Thursday, November 8, 2012

November Umba Box

Like hand made artisan items? Then Umba Box may be the box for you.  What's an Umba?  Umba comes from the Swahili word meaning "to create".  This is very appropriate since Umba Box send out curated boxes monthly with handmade goodies including jewelry, accessories, stationary, bath products, etc.  The generally send 2-3 items in each box but sometimes they may send one large item.  They also guarantee the value of your box will be at least $25.00 which is the price of the box if you pay monthly.  

The price is $25 plus $5 shipping for a month to month subscription.  A 6 month subscription is $150 w/shipping included (saves you $30) and a year subscription is $275 w/shipping and a free month (breaks down to $22.92 a month). They also ship internationally to Canada and European Union but the shipping costs are a little higher.     

I had been looking at this box for awhile but hadn't subscribed yet.  I found a deal through Plum District where you could get 3 months for $52 (about $17 a month) so I thought why not? I like handmade treasures. 

The good:

Artisan: This supports small business and you may received one of a kind items. 

Need a gift: You can send an Umba box gift

Information: Each box contains a story about the artist who made your item. 

The not so good:

Skip/pause a month: If you pay monthly you can cancel your subscription before the next billing cycle but you'll have to sign up again to re-start it. There are no refunds for the other pre-paid 3, 6, 12 month subscriptions. 

My Umba Box treasures. 

Contents of box w/retail price listed:

3 pieces of Fleur de Sel Caramels from The Caramel Jar. Value = $1.75 (1/4lb about 12 pieces. $7.00) - These are really good but I've always loved salted caramels.

Small Hardcover Journal from To Boldly Fold. Value = ?? - I couldn't find anything on their website for this book or anything remotely like it.  My guess would be it's about $5.00

Set of 6 magnetic Fancy Clothespins from Earth Cookie Creations.  Value = $4.00

The value of this Umba Box is $10.75 give a take a dollar or two for the journal.  The items are pretty neat but they way missed the mark on their promise of at least a $25.00 value.  A month to month subscription is $30 so that makes this about a $20 loss.  I got a deal on my box and only paid $17 but still didn't get my moneys worth. 

Verdict: On the fence but thinking I won't renew this one.   

I am not any type of sponsor paid or unpaid for Umba Box.  I purchase these subscriptions myself. 


  1. The To Boldly Fold notebook is $18.00 at retail value. I checked the website.

    1. I've checked their website also and still can't find it anywhere. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place. $18 would be really high, it's a really small notebook, not much bigger than the clothespins.

  2. As an owner of a handmade gift subscription company, In a Pretty Box, I can tell you that size doesn't matter, so I wouldn't be too judgmental about the journal's price. Sometimes smaller items require more intricate work making the cost of materials lower but the cost of time spent on it more. This is similar to how a children's size shirt can be similarly priced to an adult's shirt. So I think the value of the box coming in right under $24 is very fair, especially considering that if you ordered all of that yourself you'd be adding a shipping cost to every order.

    1. The size thing makes sense. I'll be honest though if I saw that in a store for $18 I wouldn't buy it because it's so small. I can appreciate that it's handmade though and the work that went into making it.