umba box number one

an online class on pinterest

Have you heard of Umba Box? I’ve had it on my mind for a few months but didn’t bite the bullet to subscribe until December. I purchased a 3 month regular subscription, and my first box arrived last week.

Umba box is a monthly subscription service, similar to the Birchbox concept, but instead of cosmetics you receive unique handmade items. 

Each box is $25.00. And that is why I waited so long. While I value handmade, and love getting a suprise every month, I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to be glad about spending $25/month on items that I’m not sure I’ll like.

Hence: the trial period. I’ll see how it goes.

My first box had 2 items, a lip balm and a desktop calendar.

The lip balm does taste delicious, and I love the calendar. In fact, I once considered getting into the letterpress world because I love a beautiful letter-pressed card. Turns out, letterpress machines cost a pretty penny so I decided to table that idea for the time being. 

Would I spend $25.00 on either of these things on my own? Probably not. Not because they aren’t worth that, but simply, they aren’t things I would typically spend that kind of money on. But that’s the nature of these box subscriptions! You are presented with new items and exposed to new businesses, so you need to be open-minded about it.

I really do understand why they charge $25/month. In order to receive high quality handmade items, you have to charge for it. I imagine they wouldn’t be able to find the same caliber of designers for, let’s say, a $10/month subscription. 

I’ll share my review of next month’s box, and then in March share whether or not the subscription is something I’ll be keeping up.

Are you a subscriber? What are your thoughts?


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Carly says · 01.16.13

Those coaster calendar cards are adorable! Love them! Pricey, but really great quality!


Kate says · 01.16.13

agreed, great quality!

Trish says · 01.16.13

I hadn’t heard about it until just now, but I do love the concept! You’re right though, $25/month is so much different than forking over $10 for the Birchbox subscription. Can’t wait to see what you get next!

Rebecca says · 01.16.13

Those coasters are adorable!

I had a three-month subscription last year, and I didn’t continue one with after that. I loved every box I got, and I love handmade things from small businesses. But, I just didn’t feel like I should tie up $25 on items I may or may not like. But, I really did love the items I got. And, most importantly, I felt like I got $25 worth in items every month.

Kate says · 01.16.13

I hear you, I’m wondering if that’s how I would feel. This may be a better concept for gift giving (give the gift of a subscription) instead of receiving it for yourself!

SarahM127 says · 01.16.13

That is such a great idea! I already have several people in mind that would love and appreciate this!

Sofie says · 01.16.13

Love the coasters! I probably wouldn’t even use them since they are so pretty to look at.

Kate says · 01.16.13

The great thing is you get to display a new one each month! 🙂

pretty little things says · 01.16.13

I subscribe to umba box to for the last few months and I have to say the boxes improve each month! xo

Corrine says · 01.16.13

I think the calendar/coasters are really great! I’ll be waiting to see what is in next months box…thanks for being the guinea pig. 😉

Cynthia says · 01.16.13

I have a subscription to love club which is also a subscription box full of handmade and small business product that help promote their wonderful business! They do have a waiting list but once a month they have extra boxes that they will have up for grabs to get your membership that way! So far I have gotten really cute things and its only $12 a month. Thought you might want to check this subscription out!

Maria Larsen says · 01.16.13

I hadn’t ever even heard of the umba box before this, but I do subscribe to Birchbox, and I love what I’ve gotten for everything so far. I can’t wait to see what else you get!
xo, Maria

Laurel Haswell says · 01.16.13

I love the calendar idea! I am not sure if I would subscribe to it though at that price. I look forward to seeing what you get the next 2 months!

Amber says · 01.16.13

The thing I love about this box is the calendar because it’s something that you’ll use ALL year. So when you divide what you value the calendar at by twelve, then each month doesn’t seem so bad for the calendar 🙂 (I have an accounting degree and I’m a cheapo…so sorry for the math!). lol -I also love the way the calendar is designed, that it’s not just a wall calendar or a plastic base or something, super cute and not many people have it! I think a three month subscription would be a nice treat for oneself, but I don’t know about a every single month. I completely think it’s a great gift to give someone else for three months-the gift that keeps on giving 🙂

Kate says · 01.16.13

totally agree!

Rebecca S. says · 01.16.13

I do like the items you got. I don’t think I would pay $25, but then again, I’ve always been a quantity girl no matter the quality. I love the calendar though, it’s so unique!

Applebypie says · 01.16.13

Lovely item to have on the desk though – very unique. I would love to get a 3 month subscription as a gift! I get a beauty box which I love , but am also tempted to get a great craft box they do in the Uk now too. Oh dear – getting carried away! X

Kerry B. says · 01.16.13

Fun!!! For the same price, you might try Hammock Pack. Erin (who runs Hammock Pack) works with small business people & picks really cool items around a theme each month. I wish I’d gotten her December box!

