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20 Best Subscriptions to Support Small Businesses

Copy updated 1/7/20, but the boxes on the list remain unchanged.

If there’s one thing we all have in common here at MSA—besides a love for subscription boxes, that is—it’s supporting local businesses.* Not only do we fill our homes with the handiwork that the artists and artisans around us create, but many of us are also makers ourselves. We’ve rounded up a list of the best subscription box companies for shopping small. Some are lovingly curated boxes filled with every day items from a variety of small business owners, some are brand new boxes with independent owners, and some are familiar subscriptions you may not have realized are small businesses—but all are filled with unique products in a variety of categories. With many local shops functioning with limited hours and at lower capacity, these subscription box businesses turn shopping small into an e-commerce experience that’s safe and happy for everyone.

*Okay, you got us, we’re also beauty box fanatics and suckers for the same big lifestyle boxes you all love. We’re delightfully complex!

Find even more artisan-made goodies in our local subscription box directory.

Our Gift Guide for Shopping Small

1. Women’s Collective Box

Cost: $54.95 per quarter + shipping. Sign up here!

What’s Inside: New business alert! Women’s Collective was founded in March 2020 by Rashelle Whiteharris and has started strong with a curation of beautiful items sourced from small businesses all owned by women. Each product is intentionally picked and sustainable—with the goal of being both practical and pretty. Committed to connecting subscribers to women making a name for themselves, this Grand Rapids, Michigan-based subscription box service is a great way to discover new independent brands and individual makers. What’s more, 5% of all Women’s Collective proceeds go toward empowering up-and-coming female entrepreneurs as they put their ideas into action.

Ships to the US. Cost calculated at checkout. Do you want us to review Women’s Collective Box? Let us know!

 

2. PostBox by Postmark’d Studio

All stationery items from Postmark'd August box.

Image from our review.

Cost: $25 per month + shipping. Sign up here!

COUPON: Use code MSAFS or MSA404ME to get free shipping on your first box (MSAFS) or save $10 off your first box with a 3-month subscription (MSA404ME).

What’s Inside: Postmark’d Studio founder, Anne Breck, is “on a mission to revive letter-writing as an avenue for meaningful human connection.” A thread throughout her life has been taking the time to send a thank you, a day-brightening note, or other gesture through the mail. And, in her stationery subscription, she sets you up to do the same! Each monthly box comes from Oregon, containing greeting cards, postcards, postage, and a cute office supply such as a pen, pencil, or knick-knack gadget based on a theme.

Ships to the US ($5), Canada ($11), and 41 international countries ($17). Read our PostBox reviews for more info!

 

3. Trade Coffee

Trade Coffee box with Doma coffee shown.

Image from our review.

Cost: Starts at $15 per week. Get “The Classics” for $25/shipment (two 12 oz bags per shipment, $12.50 per bag) or “The Hookup” for more adventurous varieties priced at $15-$22 for one 12 oz bag per shipment. Sign up here!

COUPON: Get 30% off your first subscription shipment, plus free shipping! No coupon needed - just use this link.

What’s Inside: Trade is the ultimate coffee subscription for supporting independent roasters! Every single roaster on their roster is a small business, they pay their coffee growers quality wages, they are committed to sustainability, and they roast your beans to order. New customers start with a simple coffee quiz and Trade will suggest both a subscription plan for you and a coffee they think you’ll love. Rate the coffee you receive to help Trade find the perfect brew for you, or handpick your own selection from available varieties each week.

Ships to the US for free. Read our Trade Coffee reviews for more info!

 

4. Beachly

Beachly women's box fall 2020

Image from our review.

Cost: $99 per quarter + shipping. Save with an annual subscription. Sign up here!

What’s Inside: Co-founded by Mark Tighe and professional surfer Mark Healey, Beachly started out with a men’s focus, and has undergone a couple of name changes before becoming what it is today. We regularly review the women’s subscription and are in love with the way its spread of seasonally appropriate apparel, accessories, and personal items keeps the proverbial salt in our hair all year-’round, but there is still a quarterly men’s box that’s just as chill. Each box features items from familiar brands, subscribers have access to a Member Market, and each Beachly box ordered helps to fund beach clean-ups in Southern California with their partner, Heal the Bay.

Ships to the US for $4.95 (including Alaska and Hawaii), Canada for $11.95. Read our Beachly reviews for more info!

 

5. Box of Happies

Box Of Happies April 2019 - All Contents Top

Image from our review.

