There have been some international stationery subscription boxes that I have been wanting to try. The first one that I finally tried is called Maker Monthly. Their website states that the box lets the subscriber…
Unwrap inspiration every month.
I had been particularly taken by this box because of the simplicity of the offer, and the fact that they include notebooks and pens in the box every month. There’s something so exciting in getting new pens and notebooks in the mail on a monthly basis. The price was the one that finally convinced me to try it. It’s a flat $30 for international subscriptions ($20 for US, $25 for Canada) and that includes the shipping fee as well. The subscription automatically renews at the start of every month, but you do have the option to skip a month if you like.
I had signed up for my first box last December. The shipping notice told me that my box shipped out December 30, and it arrived at the QC Central Post Office on January 13, which is not bad. It did take a while to get the notice from the PO, and I was finally able to pick it up on January 21. I was lucky enough to not get charged with any customs fees beyond the processing fee (Php112).
I of course unboxed it immediately when I got home, which explains the obvious bedsheet background in these photos. The Maker Monthly box is a sturdy cardboard box with a simple branding on the lid. Upon lifting the lid this is what you will see. There’s a flat package on top with a big tag with Maker branding. Under this flat package is a bunch of paper filler to help protect the rest of the items.
Each item is actually neatly packaged in individual packaging. I really like how classy the kraft packaging looks. There are three individually wrapped packages, three of the big paper tags, and a bonus bell charm which I think was included because of the holidays (since it’s a December box).
The contents of the packages are laid out here. The biggest but flattest package held a January calendar printed on good quality cardstock. Unfortunately this came a bit too late since there were only 10 more days of January when I received my box. Still, I appreciated the idea of the calendar, and I do like the design on the top part, which I can still use in some way. The next package held a pack of Field Notes Snowblind edition (my first Field Notes!), and the last and smallest package held three writing instruments!
As I said, I got a pack of three Field Notes Snowblind Edition notebooks and I am quite excited to see them. These are my first Field Notes notebooks and I can’t wait to actually try them out. I’m very happy that I got a gridded set. I have yet to see the color-changing properties of the cover – it’s supposed to turn blue under direct sunlight. The value of this pack is roughly Php499, which is the going price of Snowblind locally.
I also got three of these gigantic paper tags, which looks pretty cool and made of good quality cardstock. I still have no idea what to use them for, but they’re a nice touch.
The first of the pens I got is a Sharpie Permanent Marker in Metallic Bronze. I don’t actually have a lot of Sharpie markers, and I love that I got a bronze one. It would have been so nice to get this back in December as it works well to mark holiday gifts, but I’m never sad to receive any new pen. This Sharpie pen has a value of approximately Php167.
The second of the pens is a Pilot Fineliner in Black. As a self-confessed Pilot fangirl, seeing this in my box certainly made me one happy girl. I do not have a Pilot Fineliner yet, and I’m happy to be able to try this. I also don’t think this is available locally. Internet prices puts this at approximately Php115 value.
The last of the pens I received is actually not a pen. It’s a Pentel Graphgear 500 mechanical pencil in 0.9 width. Now normally I’m not a pencil user, much less something that has a very thick width. This mechanical pencil looks really professional and feels good in the hand. I like how the grip feels. This is going to be my office pencil from this point on. It has an approximate value of Php275, and has a good chance of being available locally as well.
I am no pen enthusiast if I didn’t do writing samples. Here’s all three, tested on a Rhodia N11 pad. I really like the sheen of the bronze Sharpie, the fine line made by the Pilot Fineliner, and the smoothness of the Pentel Graphgear. Overall I am very pleased with this selection of pens.
Looking at it as a whole, the total value of the products (excluding the paper calendar, tags, and bell charm) comes up to around Php1050, which is roughly $21. This is definitely way less than the $30 that I paid, but considering that there is the shipping cost to consider as well as the non-availability of some of the products locally I think the contents of the box are quite fair. I did sign up for the January box as well and am eagerly waiting for its arrival.