Lynette Marie says · 01.16.13

I feel like this would be an expensive way to accumulate a lot of dust-collectors! The calendar is super, super cute, but it would just be another item taking up room on my desk. And the lip balm is cute, but as the second item in a $25 box? Meh! I think I’ll put my $20 a month toward Birchbox and Ipsy.. because obviously every girl needs two beauty sample boxes every month 🙂

Jenn D says · 01.16.13

ohh I’m interested to see what you think come March! I’ve been looking at the umba for a while, but like you I’m nervous of the price tag and lack of knowledge of the item.

SH says · 01.16.13

I’ve never heard of anything like this! Right now, I’m a full-time student so something like this isn’t what I’d spend my money on either. Once I’ve graduated and am working, I would be interested in subscribing to something like this! Thanks for the review.


Rachel says · 01.16.13

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the two months I did with Umba box but can’t justify the money!!!

Sandra Lee says · 01.16.13

I’ve been looking at Umba Box for a while, but like many of the comments, can’t justify the $25 price tag. I think 2 items aren’t enough, but that’s just me.

I recently signed up for Ipsy (like Birchbox, which I subscribe to aleady and LOVE) and for $10/month you get full size products in a cute makeup bag. I also subscribe to Cravebox (lifestyle, themed, about $12/month and you chose which box you want) and most recently Goodies (food, $7). These subscription boxes are addicting!

Thanks for sharing!!

erin m. says · 01.16.13

I’m so glad you’ll be sharing about your boxes you receive! I have held off on this one for that same reason. After your 3 month trial, maybe I will change my mind! 🙂

Shannon says · 01.16.13

That calendar is SO CUTE!!! I’ve always wanted to try Umba Box. Looks like so much fun. Thanks for sharing.

2busy says · 01.16.13

Hmmm, definitely interested in seeing what you get.

Oh! Baby Designs says · 01.16.13

I really love that calendar, but you are right, not worth $25 for sure.


Abramyan Avenue says · 01.16.13

I have not heard of this but will be signing up immediately! This is awesome. I normally wouldnt spend the money on it either, but I think we all deserve a little treat once in a while!

Jennifer Cross says · 01.16.13

I stay home with our kids and that cut our income in half. I live through your frivolous purchases. Keep posting them so I can pretend it was me shopping at Target for fun things, getting Birchboxes, and surprises in the mail. Staying home with the kids is my choice and I love it but sometimes, it sucks not having extra cash for fun, little things…or a car.

Victoria Hunter says · 01.17.13

Wow, I think $25/month is A LOT to spend on little handmade things. That’s $300 a year just on trinkets that I might not like. I’m not saying that buying things like this is wrong, but I can think of so many other things to put $300 of discretionary income towards, like a great pair of boots, or toward a vacation… things I’d enjoy a lot more in the long run for the money.

sarah welsch says · 01.17.13

I loved it when I had it, but like the others above, I don’t know if I could spend $25 a month for something I may or may not like.


Ashlyn Sledge says · 01.17.13

Wow! I don’t feel like anything in that box was worth spending $25 on. Like the person above said, that’s $300 a year you could put into a savings acct for paying a car off, mortgage, vacation! Things that are worth way more in life than a calendar and lip balm. I don’t think I’d sign up for this! Birch Box seems wayyyyy better!

southernstewart says · 01.17.13

Did the little calendar stand come with the delivery?! If so, that’s precious to put on a desk at work… more like a little conversation starter.

Like you I love, love, love, the art of letterpress. I discovered it recently at a small fine paper boutique in Edenton, NC. Since I’ve seen it, I’ve looked into using it on invitations since I’ll be getting married in October 2013! I will admit, it’s way out of the budget! If you ever decide to go into letterpress (years down the road when dollars are more discretionary!) feel free to give me a buzz– I’m in New Bern, NC!

My wedding planning journey can be found at 🙂

Jen Brown says · 02.22.13

I”m in love with that coaster calendar! So cute! Definitely looking forward to seeing what you get next! xo

Chitown147 says · 02.27.13

I paid a very hefty price for a three month subscription for my sister for her birthday and Christmas, nothing she got was original, it was all cheap, juvenile junk. (magnets, a purse that doesn’t open wide enough for an adult to get their hand into, a poster…) The company won’t give me my money back or even offer to pay for shipping of the items back to them. Horrible experience which left me and my sister both feeling very bad about the circumstances.

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