My Subscription Addiction
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Update on the My Subscription Addiction Quarterly Box

Liz Cadman
ByLiz CadmanJan 23, 2015 | 163 comments

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.

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!

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!
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163 comments

Jessvii

I’m surprised, but thank you for providing an open and honest recap of what happened. This, obviously, sucks for me since I was really looking forward to box 03. However, I totally get that if something is stressing you out, it’s probably not the right fit for you. I’m disappointed but am also feeling understanding. I have a theory that if something feels like it’s too much work and / or effort, there is probably a simpler way to accomplish the same thing. Things that feel overly complicated (or overly stressful) aren’t sustainable. Thanks for some great boxes, and all the other things you do box- and product-related :).

Eliza

Awe I’m disappointed to read this news! I completely understand your position and I imange fullfilling these boxes and shipping is a nightmare. I hope some of the boxes will invite you to be a guest curator. I would love a Liz organic beauty box…..

Jillian D

I’m sorry to hear what a stressful process it was for you. I hope you’ll decide to make a go of it on your own. I would gladly buy from you. I wanted very much to try your boxes, but I became very frustrated with Quarterly as a company and cancelled every subscription I had because I felt like they didn’t deserve my money. I didn’t know they were no longer going to be accepting returns either, so you saved me from making another mistake.

Christina

I was so bummed when I read this!!! 🙁 I was looking forward to seeing what the spring box would bring. I trust that what you pick would be great. I hope you will consider doing a box on your own putting in what you love. Who cares what people think, the true test would be in how many people buy your box not necessarily what anyone says. I hope you reason for stopping was only because of quarterly and not any comments received because I think you would have quite a following!!

Orlee

I admire your decision, Liz. It takes a LOT of presence of mind and strength of character to make a big change like this when a partnership isn’t working quite the way it needs to. I know you didn’t make this decision lightly.

I’m eager to see what you do next as you refocus, reflect, and move forward. There are so many good things ahead.

Orlee

And for what it’s worth, I really loved MSA02 — a nice blend of the unique, practical, and fun. I am still using the items. (I didn’t get to order MSA01 in time.)

Chrissy

On the one hand, super upsetting because yours is easily the best curated box out there. On the other, you have to do what makes you happy, and if this process stressing you out that much, let it go. IF you ever decide to do it again we will all be there for you! <3

Holly

Sorry, not sorry. Let me clarify. I am sorry I am not getting a box in the upcoming quarter. I am not sorry that you will not longer be limited by the constriction of a system already in place. You have a clear following, and if you choose to develop your own box, we all know you’ll have ample support. You clearly have a gift in curation and the understanding of your audience. In the meantime, we will all continue to scour your website, swap like day-traders. and enjoy the current work you do. When you’re ready, we’ll be here.

Sarah

I had hoped to subscribe to your box because I felt like you really cared about making a good box and had an idea what people liked. Quarterly is missing out! and I guess we are too! Love your website!

Melody

That’s a bummer but I totally understand. I would feel the same way. I was really looking forward to buying one of your boxes when I could get together the money.

Elizabeth A

Just like everyone else, I am SO SAD. I rec’d both of them and I think the reason everyone loved them/loves you so much boils down to one thing: quality. You have an eye for it in products. You know it when you see it (that throw is heirloom quality). And your blog/website/swap site are all testaments to your abilities and the perfection you seek.

You called yourself a “control freak,” but I think that’s a not-so-nice way of saying you won’t settle for less than the best in anything you do.

I feel bad that you literally LOST SLEEP over trying to give us a great experience. Know that your other endeavors bring a lot of joy (and education!) to so many.

Thank you for everything you do.
All the best,
Elizabeth

LC

Bummed out to hear this but I’m happy to hear you are doing what is best for you. Thanks so much for the 2 awesome boxes and setting the bar on how boxes should be curated.

Eva

If you don’t have your health, you really don’t have anything.
I’d hate to think that my enjoyment of what amounts to extravagance and being fortunate enough to afford excesses, was at the toll of another’s well-being.
A heartfelt Thank You for everything you do on the daily!

