Posted by on in MSA Quarterly Box | 163 comments

Update on the My Subscription Addiction Quarterly Box

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My Subscription Addiction Quarterly Box Reveal #MSA01 Box

This is a difficult post to write, but after giving it a lot of thought, I’m come the conclusion that it is best to end the My Subscription Addiction Quarterly box.

I really like what Quarterly is doing as a company, I’ve discovered some of my favorite products through their curated boxes, and I will continue to review their boxes.

Sometimes though, a partnership just isn’t the right fit, and that’s what has happened here.

I’ll be completely honest – it is stressful for me being a curator. I don’t want to let anyone down, and at the same time I know that no box can please 100% of subscribers every time, so it’s a struggle. I have lost sleep over this subscription. I have been super-stressed out over delayed shipments of products, or last minute changes.  I have realized that while I have complete control over what does or doesn’t go in the box, I don’t have control over other aspects of the subscription (which is what Quarterly does), and that set up can be frustrating for a control-freak like myself.  (I’m sure this setup makes sense for about every other possible curator though).

Since Quarterly is making changes this year, including no longer accepting returns on boxes, I think it is the right time to end the subscription. (I always took comfort in knowing that if someone hated the box I curated they could return it for a full refund.)

(Pretty much no subscriptions allow for returns, so I completely understand why Quarterly made this change).

While this subscription has been a learning experience for me, (and a sometimes stressful experience), it’s also been wonderful thanks to you. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to get feedback on the box, and to hear how much you love one or more of the items I selected. Your trust in me for putting together this box has been amazing – I can’t thank you enough!

My favorite parts of this experience has been the curation, and the feedback from you, so I’m going to think about how I can keep that aspect moving forward. (I have so many product and theme ideas for all of 2015!)

Let me know if you have any questions.

Written by Liz Cadman

Liz Cadman

Liz is the founder of My Subscription Addiction. She’s been hooked on subscription boxes since 2011 thanks to Birchbox, and she now subscribes to over 100 boxes. Her favorites include POPSUGAR Must Have, FabFitFun, and any box that features natural beauty products!
All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.

163 Comments

  1. I echo the sadness that people are expressing. I enjoyed your curations and could see that you put a tremendous amount of effort and care into your selections. But if this partnership is causing you too much stress and becoming less than enjoyable, then you certainly have the right to make whatever decision is best for you.

  2. Let us down gently with one more box? <—-selfish, I'm glad you're doing what's best for you <—–not selfish. Either way I'm sorry it didn't work out.

  3. i agree, if it’s not fun for you then forget it! i hope that you find another form of curation that works for you. the whole idea of a box is that we all LOVE getting surprises in the mail…so a ‘liz’ favorite things’ page will never be a substitution. thank you for all your time and energy with #1 and #2. Best boxes ever.

  4. Thank you for being so open and honest! Glad to hear the news from you first. I enjoyed your two boxes tremendously, even if my initial thought on some items was hesitation. For example, I didn’t think I would love the coffee body scrub from MSA01 box but it was amazing! Each box allowed me to discover new products so I am sad to not have a MSA03 box but always looking forward to the amazing deals you post!

  5. Liz, I have loved your boxes. I completely understand where you are coming from. You really have to put yourself out there and I am sure behind the scenes there is so much stress. Sometimes its just not worth it. I am wearing my Baublebar necklace and used my Tatcha this morning. I love all your picks. I know that I can trust your option because you have great taste!

  6. curate your own box through this site! you are loved and everyone will help.put your project on kickstarter and get funded.

    • I echo the request for you to create your own box! You have such a loyal following! And such great tastes. I know it would subscribe!

      I got both the msa boxes and am bummed there won’t be more but I completely understand! You need to do what makes you happy.

      You have such a great site and I visit it many times a day. Thank you for all that you do for us!!!

      • I agree with everything Kelly said!

        Curating should be as fun for you as it is for your subscribers, so I hope you find a way to do it that is fulfilling (and not as stressful) for you. I would subscribe in a heartbeat 🙂

        Thanks for all your hard work Liz!

  7. Liz, thanks so much for the last two great boxes. I was introduced to Tatcha by your first box, which became one of my must have products. It’s sad to hear MSA is coming to an end, but I totally understand where you ‘re coming from. I would be super stressed too, and I can’t take stress that well.

    Hope you continue posting more great reviews! Thanks.

