Subscription box services are the hottest gift-giving trend of the season. There’s seemingly a well-curated collection of stuff that can be chosen, sealed and delivered to anyone on your list. And not just once, but often once a month.
Subscription boxes allow you to wow your niche-obsessed friends, kids, sister or mother-in-law, while removing the guesswork and the need for research. From artisan food to beauty and yoga products, you’re sure to find something to satisfy even the pickiest recipent on your gift list.
For girls with grace and grit
Empowering girls to achieve great things just got easier — and more fun — with the Grace & Grit gift box. This subscription service is the creation of Heather Stark of Aledo.
Stark, who holds a master’s degree in school counseling and a “Teacher of the Year” award, created these boxes around character traits exemplified by famous women — Harriet Tubman for courage, Annie Sullivan for devotion — and each one is brimming with related confidence-building information and activities, plus a pendant or a bracelet with a theme charm and a little gift like a headband, lace gloves or a key fob to serve as a touchstone for everyday inspiration.
Each month is $35, and subscriptions can be customized. www.graceandgritbox.com.
For the olfactory inclined
Give the gift of smell to a particularly nosy friend. Vellabox curates artisan candles, with a new fragrance — or two — arriving by mail each month.
The company introduces new vendors regularly, all non-toxic, lead-free and hand poured. (Finally! Candles your friends won’t re-gift.)
The gift subscriptions are flexible, ranging from $10 to $30 monthly, available in three-, six- or twelve-month increments. www.vellabox.com.
For the lazy baker
Whether short on time or a novice in the kitchen, So Bakeable allows you to make homemade treats with minimal hassle.
The box arrives in the mail with premeasured ingredients — you’ll only have to add milk, butter and eggs. And with a handy app as an accessory, So Bakeable promises its videos and pictures will teach you new techniques, tips and inspire decorating ideas.
You can gift one dessert (around $30) or monthly subscription boxes that come with two treats each 30 days ($99-$190). www.sobakeable.com.
For your foodie friend
The Fare Trade promises artisanal ingredients that have been blessed by renowned chefs.
Your friend will get a special delivery once a month that may include small-batch kimchi paste or citrus olive oil from Temecula. One only needs to check the Fare Trade blog to find inspiration and recipes for each ingredient.
You can gift one box at a time at $65 or sign up for three boxes ($60 per box) or five boxes ($55 per box). www.thefaretrade.com.
For the product hound
Birchbox was at the forefront of the gift subscription craze, but it has aged well.
With options for men and women, the beauty-focused subscription sends sample sizes of makeup, hair products, face cleansers, shaving accessories and more. It’s a dream for any beauty fanatic.
Gift subscriptions for women start at $30 for three months and men at $60 for three months. www.birchbox.com.
For your zen girlfriend
BuddhiBox is a great gift for the loved one who can’t get enough downward facing dog.
Whether it includes a colorful yoga strap, an alluring essential oil blend or a calming tea, the gift boxes claim to inspire a yogi lifestyle — both in class and out.
The yoga box can be purchased for $35 a month with a $5 shipping fee, or snag a month free by buying a full year upfront. www.buddhiboxes.com.
For the wine enthusiast
Winc is certain to please that special someone with a renowned nose, a refined palate and a love of discovery.
The wine delivery service allows your vino-loving pal to create a palate profile and tailors recommendations to his or her taste.
The subscription services offers gift boxes with wine and accessories (starting at $50), boxes intended for group tastings (starting at $100) or gift cards that can be used on its monthly delivery service with wines starting at $13/bottle. www.winc.com.
For kids with big dreams
From its base in Fort Worth, the national nonprofit Dream Outside the Box works to connect college students with elementary school students who live in under-served communities, and together they explore professional career paths, helping the children to broaden their horizons and envision paths to success.
Fort Worth native Kam S. Phillips founded the program in 2009 while she was a college freshman studying social work in Missouri, and there are now 10 chapters at colleges across the country, including TCU and UNT.
This summer, DOTB began a subscription gift box service called “Dream Delivered,” allowing anyone, anywhere to share a gift of opportunity and education with a child ages 5 to 10. Boxes are career-themed and contain four to six activities, a custom magazine and more.
For every box purchased, a child is helped in two ways: DOTB gives a box to a child in a low socioeconomic area, and 100 percent of the proceeds fund DOTB’s mission of helping kids, one dream at a time.
It’s $29 for a single month, $240 for a year’s subscription. www.dreamdelivered.org.
For parents of stylish children
This box service is for parents who don’t have time to shop (so, all of them).
Wee Blessing aims to take the price comparing and shopping around out of the kids clothing buying experience, sending one package a month with outfits tailored to your child’s taste — with name brands guaranteed at 40 to 80 percent off.
The service is offered for newborn to 14-year-olds, and each box comes with four outfits. You can give a subscription, paying for shipping ($9.95) and letting your friend pick up the tab for outfits, or you can give them outfits based on a budget you select. www.weeblessing.com.
For parents of picky eaters
They say the best way to get kids to expand their palettes is to get them into the kitchen. But Kidstir isn’t just for picky eaters — any kid with a culinary curiosity would love to get a box of recipes, games and puzzles in the mail each month.
Each box comes with two kid-size cooking tools and themed activity materials, a shopping list, three fun games and puzzles, three kid-friendly recipes and more. Subscriptions come in one-, three-, six- and annual increments starting at $12.95 per month. www.kidstir.com.
Staff writer Jenny B. Davis contributed to this story.