Laura

Hi Liz,

I just wanted to say that I love your site and I loved both of your boxes, to say I found them to be fabulous is an understatement! I was really looking forward to MSA Box #3, and I am so sad that you have decided not to continue with Quarterly. On that note, I am so proud of you, and happy for you, that you decided to end your boxes when you deemed it was appropriate/necessary to do so. Doing something that is causing you so much stress and negative emotions is not worth it to your overall health. I wish you all the best with whatever you choose to do Liz. I am a daily reader of your site and I appreciate all the hard work you put in to each and every review. 🙂

Cynthia

So sorry about the stress associated with the quarterly box because what you did was amazing. Hopefully, another opportunity that fits you will happen soon. I know that I would subscribe if you curate again. You should be proud of what you did and the decision you made regarding stopping MSA quarterly. I have tried so many new products that I love because of you. Thank you Liz.

Emily S.

Thanks for all your hard work and dedication, Liz. I really enjoyed reading the behind the scenes details of putting together a subscription box, and I think you did an outstanding job on your two boxes. I can only imagine the stress of not having complete control over the shipping and subscription process. It would make me anxious as well. I hope you have the opportunity to curate boxes in the future because you are so good at it!

Sitterh

I don’t blame you at all! When I read some of the criticisms of these boxes (all, not just yours) I simply don’t understand what people expect. As long as thought is put in to the selection of quality items, I feel there really is no room for complaining. As long as the boxes contain the same value for everyone, these boxes are a discovery service and sometimes you aren’t going to like everything. With that said, the complainers would take the fun out of it.

Kathy

Your boxes will be missed, but it’s completely understandable that you stop, considering the type of replies you were receiving about what to include or leave out. I was feeling stressed and all I had to do was enjoy the boxes. Yours was the only reason I still did any business with Quarterly so now that I’m done with them I can either save for a splurge box or possible subscription from another company. Best wishes in whatever your future holds, and I will continue to enjoy your reviews.

Stella

I am in complete shock that you are no longer curating a box. I was looking forward to the third box since I missed the first two, which was a mistake on my part. I am in complete agreement that this is stressful and has taken a toll on you. I am very happy that you did give it a try considering your experience with many subscriptions boxes and trying to come out with the best one.

Best wishes to you. I hope that you do one day work out something. Will be looking forward to your next steps.

Veronica H

I’m so disappointed, I loved both of your boxes. I jumped on them the second you posted that they were going for sale. They were the first non-food related boxes I purchased. There is certainly a void in my box life now. I’m sorry it got to be a chore, but I understand how something that you love can become something less fun when you go about it a different way.

Betty

I am SO SAD that you are no longer doing a subscription box. You curated 2 of my favorite boxes of all time and you really have a knack for creating amazing boxes. I’m sorry it didn’t work out with quarterly but if in the future you work with another company, or go at it on your own, I will be lining up to buy it!!!!

Janet

It sounds like Quarterly is really struggling to find a business model that works… they do need to make a profit. I’m guessing there is a complicated interplay between volume, uniqueness, and value. Getting people to pay for curation must be a challenge. There are a few things I really do wish they would do:
— Be more up-front about variation in their boxes on best-of and in spoilers. They’re advertising Hitha’s show box on best-of showing the gold bag that they don’t actually have in stock.
— Keep subscribers informed on shipping times.
— I’d really love to see best-of actually be what it claims to be – re-issuing popular boxes – rather than just a way for them to sell boxes that were returned or cancelled. They could sell a lot of MSA01s for sure!

Teresa

I just signed up for your box so I’m very sad it’s not going to continue.

KatyL

Liz, I’m genuinely sorry to hear that this didn’t work out. It’s obvious how much it mean to you, and how many people loved your curation.

I’m really impressed that you knew when to call it quits; lots of women (myself included) can’t or won’t say ‘no’ when it really is time to let it go.

You really made me think about that with your decision, which I think took some courage. FWIW, know that you impressed a lot of people with your strength and commitment. It’s a rare thing.

Cassandra

Liz,

As always you are the professional and sent a very nice post letting us know about your decision. I loved hearing your insider knowledge about how to put a box together. Thank you for sharing this box and your experience with us!

hugs!

Vianny

I’m sad you are not continuing your box because I loved both of them and I think you did an awesome job curating both of them. However you need to do what’s good for you and have fun and love it 🙂

if you decide to make another box, you have a loyal subscriber here. 🙂

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Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.