  8. Liz,

    As a subscriber this makes me so sad…you put all the other boxes out there to shame. Your box was my favorite, and you did such a fantastic job with the items you selected, you’ve introduced me to some of my favorite brands. I can understand that it can be a stressful process and you can’t make everyone happy. So I just want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to subscribe and I will continue to enjoy your reviews and recommendations. If you ever decide to pursue this type of thing again though I wouldn’t hesitate about signing up.

  9. As a fellow control freak I can totally understand that the stress of curating a box that people cannot return would be tough. That said, I think you were/are a superb curator with your boxes. I hope that a similar company begins to rival Quarterly (not that I don’t like Quarterly) because I would love to see curators like you and Eva come back.

  10. If it has stopped being fun for you, and has started being stressful, I’d say you made the right call. You’ve got a duty to yourself and your own sanity, first and foremost!

  11. Noooo! Aw, this makes me so sad because I LOVED your boxes! I totally understand why you are choosing to part ways, though; I can’t even imagine how stressful everything must have been. I personally was offended when I saw people bashing your boxes because I know from reading your blog how much hard work you put into them! People can just be mean sometimes, especially on the internet. In the end, you obviously have to do what’s best for you, and if ending the Quarterly box will bring you more peace then that’s the best thing to do. I’ll definitely miss it, though!

  12. I loved your boxes (my dog and I are under the blanket right now!) and the information about the process, but I’m glad you’re doing what’s best for you – like another commenter sort of said, it’s great to see someone we all have a lot of respect for say “this isn’t a good fit” and move on. 🙂

    I would love to see more of your ‘curation’ though, maybe through lists of your favorite products!

  13. I’m so sorry Liz. I truly loved both of your boxes and really appreciated the thoughtful curation that went into them. Although I’m very disappointed by your decision, I completely understand it and I do hope that perhaps you come out with your own box in the future!! Thanks for all you do!!

  14. I hope you will stick to your curation endeavors, Liz! You’re the best!

  15. I’m so sorry to hear this – I was looking forward to your next box. I can see how it could be a lot of work and frustration though. I figured you were one curator who would be safe from the effects of the no-return policy (even when people cancel the boxes will get snapped right up on best-of) but I can see why that would be the last straw in a frustrating experience. It would be great if you could still do a box for them occasionally – I don’t know if they let someone do something less often. If you didn’t have the pressure of coming out with something every three months would that work better for you? I know I’d rather have an MSA box every six months than none at all!

    • Great idea! I would love that too!

  16. I adored your box but completely understand your decision. I hope you got from the experiment that you have a lot of loyal followers who trust your judgement and curation! (Are you perhaps thinking of doing a box yourself, outside of quarterly? I know that might not help your stress and sleep but you’d have full control!)

  17. What a bummer! I definitely looked forward to your box, even though I didn’t care all that much for #2. I thought you did a fantastic job, and I’m sorry to hear it was more stressful than you wanted it to be. But you have a life! I imagine just running this blog and finding time to do all your review, along with keeping up with the other aspects of your life, keeps you busy enough as it is. If you ever reconsider, maybe think about doing a once-a-year luxury box–I know it would sell out!

  18. Thank you for all the work that you put into your boxes. The blanket from the MSA02 box is sitting on my couch right now and I was wearing the socks this morning. I completely understand your decision to end your partnership with quarterly. I’m sure it was a learning experience that will help inform your future endeavors. Good luck with your next project! (Can I add how cool it would be for you to curate a special edition birchbox?)

  19. I sort of saw this coming. Although, I was afraid it was going to be Quarterly who ended the collaboration (not because of you but because they seem to be ditching curators here and there quite frequently).

    I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult the process was for you. I know that it probably was more than you signed up for, but you did an excellent job.

    Also, I hope that the haters out there didn’t upset you too much. You really can’t please everyone no matter how hard you try. I will miss getting your box.

  20. I am so sad about this. I just signed up for your box the other day because I loved seeing your last two boxes. I’m sad that I won’t be able to get the next box. I know you would have picked a fantastic spring box. I wish you would reconsider, I think you were doing a great job!

  21. I just want to echo the general feeling of sadness but support. I hope you’re able to find something that works better for you!

  22. As a subscriber, I was looking forward to your third box but if I were in your shoes, as a curator, I would do the same. You have to live life doing what makes you happy and let go of things that don’t if at all possible.