Cost: $29.99 per month. Sign up here!

COUPON: Use code HAPPIES to get a bonus handmade necklace in your first box!

What’s Inside: If you’re a regular at crafts markets, arts festivals, or on Etsy, you’ll love exploring the handcrafted goodies that come in each Box of Happies! You can expect 3-5 handmade items focused on the jewelry and accessory categories, but also including candles, soaps, home decor, bath & body, and more—all from indie designers, of course.

Ships to the US for free. Read our Box of Happies reviews for more info!

 

6. Mantry

Wooden crate with high-quality pantry staples from Mantry.

Image via Mantry.

Cost: $75 every other month. Sign up here!

COUPON: Use code CRATE10 to today Get An Extra 10% Off With Code.

What’s Inside: Mantry began as a startup in 2012 and evolved into the successful subscription we know and love today! Owned by two guys with a knack for finding what’s delicious—and the understanding that life is better when those tasty things can make their way straight to you—Mantry is a bi-monthly round-up of artisan foods to add to your pantry. (Or eat right away.) Inside each wooden crate comes 6 full-size, high-quality food items from craft makers around America. The crates are curated around a theme—past boxes have included Biergarten (think grainy mustard, pretzels, and other beer-friendly goods), Taco (with items like hot sauce, seasoning, chorizo snack jerky, and more), and Grilling (stuff like bourbon barbeque sauce, smoked caramels, and ingredients that can be used for BBQ Bloody Marys).

Ships to the US. Read our Mantry reviews for more info!

 

7. Boxwalla

Image from our review.

Cost: $49.95 every other month for the Beauty and Film Boxes. $29.95 every other month for the Book Box. Sign up here!

What’s Inside: The team who started Boxwalla describes themselves as “a boy, a girl, and an imaginary cat, Patrick.” They honor the slow living movement, all while nerding out over beauty products, art, literature, and films. What’s in their bi-monthly boxes? Well, first of all, the box itself is a beautiful handmade work of art that you’ll want to save to use for the long haul, but the contents are carefully chosen items that the Boxwalla editors feel must be experienced. We tend to agree!

Ships to the US for free, Canada for $11.95, Internationally for $18.95. Read our reviews of Boxwalla Beauty, Boxwalla Film, and Boxwalla Book for more info!

 

8. Vellabox

Ignis Vellabox review

Image from our review of the Ignis tier.

Cost: The Lucerna Vellabox is $10 per month + $3 shipping, the Ignis Vellabox is $20 per month + $3 shipping, and the Vivere Vellabox is $30 per month + FREE shipping. Sign up here!

COUPON: Use code MSA5 to save $5 off.

What’s Inside: Vellabox is the subscription box version of visiting the best-smelling boutiques around the country! The hand-poured candles they include are all small-batch and toxin-free and sourced from small businesses across America. Choose what size candle you’d like to receive from three subscription options, and get ready to fill your home with fantastic aromas, courtesy of makers who you may not otherwise have had the opportunity to purchase from.

Ships to the US. Read our Vellabox reviews for more info!

 

9. Small Shop Baby Box

Small Shop Baby Box all items

Image from our review.

Cost: $49 per month + $3 shipping. Sign up here!

What’s Inside: The Small Shop Baby Box is new to the scene and seriously so cute. The name says it all: this baby subscription box is filled with items that are sourced from small and indie shops throughout the US. Many items included are in colorways or styles exclusive to the box, but all are notably on-trend and incredibly adorable.

Ships to the US for $3. Read our Small Shop Baby Box reviews for more info!

 

10. Explore Local Box

Explore Local Box “Miami, Florida” May 2019 - Explore Local Box 4

Image from our review.

Cost: $39.99 per month + free shipping. Sign up here!

COUPON: Use code MSA10 to save 10% off your first box!

What’s Inside: A different US city is highlighted every month by the Explore Local Box, featuring locally made items such as snacks, teas, and seasonings, personal care products, candles, and more. As you unbox your local goodies, you’ll learn all about that area and the small businesses that made each item with love. This is an especially great gift idea for someone who is missing travel right now!

Ships to the US for free. Read our Explore Local Box reviews for more info!

 

11. Craft Beer Club

craft beer all items

Image from our review.

Cost: $42 per month for 12 bottles or $80 for 24 bottles + free shipping to the contiguous US. Sign up here!

COUPON: Receive 3 bonus gifts with your first shipment! No coupon needed - just use this link.

