Artisan Box by Luxurion World Subscription Box Review – October 2015
Artisan Box by Luxurion World is a monthly subscription box bringing you handcrafted lifestyle items from India. Each month, the products will come from a different Indian state. October’s products are from Andhra Pradesh.
This box was sent to us for review purposes. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: Artisan Box by Luxurion World
The Cost: $49 a month (save with longer subscriptions)
I think they do a great job with the packaging. It’s like opening a gift. FYI, this is the October box. With this subscription, shipping is later in the month and you will get it the next month because these come all the way from India.
The Products: 3-5 lifestyle items handcrafted by artisans in India. The items come from local craftsmen and small businesses and produced in a sustainable, environmentally-friendly manner. A large percentage of the proceeds of Artisan Box are distributed to the artisans who make the products. Cost savings for the consumer are achieved through volume purchases and direct payment to the artisans without any middle agencies. This structure allows for improvement of the artisans’ socioeconomic conditions.
Ships to: Worldwide; $15 cost to the US
Check out the Artisan Subscription Box Directory for similar boxes!
This month, they went back to the full-color information card with details about all the items. I think this is one of the best information cards out there – full-color photos, printed on really nice card stock, and there’s a new feature this month – codes that allow you to easily find each product from the box in their store. (Unfortunately, their website was having some technical issues while I was writing this review, so I couldn’t test this feature out.) Many products from the box can be found in the store, and the information card this month says others can be made available for purchase on request. All values are taken from the information card.
Bidri Work Paperclip – Value $7
This is made from a blackened alloy of zinc and copper, inlaid with thin sheets of pure silver. Bidriware as an art form was developed in the 14th century and was traditionally prized as a symbol of wealth. This is going to my office where I have several uses for it.
Handmade Udaygiri Wooden Cutlery – Value $12
Udayagiri is a small town in Andhra Pradesh well-known for carved wooden cutlery. Only five families practice this art form, and the work is mostly done by women. The cutlery has Persian influences and is mostly carved and finished by hand. Although these are intended to be used as serving forks, I think they’re pretty enough that I’m going to find some way to display them.
Hydrabad Pearl Necklace – Value $35
This necklace is made of freshwater pearls – and they’re really nice quality freshwater pearls. It is a little longer than choker length on me, but that’s a really good length for me, personally. I did not know pearls were a big thing in India, but apparently there’s a village called Chandanpet outside of Hyderabad where almost the whole population drills pearls for a living!
Hand Woven Ikat Fabric Tote Bag – Value $18
I joke about having too many totes, but the day this arrived, I had several from subscription boxes in use in my office so another is always welcome. Plus, as you can kind of see above, this one has some inside pockets, which will definitely come in handy. Ikat is a dyeing technique characterized by an apparent blurriness that results from the weaving process. Ikat fabrics look the same on both sides with no “right” or “wrong” side to the cloth. I really can’t describe the technique as fully as it deserves with the space I have in this review, but here is the Wikipedia page for ikat, which has more on the process for making it as well as some beautiful example designs.
Kalamkari Fabric Hand Towel (set of 2) – Value $8
These are supposed to be hand towels but I am going to hang them on the walls in my yoga/exercise room (which has a primarily Indian theme to the décor). I think they just look too nice to actually use as towels! Kalamkari is a hand-painted or block-printed cotton textile that takes on a glossiness by being immersed for an hour in a mixture of myrabalam resin and cow milk. The process of adding designs and colors is quite complex and anything from cow dung to seeds, plants, and crushed flowers can be used to create an effect on the fabric.
Verdict: I calculated a value of $80 for the October Artisan Box from Luxurion World. They promise a monthly value of at least $70 and they exceeded that this month. I actually think some of the items are probably worth more than the cost listed on the Luxurion World site – or at least, they would sell for more, individually, in the US. So the actual value may be even higher! I love the craftsmanship and that this subscription supports the artisans, plus the items are beautiful and I find the stories of their creation quite interesting. I am also learning a lot about the various regions of India and what types of traditional crafts are practiced in each of them.
Also, although this subscription box has only been around for a few months, I think they really “get” the whole subscription box thing. You receive a variety of items in different categories that would be hard to find elsewhere. The value is there. The packaging is lovely and even fragile items have all arrived intact. The information card is very good, as well.
What do you think of the October 2015 Artisan Box from Luxurion World?