  23. Liz, well said and I can imagine what a hard decision this was for you to make. I loved your boxes and if you ever venture to do your own maybe twice a year special box, sign me up. I am sure for someone like yourself that cares so much about the experience for the subscriber not to have total control would be very hard. You should be very proud of your venture with Quarterly and of your acceptance that it may not be the right fit. Again, if you decide to do something different, count me in as a subscriber.

  24. Liz,

    I’m very sad to hear this news. I subscribed the day you announced the first box and I LOVED them both. Like many others, I trusted your curation and felt like you knew exactly what I wanted. Thanks for all that you do, and I look forward to whatever you do in the future.

  25. Feeling all the sads over this!! But I do understand. Love your website…thank you so much for all the time and effort you put into this for your audience. It is most appreciated!

  26. Oh no! Shocking! It’s such a shame but you need to do what’s best for you. You are the BEST curator. I missed getting in on 01 but received 02 and it was the best box I have ever received. Maybe it’s that we have similar likes etc. I initially didn’t intend to stay with more than one box but once I received my box there was no way I was canceling, EVER. I have a LOT of subscriptions and have been paring back, but cut MSA, no way!!! Completely worth it I was very very excited for 03 but I’m happy to have received one of the boxes. Thank you for all of your time and effort!

  27. This is a huge disappoint. I loved both of your boxes. I also respect the need to remove yourself when something is not working out. Maybe you can have a “Liz’s weekly product finds” or something. I value your oppinions and the proucts you included in your boxes were great finds for me. Im still obsessed over the coffee scrub. Not something i could have found on my own.

  28. I adored MSA #02 (using my wool throw right now), and was so bummed that I missed out on MSA#01! This is sad news, but I understand- you need to put yourself first.

    I do agree that you should start your own box- your own way!

  29. I am so disappointed! 🙁 I was really looking for to the spring and summer boxes. So should I go cancel my subscription on Quarterly or do they do that automatically??

  30. So sorry to hear this as you were truly the only curator I “trusted”. With you I knew the items had been personally vetted and were of high quality/standards. However, I understand your reasoning. I do have a question, since we all value your reviews. Would you possibly consider doing a “Best Of” type post once in a while? I’d love to see what products you like and that what may be hidden gems I’d like to try. Thanks for everything.

    • That means so much to me – thank you! And we’re currently working on a feature for the site where I can share my favorite product discoveries of all time. Please let me know what you think of it when it is up! 🙂

  31. I’m so sorry to hear this, but I’m so glad I got to experience your two boxes! They were the best two subscription boxes I have gotten yet! I really appreciate your hard work that you put into the boxes & your blog! As someone who has anxiety issues & is always stressed I completely understand why this was too much. Thanks again for 2 great boxes & a great blog!

    • Thank you for your honesty. I am so happy we still have your blog and will support you in any future endeavors. You need to be happy and at peace – that is most important.

  32. I’m pretty shocked, didn’t see that coming I was so looking forward to MSA #3. But it’s definitely not worth all the extra stress over a box and I’m sure all the feedback is mostly supportive can be hard at times. You can’t please everyone.

  33. I thought you put together two very nice boxes and am sad to see you discontinuing MSA boxes but I totally understand your reasoning. It’s definitely hard to please everyone. As purchasers thats the risk we take with subscription boxes, each box can be a letdown or a great suprise. Hopefully you can come up with a new way to offer boxes to us as I’d sign up in an instant. Thanks 🙂

  34. I’m so sad! Because I live in Canada I can’t get popsugar and now I won’t have your boxes either! I hope you start your own boxes without quarterly. Just remember if you do please ship to Canada!

  35. 🙁 I was looking forward to getting the next one, since I missed out on the first two. The boxes looked great.

  36. Dear Liz,
    Thank you for a job well done! Most of all for being a shining example that it is okay to say, “I am done.” I think we as women can stay in something too long at a cost to self. I also congratulate you on trying something new. You have helped many of us to understand the behind the scenes and what it takes to curate a subscription box, adding to our appreciation. You are one of the best! Thanks again

    • Thanks so much Melody – that means so much to me, and it definitely took some back and forth to get to a place of saying “this isn’t working – time to try something new.” Especially in this case, it was such a wonderful opportunity, and something I wanted to work out so badly!

