Welcome to the first edition of Boxed Up! I will be honest, when I came up with this concept I did thing nobody else would buy into it and the idea would fall flat on it’s face…you know how it is when anxiety gets a grip on an idea! Luckily I pursued it and one of the companies I contacted loved the idea as much as I did and is my first feature!
Literary Vacation Club is not just a monthly subscription box, and the reason they were one of the first companies I contacted is because they are specifically designed around helping people’s mental health. I know, right?! Ashley, CEO of Literary Vacation Club has been amazing in helping me put this feature together, not only has she sent me a box so that I can show you what to expect from Literary Vacation Club, but she also let me grill her and so below you will also find an awesome interview which will give you far more insight into the company and the boxes, and how they can help people with their mental health.
I also want to add that in addition to this box having been set up to help those with mental health needs, Ashley also contributes some of the proceeds of her boxes to an organisation called Knitted Knockers which is for women who have dealt with breast cancer. This is a business which has been set up and is doing so much good it’s refreshing it really is.
I truly believe that boxes like these can be great for your self care. Not only is getting post that isn’t a bill or one of those dreaded brown envelopes uplifting, but a subscription box is like getting a present every month filled with things you can enjoy and can offer you comfort. The key, is finding one that fits your personality and tastes, and that is what I hope to help you with, with this feature!
I’m sure you want to see more about Literary Vacation Club so here is my Unboxing of the June 2017 box, the theme of which was was Russia…as you are aware I’m not a clever photographer like some people, please forgive me but I hope these photo’s do the items justice as this box really blew me away with the care and thought which had gone into it.
I opened the box and everything looked so pretty, initially laid on the top was a card hand-written to me which was such a nice touch, directly underneath the card was a printed document detailing everything in the box.
There was a boarding pass which was personalised, not just to my name but my country, Literary Vacation Club is based in the USA, but my pass had been personalised so that it was England to Russia a lovely touch. A passport and Russian stamp, the passport will be used with future boxes aswell which I think is a lovely touch for regular subscribers. There were also two handmade postcards….awesome! I collect postcards and these two beauties will not be leaving my house as they are most definitely going into my collection. There is a lot of love which has gone into putting all this together and it really shines out, and it makes you feel quite special aswell.
The name Literary Vacation Club should give away that there is a book involved somewhere! I was super impressed with how this was presented, wrapped in newspaper with a beautiful ribbon and jewel decor. Such a simple but impactful presentation. The book was The Bronze Horseman, one I will admit hasn’t made it onto my radar before but having read the synopsis I will certainly be adding it to my reading schedule. There were also handmade Russian Nesting Doll Style Corner Bookmarks. I’ve never come across bookmarks like this but they are rather cool so I will have to give them a go.
Finally I had so much fun opening up all those little bags you saw in the first pictures, it was like my birthday! I had tea (I love tea…you knew that right?) pumpkin seeds, a hand crocheted mug cosy (would you believe I already have two of these?! They are brilliant, a crocheted book jewellery bookmark, a candle which smells lovely, and my absolute favourite Russian nesting dolls! Now Ashley wouldn’t have known this putting her box together, or when we spoke about me putting this post together, but I have always wanted Russian Nesting Dolls! I was so happy when I saw them in the box! I am anticipating my five-year old Niece stealing them but for now I keep playing with them so…there you have it!
So…shall we find out a bit more about Literary Vacation Club from Ashley?
Hi Ashley, Welcome to BrizzleLass, and thank you for taking part in Boxed Up! Can you Tell us a bit about Literary Vacation Club for those who aren’t familiar?
I created Literary Vacation Club due to my experience with suffering from clinical depression and panic disorder. I found that reading was one of the only things that could calm me down and help me find an escape, so I wanted to share that with other readers. Therefore, I took reading to the next level by creating a multi-sensory experience with Literary Vacation Club! We send out items to see, hear, taste, smell, and touch that all relate to the monthly destination and/or book. This allows readers to escape from the comfort of their own home.
I am also an indie author, and I wanted to help other indie authors market themselves better, so most of the books we feature are from indie authors or lesser known authors. This brings a completely new reading experience to the reader!
I’m a huge reader, and it is where I find my zen, but what was the inspiration behind Literary Vacation Club?
My inspiration behind Literary Vacation Club was my need to create a comforting book club box for those, like myself, who suffer from anxiety or depression. Our boxes are also wonderful stress relievers, and we aim to send out experiences that will help our subscribers relax throughout the entire month!
How do you choose the items to go into the box each month?
Most of the items we feature are made by us, or other small businesses, so all of the items are exclusive. We pick a different destination as a theme each month (such as Russia, Neverland, Hogwarts, etc.) and we curate items that go with the theme to allow the subscriber to experience the destination through all 5 of their senses.
What have been some of your favourite Literary Vacation Club items since launch?
Some of my favorite items that we have sent out are book lockets that feature the covers of some of our favorite books, crocheted paperback protector sleeves, and a crocheted dragon scale bag that we featured last July.
How do you think Literary Vacation Club can be good for helping people’s mental health?
Reading is a major way for people to improve their mental health since it provides an escape and a stress reliever, so our box can intensify that experience by providing subscribers with a multi-sensory reading experience. We put love into every item we put in our boxes, and we always include a personal, handwritten card to each subscriber so that they feel important and cared for.
Do you theme your boxes?
We do theme our boxes! Our boxes have a different physical or literary destination as the theme every month. For example, some of our past destinations have been Russia, Neverland, and Hogwarts.
How did you come up with the name, Literary Vacation Club?
I wanted a name that would make subscribers feel like part of a club since we are an online book club on top of a subscription service. Also, we bring literary vacations to subscribers each month through our box, so the name just seemed perfect!
I’m a big reader, is there one book you would always recommend for someone’s wellbeing?
One of my favorite books that has helped me mentally is Room by Emma Donoghue. Even though this is a darker story, it focuses on a young boy’s experience with going out into the world for the first time and experiencing how wonderful it is. Room is a wonderful book to remind us all how precious life is.
Another great inspirational book is Soul Shifts by Dr. Barbara De Angelis. She is such a spiritual person, and I love her insight into the well being of our spiritual souls!
What is one of the best pieces of feedback you’ve received about the Literary Vacation Club?
I have received feedback from many subscribers who are disabled and enjoy Literary Vacation Club because it allows them to travel from their home into literature. This warms my heart, because I am so happy to be able to help others escape into books and find the comfort that I find in them. I have also had subscribers who suffer from the same mental illnesses as myself tell me that they enjoy the personalized feel of the box and the love that goes into it because it makes them feel cared for. I consider every one of my subscribers to be family!
So, that’s it folks. I was absolutely blown away by the personal feel of this box, I’ve had boxes in the past which I’ve utterly enjoyed but I’ve never had this level of personal touch. The time that must go into making sure each and every subscriber is looked after must be incredible. But I can imagine it pays off big time. Below are all the links you will want for this lovely company. If you have any questions for them, I have no doubt Ashley herself will get back to you, she really is that fantastic.