What’s Inside: Craft beer is a hyper-local movement by nature, so supporting independent breweries—or 4 at the same time with this monthly subscription box—is a great way to shop small. The Craft Beer Club 3 or 6 (depending on your subscription tier) bottles of 4 different styles of beer, each sourced from small-production, indie brewers. They all use exclusively traditional brewing ingredients and methods, and yet the result is a broad spectrum of flavors that beer-drinkers with the palate for it will love.

Ships to the contiguous US for free. Read our Craft Beer Club reviews for more info!

 

12. FlourishBox by Thread & Flourish

Image from our review.

Cost: $39.95 every other month + free shipping. Sign up here!

COUPON: Use code MYSUB15 to save 15% off your first box!

What’s Inside: This socially conscious subscription sends a small bi-monthly box filled with your fix of fair-trade items that were ethically made. Each box contains a new, beautiful scarf made from a natural fiber like silk or wool, and is rounded out with other small collectibles or consumables that have been handmade and sourced from a small business or craftsperson located somewhere in this beautiful world!

Ships to the US for free. Read our FlourishBox by Thread & Flourish reviews for more info!

 

13. Cater to Mom

Cost: $43.99 per month. Save with longer subscriptions. Sign up here!

What’s Inside: Cater to Mom is a Black-owned subscription box that sends new moms 6-8 full-sized postpartum care essentials to support them through the early days of motherhood. Founder Marsha Stephanson got her business idea through her own personal experience of feeling like the hospital sent her home with everything her baby would need, but not much for her own healing and wellness. We’re sure other mothers can relate! Through Cater to Mom, she provides mamas with organic, vegan, and cruelty-free products that will help guide them through the transition with information, nourishment, self-care, and support.

Ships worldwide. 

 

14. Each Peach Market “I Love Cheese” Monthly Subscription

Cost: $200 for 3 months, $350 for 6 months. Sign up here!

What’s Inside: Each Peach Market is a warm, welcoming, and women-owned grocer where fresh, high-quality food items can be found—with a focus on locally sourced goods. Their I Love Cheese subscription means those all over the US can get a taste of the goodness. Each Peach’s in-house team of cheesemongers chooses 2-3 cheese selections from around American and the rest of the world, sending info on each cheese, recipe cards, pairings, and more with each delivery.

Ships to the US via FedEx overnight delivery. 

 

15. Hopebroidery

Cost: $45 per month for the regular box, $12 per month for the digital subscription. Sign up here!

What’s Inside: Maybe you’re already into hand embroidery, or maybe you’re about to be! The Hopebroidery subscription is a one-woman show, and fittingly, that woman’s name is Hope. She sends subscribers a monthly box filled with everything they need to complete one small hand-stitched project, paired with a video tutorial teaching a new type of stitch. If you have all your own stuff on hand, you might be interested in the digital subscription, which simply sends a pattern and tutorial. And, how great is this? If you’re struggling with a project or have questions, you can email Hope and she’ll help you through it! Filed under: reasons why we heart a small business.

Ships worldwide. 

 

16. Wolf & Thyme

Cost: $23.80 for the regular box, $49.30 for the Luna box, and $66.30 for the LunaLux box. Sign up here!

What’s Inside: When salon owner Kat Grady had to close down her business due to COVID-19, she put her earth-focused energy into her own subscription box. Thus we are graced with Wolf & Thyme, a monthly subscription meant to foster self-care and spiritual growth. Grady curates each box to be an experience of connecting to oneself and nature, including items like aromatherapy, care items, jewelry, intentional and spiritual tools, and more. Subscribe to the tier that suits your needs, between the regular box (3-5 items per month), the Luna box (6-8 monthly products), or the LunaLux box (10-12 items in each delivery).

Ships worldwide. 

 

Looking to Shop Even More Local?

We encourage you to find opportunities to support your area’s makers, bakers, musicians, and shop-owners! I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and I’ve gathered some subscriptions that are curated right here in this city I love. Here they are:

17. love, Pittsburgh

Cost: $40 per quarter for the Standard box, $65 per quarter for the Deluxe box, and the Deluxe Pittsburgh box. Sign up here!

COUPON: Use code SHIP75 to free shipping on orders over $75 with code SHIP75

What’s Inside: The shelves of the love, Pittsburgh shop locations are stocked with local items made by Pittsburgh-based artists, and their seasonal subscription offers a sampling of the high-quality goods each artist has made. The standard subscription sends 3 or more surprise items, plus bonus extras such samples and minis also made by local artists. Go for the Deluxe tier to receive even more awesome handmade goodies or the Deluxe Pittsburgh box for additional items that are yinzer-themed!