  37. I am so disappointed to hear this…I really enjoyed your first two boxes! Thank you for all the great products you introduced to me! 🙂 If you cannot do a subscription box again, maybe each season you could do a post on some of your favorite products?? I would love to hear what other products you recommend!

  38. This is sad to read. I was hoping MSA03 would have loads of things for me, LOL. I received both of your boxes, loved them both SO much but gifted a lot of it because it was the ‘giving time of year’. Haha. I completely understand why you are leaving quarterly though, especially after reading all the other posts and keeping up with everything you’ve been through because of it. I don’t blame you – I’d feel the same way with the change of the returning a box. It was the one thing that gave everybody hope if they didn’t like something.

    Have you thought about doing a box through your site? I don’t know how it would work, but you’d have control over everything involved. If/when you decide your next adventure I’ll be along for the ride!

    • I had a crazy idea earlier about a “virtual box”. Basically you choose the products that you LOVE, negotiate a discount with the vendors, and then provide the list and discount codes via email after which people can order those items from the vendor directly. Charge some form of nominal fee to cover the time that negotiating will take you. It might not be quite as good a deal as you would get if those items were in a box (where the full number sale is guaranteed) but it’s very easy to open it up to an infinite number of people on your end since you know that some will choose not to buy each item.

      Not entirely sure if it would work or not, but it has the potential for driving a lot of business to different vendors while still offering “buyers” a good deal on the items. A lot of people may buy more than just the recommended item (even if the discount only applied to the particular item), you never need to worry about whether a color suits someone’s coloring, and could conceivably even offer a choice of several items to suit different styles (dainty gold vs chunky silver, for example).

      • I like this idea a lot Rebecca – thank you! 🙂

  39. nnnnnnnnnnnnnnoooooooooooooo! your boxes were amazing.

    but really…please know, and i’m sure i speak for the majority (if not all) of your readers, we support you and completely understand! just take care of you : )

  40. Oh no!! I’m so sad! I just subscribed last week after seeing how amazing your first two boxes were lol

    I’m sure your third box would have been awesome, but I respect your decision!

  41. I think you did a great job. I would have gotten one of your boxes, but they were always sold out! 🙂

  42. That’s very sad news. I was going to buy your boxes even with no return policy. But I understand the stress you were under…

  43. I really enjoyed box of your boxes. So sorry to see you stop 🙁

  44. Oh, Liz, I’m so sorry you were stressed! I wouldn’t want that, but I hope you reconsider, as I LOVE your curation and this was one of my favorite subscriptions! Oh, sad sad day. 🙁

    • Oh, I have an idea!!! You could curate a high end Pop Sugar box each year, instead of the Neiman Marcus debacle! Oh my, this would be so awesome, lol! 🙂

      • What an amazing idea!!!

  45. Sad to hear the news but because you have been so open about what you went through curating, I totally understand. You’ve accomplished so much since starting MSA; it’s very inspiring.

  46. I am sad but not surprised.

    You are a classy lady and I expected nothing less from you than to be honest and straight forward. I look forward to your next venture and will be one of the first to support whatever else you do.

  47. Liz- while I am sad about not getting the box anymore, I am totally understanding and supportive of your choice to move on from something that was not a fit. I am crossing my fingers that you will have a new partnership that is a better fit at some point- I will be one of your first subscribers since I loved both of your Quarterly boxes so much 🙂 Great job and good luck with your next venture… whatever that may be!

  48. Oh I’m so upset 🙁 I was actually just checking to see if you were planning on posting any spoilers for the next box.
    But I do understand where you are coming from!
    I will be the first to subscribe if you ever curate another box!!!

    • Thanks so much for your vote of confidence Stacey!

  49. I’m stunned. I’m torn since your box is the only box I have been looking forward to in March but I understand from your description the stress of not being able to control a very important part of the process. Thank you so much for the MSA01 and MSA02. I have enjoyed both of them so much and I hope even if not with quarterly you will continue to provide us with boxes. Thank you!!!

    • I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the first two boxes – thank you!!

      • I enjoyed the first box so much I ordered two MSA02 boxes and I gifted one of the box to my sister and she loved it! Also ordered the special Goodebox because of the MSA01 curation. And we were both signed up for the third box 🙁

        • Liz, you have to do what makes you happy. I think for every one person that complained there were probably many that didn’t speak up and say how much they loved it. I loved them.

  50. Wow, that’s unexpected!

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