A Subscription Service for Wonderful Things

Behind the Scenes at Quarterly

A fun thing about working at Quarterly HQ is that we’re surrounded by great items from Quarterly mailings. Look in any direction, and you’ll spot something from one of our curators. Like Tina Roth Eisenberg's water bottle from #YAY05, cleverly repurposed:

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Or Book Riot's banned books mug, from #BKR02 (paired with our office Tonx coffee subscription, which we highly recommend).

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These tiles are part of an art project for Scott Belsky's latest. (Ask an #SKB09 subscriber to find out more…)

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Virgil did not receive this old tennis ball in a Quarterly box——but he is excited to get canine goodies from Dr. Justine Lee.

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For more glimpses behind the scenes at Quarterly HQ, follow us on Instagram!

New Feature: Single Box Purchases

If you’re an old hand at this subscription service game, you probably like the “set it and forget it” aspect. Pharrell Williams super fan? Can’t get enough Food52? It’s nice to know they’ll arrive on your door every quarter.

But we also know commitment can be intimidating, especially if you’re trying us for the first time. And while you can cancel a Quarterly subscription whenever you want, we also want to make it extra-easy to give us a test drive. 

That’s why we’re excited to announce that single box purchases are now live on the site. With singles, you can buy the next Quarterly box from a curator as a one-off, without subscribing. Just hit Buy Next Box instead of Subscribe.

Then if you love that box, you can become a Quarterly subscriber. The big bonus there? Shipping is free when you subscribe. And of course, a subscription means you only have to sign up once and won’t miss any of the fun.

So poke around the site, and if you see a curator you’re curious about, but aren’t ready to go steady…try a single purchase today.

Our Q&A with Built in LA

If you’ve spotted one of our red “packaged with radness” stickers, you know that Quarterly is proud to hail from the heart of Los Angeles. So we felt an extra dose of hometown pride when we learned Built in Los Angeles had named us their March Startup of the Month, calling us “the quintessential LA company.” Thanks, fellow Angelenos!

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In honor of…the honor, Built in LA’s Carlin Sack chatted with our own Curator Talent Manager, Mark De Avila. (Loyal blog readers will know Mark from his posts on gift buying and dream curating.) The Q&A touches on our company history, process for collaborating with curators, and plans for the coming year.

Thanks again to Built in LA for the recognition and the chance to talk Quarterly. You can catch up with Built and Mark on Twitter, and with Quarterly’s latest on our brand-new site.

Check Out Our New Look…

If you’ve stopped by quarterly.co in the last few days, you may have noticed that we’ve given the site a fresh look. What’s new, you ask? See if you can spot the changes in this picture…

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In addition to a spiffed up design——it’s now easier to see the contents of past mailings——you’re looking at our biggest change: We’ve introduced curator categories. So it’s way easier to find curators you’ll love. Obsessed with Technology & Toys but not so much with Lifestyle & Beauty? Love Food & Home but don’t have the Art & Design gene? Just use the dropdown to sort for curators you’ll care about.

Once you get to a curator’s page, you’ll also find buzzwords associated with him or her. So you can now see at a glance what kinds of surprise items to expect. Take a look:

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The new design features don’t end here——but this blog post does! We’re gonna stop typing now and let you explore the new site for yourself. Enjoy!

(And we’re eager for your feedback, so do say hi on Twitter.)

Article on Quarterly Co. in Progress Report

"Bridging the gap" is a good expression for what we’re after here at Quarterly. We value the digital world and savor the analog one, and most importantly, we think those two realms can actually be friends.

Sebastien Park of the Collaborative Fund has a great article today on Progress Report about our digital-meets-analog vision. As Sebastien puts it, "What started as a passion project to preserve what was being lost became a tool for creative entrepreneurs to present themselves in an authentic way."

The whole thing is a really good read if you’re interested in our vision for Quarterly. Here’s that link again. Thanks for writing it, Sebastien!

ICYMI: A Roundup of New Curators

We know you may not be paying as much attention to our latest curators as, for example, we are… So we thought we’d remind you of some of the great names that have popped up on Quarterly in the last couple months.

