The SAM & LANCE Empower-Her Box is a Canadian-based quarterly box featuring sustainable and ethical products made by and supporting women-owned small businesses (50% are BIPOC-owned businesses). Useful and usable items are carefully chosen to contribute to your life in an intentional way! For $59.95 CAD (approx. $48 USD + shipping) per season, each box includes 6-7 full-size products.
ACTIVE DEAL: Save $10 off your first box!
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we review boxes.)
Inside the Winter 2022 Box
Things that make a 15-degree day somewhat OK: hot coffee, shearling slippers, and the burst of healing aromas that comes along with the delivery of the Sam & Lance Box. Every time I receive a subscription box containing made-with-love products that fill my home with beautiful, natural scents I remember why I love these types of boxes so much. This is my first time receiving Sam & Lance, and that experience alone made me a believer. Let's take a closer look at what's inside.
This card lists all the products inside, with information about the small, women-owned businesses featured this month.
Kootenay Knit & Apparel Canada-Made Fleece Lined Beanie – Estimated Value $14.89 USD
Leave it to a Canadian subscription box to send a legit useful winter hat when you need it. This heather grey beanie might look unassuming at first, but it's got a fleece lining all the way around the cuff, perfect for hugging those ears and keeping them toasty. The details of this hat that make it all the more of a score: it's eco-friendly in that it's certified Fair Trade, and made from recycled materials. Why isn't every garment made this way? It's soft and functional, just as it should be.
This is a good hat for underneath a hood on a windy day. The way it sits close to my head means it'll stay put even as the friction of my hood tugs on it. Huge deal.
Kind Laundry Vegan Stain Remover Bar – Retail Value $6.00 USD
Next up is a vegan stain stick with plastic-free packaging. In my younger days of laundry-doing, I never kept any sort of stain treatment on hand—not because I never spilled anything on myself (it's kind of my signature move), I was just low effort and lived with my stains. Then I gave birth to a small chocolate-milk-lover, and wow, that was the dawning of the age of intense stains that take up major surface area. The true test of a stain remover is if it can do the trick with chocolate milk stains. I found that this one could, when used after the garment has soaked for a couple of hours. It might not be the quickest solution for those shooting for laundry efficiency, but for someone like me who's constantly in my laundry room anyway, the efficacy is the greater priority. And this one does the trick.
Sḵwálwen Botanicals Kw'as Cocomint Lip Balm – Estimated Value $6.27 USD
This lip balm has just about everything going for it. Pop its cap open and you'll be blessed with the most blissful cocoa-mint combo. Slide it over your lips and you're in smooth city thanks to its coconut oil. It's so refreshing in a season when my skin is perpetually dry. This lip balm comes from an Indigenous skincare brand whose botanical formulas are made with an honoring of their cultural knowledge and Indigenous plant science. The female founder of the company is an ethnobotanist from the Squamish First Nation. I'll tell you what, I was a little unsure of an $8 lip balm going into it, but now that I've been using it for over a week I can say I would gladly buy a new one when this one runs out.
Empressence Breathe Shower Steamers, 6 oz. – Estimated Value $14.00 USD
I hadn't even heard of a shower steamer until a few months ago (where have I been?) when a friend brought me a little postpartum package of handmade bath goods. I opened it up and didn't really "get it," but tossed one in the shower as it was heating up, stepped in, and then was like, "okay, this is kind of nice." The next time I tossed two in. The time after that I tossed three in. Suffice it to say I was getting roped into this at-home spa situation. So, yeah, I obviously did a happy dance when I pulled this giant bag of cruelty-free, fair trade shower steamers out of my Sam & Lance Box. It came with 12 cubes that are loaded up with a menthol-eucalyptus-peppermint scent explosion—this is definitely what I was smelling before I even opened up my box. Will I be sharing these with anyone in my family? No. No, I will not.
Mamaa Trade Pot Basket, Small – Estimated Value $13.33 USD
Yes! Give me all the beautiful baskets. This one is the perfect size to leave by the door to hold keys, or on top of a dresser to hold bracelets or hair doodads. This basket comes by way of Mamaa Trade, a company that provides fair and equal work to women in Africa and Asia. The info card says that this basket was custom-made and limited-edition for this season of the Empower-Her box, though there is a larger one for sale on the Mamaa Trade site. The larger one has an opening that measures 20-24 cm, and the one we received has an opening that measures 13-14 cm.
Here it is on the edge of my mantel, holding nothing but looking lovely. There it will sit until I find the best use for it in my home; in the meantime, I love looking at it!
Glow Ritual Glo Dry Serum, 30 mL – Estimated Value $50 USD
Finally for the winter box is this botanical serum. Its scent is really neutral, almost scentless, and it's free of fillers, silicones, toxic chemicals, phthalates, and synthetic dyes. The ingredients list is comprised of various seed oils and pure botanical extracts. It has a beautiful amber color and it's quite viscous. One thing this little bottle lacks is directions on how or where to use it! I assumed it was for the face at first, but then when I sprayed some out (by the way, it has a classic spray nozzle, but it's so thick that it shoots out in one stream for me), it felt too heavy for that. I rubbed it into my knuckles and it soothed some of their dryness. Once I peeked at the info card and the Glow Ritual website, I realized it's a hair product! I was so surprised, I never would have guessed that on my own! It's meant for heat-free styling for either straight or curly hair. This oil feels a little heavy for my light hair, but there are several people in my life with thick, very curly hair, so maybe one of those friends would like to give this product a try.
My intro to Sam & Lance was a thrill! I never expect to open a subscription box (especially a new one I've never tried before) and like every product inside, but this one had win after win inside. My favorite item this quarter was the shower steamer, with the basket and lip balm tied for second. The hair serum ended up not being the best fit for me but I feel really good passing it on to a friend knowing it's a clean product from an intentional company. I'm really happy with the Winter box overall.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
To Wrap Up
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Yes, as of the publish date of this review, the Winter box is still available.
ACTIVE DEAL: Save $10 off your first box!
Value Breakdown: At an approximate cost of $51 USD for this box with 6 items, you are paying approximately $9 per item. This does not include shipping costs. I estimate that I received about $104.49 USD worth of items. That's about double the cost of the subscription, which gets two thumbs up from me.
What did you think of this quarter's SAM & LANCE Sustainable Subscription box?