With all of us spending more time at home, discover the crafting subscription box service which really celebrates creativity, plus enter our competition for your chance to win one of their beautiful boxes
THE ‘PRETTY PAINTING’ BOX, MADE IN COLLABORATION WITH ILLUSTRATOR EMMA BLOCK, AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY THROUGH MAKEBOX + CO
“In a time of destruction, create something: a poem, a parade, a community, a school, a vow, a moral principal; one peaceful moment.” While we navigate these uncertain times, this quote from Maxine Hong Kingston could not be more timely. As we’ll all be spending a lot more time at home in the weeks and months ahead, we’ve been delighted to discover a crafting subscription box service which delivers beautiful, fun and creative projects to your door each month.
Launched last year by best-selling craft author, stylist, blogger and presenter Hannah Read-Baldrey and her husband, Brendan, MakeBox + Co has already garnered a dedicated following and a community of makers who either buy a subscription for a new project each month or a one-off box.
“Over the past few years conversations about mental health and wellbeing have dominated the agenda and finally, in a world full of workaholics, people are waking up to the need to switch off and invest time in themselves and their relationships with loved ones,” says Hannah. “It’s about less hustle, more hobbies, so to speak!”
MAKEBOX + CO’S ORIGINAL PROJECT, THE ‘BEE KIND’ EMBROIDERY BOX, STILL THEIR MOST POPULAR TO DATE
MakeBox + Co itself came out of a devastating tragedy. “Brendan and I set up the company when I was six months pregnant with our daughter, Posey. The year before we tragically lost our second son, Bertie Bee, at birth and that had made us rethink a lot of things. Brendan had just wound down his first start-up and said “let’s work on your brand”. I rolled my eyes, but the more we chatted the more it made sense. We liked the idea of working together. I am so passionate about craft and he is about business so it’s a complementary skill set.”
The couple put their heads together and came up with the idea of a subscription box. “We used a free website page to start with, bought a domain name, set up social media accounts, and I took photos on my phone. We thought we would have about 10 orders to start, but the reaction was incredible; in our first month we shipped 250 boxes,” says Hannah. “We realised very quickly this was going to be a thing and we needed space. We moved the following month into our current studio which we have now outgrown, and we’re about to move to a much larger space. I’m getting a flower wall and an area for filming, it’s all very exciting!”
The first MakeBox + Co project was the ‘Bee Kind’ embroidery box. “This was a design I had worked on just after losing Bertie Bee, so it is deeply personal to us and I’m delighted to say it’s still our bestselling box,” says Hannah. “I am a strong believer in creativity and wellbeing – I know it has helped me, and this business is a testimony to that.”
HANNAH READ-BALDREY WITH HER HUSBAND AND FELLOW MAKEBOX + CO FOUNDER, BRENDAN, WITH THEIR CHILDREN TEDDY AND POSEY
Sustainability is an ongoing priority for Hannah and Brendan, and they have made conscious effort to reduce plastics and any non-biodegradable materials in their boxes. The packaging is all recyclable and from sustainable sources and they always look to choose crafting partners that also have the same values.
With no prior crafting experience required and every box fully stocked with everything you’ll need as well as detailed instructions and tutorials for the project, MakeBox + Co offers a chance to learn new skills as well as creating something beautiful for your home. “Creative activity can bring incredible benefits to mental health and wellbeing,” says Hannah. “Spending time making something – using your hands to knit, fold, mould or draw – is incredibly calming, like mindful meditation where you are fully in the present. And at the end, you also get the satisfaction of having made something!”
MARCH’S BOX IS THE ‘ENGLISH MEADOW’ EMBROIDERED CLOCK
We’re delighted to have partnered with Makebox + Co to offer one lucky reader the chance to win the March’s ‘English Meadow’ embroidered clock box. Click here to enter!
Individual boxes cost £24.99. Visit makebox.co to find out more.