ships once every 3 months but that’s not really always the case…

(Since I just recently reviewed the MSA box, I’m going to copy and paste most of my shipping rant here, since it’s the same complaint) Unfortunately, Quarterly has huge shipping problems. I personally don’t mind delayed shipping too much since you don’t get charged until they send the box, but I do get frustrated with the lack of communication. I would appreciate an email explaining why something is delayed and also an apology. I was really hoping to get this box in time to plan for Christmas gifting, but since it cut so close to the wire I wanted to play it safe and just went ahead and bought other presents. (For the record, I received my box on the 23rd.) I know the shipping delays aren’t Grace’s fault and a lot of factors go into putting a box together. Believe me, I totally understand! I used to work for a subscription company myself, and it’s so frustrating when a vendor doesn’t pull through or something breaks in shipment or any number of other possibilities. But I truly believe communication is key. I think most customers are understanding and willing to wait if they have more information about why a delay is happening.

Design Sponge Quarterly Co. #DSQ02 Box ReviewI really love Grace’s letter: it explained why she chose each item and also includes a few personal stories. It really gave me a better idea of how she curated the box and what influenced her decisions. Thoughtful and insightful!

Design Sponge Quarterly Co. #DSQ02 Box ReviewAna Striped Tapers | $24.00
While candles are really abundant in subscription boxes, it’s really quite rare to find taper candles! I think because candlesticks can feel super old school and too formal, not everyone has a candlestick holder. And if you don’t have a holder, these are completely useless. Using makeshift holders can be potentially dangerous, since you don’t want the whole thing to tip over (the candle is heavier than you think!) or the candle to be leaning in any direction. I definitely didn’t have a holder for the longest time because I never thought I’d be fancy enough for actual candlesticks! So while I love how whimsical these are and appreciate the departure from tin candles, I do think some people might be frustrated.

Design Sponge Quarterly Co. #DSQ02 Box ReviewRifle Paper Co. Floral Composition Notebook | $7.00
I adore anything by Rifle Paper Co. so this was an automatic win. This is such a pretty little pocket notebook! The size is perfect for keeping in your purse and there are perforated pages that you can rip out. There’s also a folder in the front cover for receipts or ticket stubs or business cards. How did I not already own this?! The only thing that would make it better: attached elastic to keep it shut, like my favorite Moleskine notebooks have.

Design Sponge Quarterly Co. #DSQ02 Box ReviewWary Meyers Cedarwood and Vanilla Glycerin Soap | $14.00
I love that this soap matches the candles perfectly! While I’m not crazy about the scent (I find the Cedarwood to be overpowering), I can’t deny that this is one gorgeous piece of soap. Wary Meyers makes all their soaps in small batches up in Maine, and I’m all about supporting small handmade businesses. They have some really gorgeous ombre soaps that I want to check out. Too bad I go through bar soaps so slowly, I always get impatient to try a new one before my current bar even has a dent in it!

Design Sponge Quarterly Co. #DSQ02 Box ReviewIllume Woodfire Oversized Matches | $5.00
Currently on sale for $2.50, these matches are a thoughtful addition to the candles. If you were planning to gift the candles, this would be absolutely perfect! The packaging is beautiful and oversized matches always feel so luxe (ugh, did I really just call matches luxe?!).

Design Sponge Quarterly Co. #DSQ02 Box ReviewKusmi Tea St. Petersburg Tin | $16.95
I can’t get enough of Kusmi Tea! I love the design of their tins and the actual teas are so delicious. For those who have not tried any, I highly recommend their Rose Green Tea. To. Die. For. I haven’t tried this St. Petersburg blend before but I really love it. It’s Earl Grey, caramel, citrus, and berries: sweet but still perfectly refreshing. Also this tin is just too cute; I adore the color combos and pattern! I think there was a bit of variation with this item since I saw other reviewers got a Christmas blend that looks equally delicious. Now I want to try that one too.

Design Sponge Quarterly Co. #DSQ02 Box ReviewA Heirloom Cutting Board in Beech | $45.00
This item was the spoiler that was released, but in the spoiler picture they showed a picture of the Walnut board ($50.00). I was really looking forward to the dark wood, so the Beech is less impressive. Nonetheless, I love the pattern and this is a very high quality product. So heavy and sturdy! I love that one side can be used for cutting and the pattern side for serving. Super chic!

Design Sponge Quarterly Co. #DSQ02 Box Review

Cotton & Flax Coasters Set of 2 | $13.00
I didn’t think I would like these coasters since they looked kind of cheap in all the photos I saw, but now that I have it in person I love it. Felt coasters make so much sense! It’s soft enough to absorb some water and prevent your cup from sliding, yet sturdy enough to feel like a substantial coaster. Plus I love that the pattern matches the cutting board/serving platter! Really tempted to buy more coasters from Cotton & Flax! I’m also a total sucker for letterpressed labels…

Design Sponge Quarterly Co. #DSQ02 Box Review

Overall value for #DSQ01 box: $124.95. For $100, I’m a little on the fence. While I think this box (as are most Quarterly boxes) is more about the curation, I do wish the value were higher. I love almost everything in this box and think each item is tasteful. The curation feels cohesive and well planned. Nothing feels like filler, and it all seems well made and of great quality. I also love that a lot of the brands are small independently owned businesses that I would love to purchase things from in the future.

On the other hand, it somehow felt a tiny bit lacking for a $100 box. Maybe because the “big ticket item” wasn’t what was promised? I’m definitely a little annoyed with the bait and switch of the A Heirloom cutting board! There’s also the problem of the delayed shipping. I probably would have enjoyed the box more if I had received it on time, well before Christmas. For $75, I think this box would be a home run. It would have really been an amazing box for that cost. Is it weird that I’m getting hung up over $25? I guess the bottom line is: While I’m happy with what I received and love the items/ range of brands, I hope her next box is even better with a little more bang for the buck! I can’t wait to see what we’ll be getting!


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