Ever since the successful subscription box "Broderibox" by Nordic Needle ceased to exist when the company was dissolved, I have been looking for a replacement. I loved these monthly boxes with a wide variety of embroidery threads and related goodies. For a whole year, I stitched up a small piece each month with the threads at hand (if you click the link above, you see my pieces). It was such a lovely opportunity to try out new threads and to hone my embroidery skills. Alas, the Broderibox is a thing of the past. Then I tried the "Stitchers Box" by Barbaral Creations (read my blog here). Lovely, but not quite the same thing. And these boxes are no longer produced either. And then there was StitchyBox! Back in June 2020, I ordered two. One finally arrived on 30-11-2020 and the other has still not shipped. More on that later. But first: let's un-box a StitchyBox!
So, what is a StitchyBox? I decided to order a countdown box with 30 individually wrapped embroidery goodies that can be opened one at a time each day. My box was called '2020 Oceans Small Batch Box". When you order your box, you have several fabric options. Mine was the lower count (no aida) as the higher count had already sold out. As I did not want to wait too long for my box, I ordered from the "ready-to-ship/ship-date-approaching". In my mind, this meant that these boxes were complete and ready to ship. As I ordered during the pandemic, I was not particularly worried when my box had not arrived after six weeks. Then I realised that I had never received a shipping confirmation. When I checked the website, there was a message that the shipping of the boxes was delayed due to the pandemic. That's when I realised that "ready-to-ship/ship-date-approaching" is not quite what it says. I think Stitchy Box designs a box, takes payment and then orders in the materials that go into a box. That's a valid business model. But does not work during a pandemic when ordering in materials has become a haphazard affair. When I ordered my boxes in June, there was no message on the website saying that there were any problems with getting the boxes ready and out. There was such a message when I checked after about six weeks. Never-ever was I approached by StitchyBox to clear me up on what was going on. Enfin, what did all these lovely paper bags contain?
These are the contents of the "2020 Oceans Small Batch Box":
- 7 skeins of embroidery thread (two variegated Flower Silk by StitchyBox, over-dyed floss by ThreadWorx, Colour & Cotton stranded cotton, Classic Color Works stranded cotton, Stitchy Silk by StitchyBox and DMC etoile)
- 7 small bags of beads (two delica 11/0 seed beads (1 g), Toho 11/0 seed beads (2 g), 10 natural 2mm adventurine beads, 10 2mm agate beads, 10 freshwater pearls and 10 2mm Swarowski glass beads Vintage Gold).
- 8 charms (Swarowski crystal, real shell, stone fish, glass penguin, ceramic seahorse, plastic seastar, metal seastar and metal crab).
- half a yard of blue twill tape, a length of variegated gimp, 6 shell buttons and a sticker.
- two cross-stitch charts.
- two pieces of linen ( 32 ct 35 x 24 cm Zweigart light-blue and 28 ct 32,5 x 23,5 hand-dyed linen).
Whilst I love the skeins of embroidery thread that are in the StitchyBox, I am not sure about some of the other contents. For my taste, the box is a bit heavy on charms. So what about the costs? This particular StitchyBox costs $80 with $25 shipping to Germany. Where it will cost you an additional €16,65 to have it released from customs. This amounts to €114 or $138. As shipping costs are much lower within the US and there are no additional custom's charges, you get a better deal. However, with the high shipping costs to Europe and the additional charges, the price for a StitchyBox is a bit steep.
As the message on the StitchyBox website currently states that all outstanding boxes will be shipped out during January and early February, I will probably receive the other box in March or April. As I couldn't really find anywhere what was in these boxes when I ordered mine, I conducted this experiment so you would have an idea of what it is you are potentially missing out on. Will I order from this company again? Probably not as I don't like the fact that they did not contact me when the shipping of my boxes was severely delayed. Taking payment is easy. Good customer service is hard work!
Do you have any experiences with StitchyBox? Do you feel that they are good value for money? Please leave your comments below! As I was unable to find recent reviews online let's make this blog post a reference for those seeking more information.
P.S. My January sale ends on 31-01-2021! Use the code JanuarySale2021 at checkout for 25% off your order. Price reduction ceases after 31-01-2021. Apart from "unique-to-me-products", products will not be restocked.
Happy New Year to you all! This year is going to be an exciting one with my new online course on medieval goldwork embroidery starting in a few weeks. When all goes to plan, I will do a re-run in the Autumn. This will leave enough time to tweak the course, order in supplies and ship out the course kits. That these margins are necessary proves the fact that one course kit is still in transit. Just like the other 14, it was shipped on the 20th of November 2020 ... As I am pretty sure that I will not be allowed to teach in-person this year, I also hope to be able to develop a new, shorter course on medieval stumpwork. What else do I have in store for you?
Apart from writing my weekly blog posts, I hope to do new videos with the Acupictrix. I acquired two antique books on embroidery that are well worth sharing with you. Embroidery-wise, I have started work again on my ridiculously large cope hood: On the shores of St. Nick. You will soon see an update. And I have ordered a Stitchy Box and received it after months of waiting. Always wanted to know what is in these? Stay tuned for an unboxing blog post.
And now to my January Sale :). As you probably have noticed by now: international mail is really slow. So far, I have been lucky that only two of the many orders I shipped have so far not turned up. It meant that I had to spend many an hour on chasing up German mail and USPS to track delayed shipments and deal with (very) upset costumers. Updating stock for my webshop has become problematic too: many manufactures cannot deliver on time and/or products have become more expensive. And then there was Brexit. I now have to fill out lengthy custom papers for orders to the UK too.
All in all, I have two choices: grow so that I can order in bulk, get a better price (stay competitive) and increase the volume of orders to earn a living. This would mean that I need to turn a larger part of my studio into storage and that teaching and embroidery take a back-seat. Or reduce the number of articles on offer and concentrate on those that are unique to me (patterns, kits, eBooks, jewellery and original artwork). As I am really keen on keeping embroidering myself and on teaching high-quality online embroidery courses, I am going the second route. Therefore, I am offering you 25% off everything in my webshop till the end of the month! Small items can be shipped worldwide for €7,20 (tracked). Larger items will need to be sent priority to most countries outside the EU at the moment. This is your chance to scoop up beautiful hand-dyed silk ribbons from House of Embroidery, high-quality wooden slate frames, linen embroidery fabrics and whatnot. Just use the code JanuarySale2021 at check-out. What's gone is gone. Happy shopping :).
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