Subscription Box Review: Illumicrate #1

Sunday, 15 November 2015
Hey guys! Today I'm here with a little something different, because I am here to review a book subscription box! The box in question, Illumicrate was founded by our very own Daphne from Winged Reviews! For those of you who don't know, Illumicrate is a UK based book subscription service that runs on a quarterly basis - meaning you'll get one box every three months (that's a total of four per year!)

Now being a huge fan of subscription boxes, I was thrilled to see one based in the UK so I jumped right in and subscribed myself to this service! I've always been drawn to the subscription services in the US, but often found that their postage prices skyrocketed through the roof, and frankly it just wasn't worth it by the time you added up all of the costs. What enticed me about the Illumicrate box was that shipping to the UK was free and that everything was included in the one payment. With a bright and vibrant exterior (which is extremely well designed,) I was eager for my box to arrive so I could see what wonders were buried in this newly found venture.

So my Illumicrate box arrived yesterday morning, and after so much mystery behind what was going to be included, I was ecstatic to dive straight in and see what this box included! Opening the box up, I was greeted with a vibrant yellow Illumicrate flyer that contained all of the items that were included in the box, as well as the names to the shop providers and some bonus content/ exclusive discounts for Illumicrate subscribers. Beneath the flyer was a rolled up poster and lots of yellow crinkled paper filling. 

Removing the cute tape from the poster and rolling it out revealed a stunning Harry Potter series poster by Abbie Imagine. This poster contained wonderful redesigned covers for the series, which I think are simplistic and beautiful. I strongly believe this poster will look fantastic on any wall and I think I'm planning on having mine framed.

Removing the slot in tray and diving further into this box, I was greeted by the rest of the included Illumicrate items as well as the book for this quarter's box, Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin! I have had my eye on this book for a while now and actually had it on my wishlist, so I am very glad that Daphne chose it for the first Illumicrate box! What makes it even more worthwhile is the fact I received a signed bookplate to go inside my book and an exclusive video from Ryan discussing some behind the scenes content on the Wolf to Wolf duology! Very cool.

Also included in the box was a Wolf by Wolf themed tattoo bookmark, designed by Skinny Hues. I own some of their bookmarks already, more specifically their customised hashtag range which I use on Instagram. They're absolutely wonderful and I am extremely happy to be adding another one to my collection of them. Especially as this bookmark is customised solely for Illumicrate subscribers!

The box also included a handmade, wooden Mockingjay necklace designed by My Clockwork Castle with the memorable movie quote 'If we burn, you burn with us.' It's such a wonderful design because with it's unisex design, it means that the box doesn't necessarily linger to one gender, which is awesome.

Alongside various other bookish swag, Raspberry Finch included a Looks Before Books Pocket Mirror, an ironic styled mirror in exclusive colours purely for Illumicrate. Whilst practically, I don't use pocket mirrors an awful lot, the design on the reverse side appeals to me greatly and you can bet I'm going to be using it as a bookish item to decorate my bookshelves with. It has also proven to be beneficial for taking awesome inspirational photos as can be seen on the photo above on the right!

However, not everything you get for subscribing to Illumicrate is a physical item inside of the box, because on the item packing list is a code for discounts at all of the shops featured in the box! I think its a pretty good deal! The discounts for the shops are as below:
  • 10% off orders of £25 and above at My Clockwork Castle
  • 15% off any order at Skinny Hues (valid until 31 December 2015) 
  • 15% off any order at Abbie Imagine (valid until 31 January 2016)
  • 20% off any order at Raspberry Finch

And there we have it, there are all of the neat bookish items carefully curated into the first ever Illumicrate box! I honestly think Daphne has done a fantastic job in bringing together a box that I can see a lot of people are going to enjoy. 

For £29.99 per quarter, value for money wise I think some people will be quite taken back by it and assume it's too expensive for what you get. However, I don't think it's that bad, especially considering the shipping is included in that price. If there were less items, then I think I would definitely question it's affordability.

Whilst some items may not be for everyone, Daphne has done a stunning job in simply celebrating bookish goods and I think everyone can appreciate that somehow. Because this box is quarterly, I don't mind spending £30 on this box, because it's only a little treat every few months. If this price was monthly, then perhaps I would question whether I could splash out the amount it costs for this box, but as it's quarterly, I'm pretty sure I would pay it again.

Would I buy Illumicrate again? Most definitely! After some confusion due to my lack of technology knowledge, I managed to cancel my subscription early, but you can bet that when the doors open to subscribe once again, I will be at the front of the queue! Daphne you can be safe in the knowledge that Illumicrate definitely did brighten up my day. See you in February for Box #2! In the spirit of Illumicrate, I award the first box four llumicrate logos!

For more information about Illumicrate, feel free to check out the Illumicrate website as well as any of their social media sites. All links to social media and to the online stores included in this box will be displayed below:

Illuminate Website             Twitter               Facebook               Instagram                Tumblr

Abbie Imagine               Skinny Hues              My Clockwork Castle              Raspberry Finch  

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