Ships to the US. 

18. Three Rivers Made

Cost: $100 per quarter. Sign up here!

What’s Inside: Curated by three Pittsburgh women—two sewists and a writer—this quarterly subscription box sends themed curations of quality, artisan-made items! The products include things like T-shirts (choose your size from unisex XS-3XL when you sign up), candles, magnets, tea, small DIY projects, and more. And while local creatives are featured as part of this box, and Pittsburghers are notorious for our fierce hometown pride, the goodies are versatile enough that anyone can enjoy ’em!

Ships to the US. 

 

19. City of Asylum Translated Literature Book Subscription

Image via City of Asylum.

Cost: $108 + shipping for 6 months, $216 + shipping for 12 months. Sign up here!

What’s Inside: City of Asylum is a nonprofit organization I’m immensely proud to have in my city. They provide sanctuary to endangered literary writers, welcoming several exiled writers in residence at a time, welcoming them into our community, and amplifying their voices on their stage. They also offer free literary, arts, and humanities programs to the community. City of Asylum also has a bookstore that offers a monthly subscription sending recently released translated books! The titles sent are a mix of fiction and non-fiction and all paperback.

Good to Know: City of Asylum also offers a monthly Young Readers subscription, sending one book per month for ages 0-4, 5-8, and 9-13.

Ships to the US. 

20. Steel City Tee Club

Cost: $29.99 per month + shipping. Sign up here!

What’s Inside: Pittsburgh locals know and love the high-quality, super-relevant designs of Steel City graphic tees. The monthly T-shirt club sends one exclusive, limited-edition tee to you each month—plus bonus extras like die-cut stickers and other such stuff. While all the shirts feature Pittsburgh-themed designs, many are subtle and super-unique. You’ll find nods to Pittsburgh food traditions, local celebs, legendary Steeler’s plays, and more.

Ships worldwide starting at $5.99 for standard US shipping. 

 


Tell us your favorite small shops to support! Do they have a subscription we should all check out? Let us know in the comments.


 

Written by Christen Russo

Christen Russo

Christen is a smile collector, outdoors enthusiast, and appreciator of soggy French fries. Her favorite subscriptions involve eco-friendly products and clothes, nature supplies, stationery, and coffee. She can be easily won over with a good sheet of stickers.

Comments (14)

  1. I appreciated this! I am in Alaska but I am looking to gift subscription boxes that are made in the USA from small businesses. I found a few on your list so that was a start.

  2. All of these seem cool!

  3. I haven’t pulled the trigger on the sub yet, but I’m seriously considering Copacetic Cosmetics’ subscription. They have 3 tiers, from $10-$40 a month, & the lower tiers that don’t get all the items that month get the choice between a couple shades.

    Would definitely love to see Copacetic Monthly reviewed on MSA!

    • Thanks for this suggestion & providing some of the basic info, Marion. I’ll be sure it’s added to our list of boxes to look into!

  4. “Explore Local” intrigued me, until I went back to the few reviews you all have. Nope!
    Adding the RV of the items, included, didn’t even come up to the price of the box.
    I’m surprised its still going.

    • I agree that it would’ve been nice to see one bigger ticket item or a few extras added into the boxes we reviewed. If you take a peek at the Past Boxes section of their website, it looks like they may have upgraded the monthly curation a bit! https://www.explorelocalbox.com/whats_inside

  5. Laurel & Reed would be a great one to add as well as any one of the makeup, etc. subscriptions from Notoriously Morbid from West Virginia. Just a couple to add in there. 🙂

    • I’d love to see Notoriously Morbid’s Vanishing Cabinet reviewed on MSA!

    • Yes, we love Laurel & Reed, Linda! Notoriously Morbid looks like a fun one, too. Thanks so much for reading & for your suggestions!

  6. So great to see Pittsburgh subs! I moved from there about 2 yr ago. Brings back memories.

    One of the absolute best ones are the monthly book subscriptions from Mystery Lovers Bookstore!! They have multiple options available and their choices are always fabulous!

    • I love Mystery Lovers—my childhood best friend worked there for many years! I somehow didn’t realize they had a book subscription. They’re an incredible shop to support!

  7. Please review more of these. I would love to see more about these.

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Lizc! If you have any specific boxes you’d like to see reviewed, please do let us know!

      • Mystery Lovers Bookstore sub would be a great one to review!!

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