  1. NFL players Charles “Peanut” Tillman, Andy Dalton, D.J. Hayden, and Brian Robison  Yes, you read that right: We have 4 active professional football players now curating boxes for Quarterly! You’ll get to find out what drives them on the gridiron, plus a fascinating glimpse into their lives off the field.
  2. Hip-hop legend Q-Tip  The vaunted Tribe Called Quest MC joins Pharrell Williams in the category of “musical geniuses now on Quarterly.” Assuming you haven’t left your wallet in El Segundo, you’ve really got to sign up.
  3. Connor Franta  If you’re not familiar with the young Minnesota native’s YouTube work, just ask someone younger and cooler than you.
  4. Book Riot  We love sending subscribers great books, and no-one picks them better than these Brooklyn bibliophiles. If you’re lucky, they’ll even include notes in the margins.
  5. Olga Kay  Another star of the YouTube universe, Olga reviews great fashion and beauty items for her Moosh minions. Fun fact: She used to be a professional circus juggler.
  6. Unbox Therapy  Lewis Hilsenteger spends his days unboxing great tech for his loyal followers. “Can you box, too?” we asked him. And so a great partnership was born.
  7. Andrew Zimmern  The host of “Bizarre Foods,” Andrew writes that he loves “food with a story.” Through his Quarterly boxes, he’ll be telling tasty tales from his world travels.

And as always, you can find the full roster of Quarterly curators here. Make your pick(s), then stay tuned for more exciting new curators in the coming months!

Behind the Scenes at Quarterly HQ

We’ve run several posts from our in-house gifting team lately; you’ve heard about presents for Mark’s brother, Nora’s mom, Sarah’s dad… But who are Mark, Nora, and Sarah? How about the mysterious Emiliano? And wait: there are two Sarahs?

We thought you might enjoy some behind-the-scenes photos of the team here at gifting HQ in Los Angeles. Bonus points if you can name which boxes these items come from…

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Mark: model for Style Girlfriend, or just a guy using a Cool Hunting hook?

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One of the Sarahs makes a snack. Recognize that cutting board?

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Founder Frechette sees the light——with help from the Stanford d. school.

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Emiliano makes plans for his growing collection of original art. 

5 Favorite Quarterly Items from 2013

It’s that time again——the time you’re very nearly out of time to buy the year’s Christmas presents. And that makes it a great time for our gifters to cut to the chase and suggest something perfect.

We asked our in-house experts each to name their single favorite item from a Quarterly box this year. Here’s what they said and where to buy them (with the exception of one item so cool it can’t be bought)…

1) Arclight AAA Flashlight / #SBQ01  ”This flashlight from Sean Bonner’s debut mailing is wickedly powerful, but fits on your keychain without being cumbersome. It’s great for everyday carry enthusiasts.” –Emiliano

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2) Japanese RazorSaw / #TIM01  ”The “RazorSaw” in Timothy Ferriss’ first box gets my pick for best item of 2013. It’s powerful enough for a range of home and yard tasks. It’s also the best-looking tool in your arsenal.”  –Sarah M.

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3) Reclaimed Branch Colored Pencils / #PKT03  ”For me, nothing was quite as fun as the reclaimed pencils in Poketo’s fall mailing (see above!). They’re a conversational piece, and sure to bring about some creativity.”

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4) Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society / #LSQ01  "I really enjoyed this wild tale of the SF-based underground society. And it makes for a cool coffee table centerpiece.”  –Sarah P.

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5) Huichol Disc / #CHQ05  ”I loved these stunning beadwork pieces, crafted by hand in Mexico for Cool Hunting’s fifth mailing (and not available in stores). It was like unwrapping snowflakes: so much beauty, and each one unique.” –Nora

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#QTT02: Forever Young

This isn’t to say the Quarterly team isn’t totally, entirely professional, but we really like playing with sand. Also, robots. And anything related to outer space. And we maybe, just maybe, still get scared of the dark.

For our latest Tech & Toys box, we looked for the kinds of things that we loved when we were little kids——but with some grown-up twists.

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The mailing featured a modern take on the classic wind-up toy; glowing lunar creatures that we swear we don’t use as nightlights; and Brookstone’s “Sand,” which looks like sand, and acts kind of like sand, but doesn’t make the mess of sand. It’s very neat stuff.

Last but not least, we packed up a sweet bamboo mini stylus. You know——so your kid self can write a thank you to the grown-up you. 

To get in on the Tech & Toys mailings starting with 03, sign up before the end of the week!

#QFH02: Practical Gadgets

We took a cue from our pals at Food52 for our latest Team Quarterly mailing (listening to Amanda and Merrill is always a good idea). “No superfluous gadgets or gewgaws,” they pledge in their Quarterly theme——and we wanted #QFH02 to feature the kind of kitchen tools you’d actually use. Also, we just really like the word “gewgaws.”

Of course, we also didn’t want to send you things you already had. We were after common-sense gadgetry. Here’s what we come up with:

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You’re looking at a brightly colored Komachi chef’s knife and trio of Tovolo tools (the colors help prevent cross-contamination), a grease splatter screen, and a garlic rocker. We hope they’ll become mainstays in our subscribers’ kitchens!

To get in on gewgaw-free goodness for your kitchen and home, sign up for #QFH03 this week!