Tiqued Curiosity: TiqueBox’s Dudefully Splendid Box

Update (02.09.2015): TiqueBox recently announced that they were shutting down their site. While TiqueBoxes are sadly No Longer A Thing, you can visit the individual vendors at their websites – or, if you want to support this site, click on the direct links to buy some of these products on Amazon.com.

Like most children, I always enjoyed getting mail – especially packages – when I was younger. A parcel with  my name on it was usually was the harbinger of something cool, like a present from my grandparents, the latest issue National Geographic Kids , or an auto-penned letter from George HW Bush or Bill Clinton. (When I was very young, I thought they were writing to me directly. Come to think of it, I also don’t know how both the RNC and the DNC managed to get my address by the time I was eight years old, but no matter. It was a different time.) The worst thing that could show up in your mailbox was maybe a copy of Highlights Magazine.

My ardor for patronizing the Postal Service began to fade with age, however, as 8×10 glossies of GHWB were gradually supplanted by bills, credit card offers and junk mail. By the start of my late-twenties, I had gone the way of many Americans – depositing my mail, unread, on my dining table every night as I came home.

Subscription services like TiqueBox have the potential to change my dour outlook on mail delivery, though. Every month, the Portland company sends out packages with a fresh take on their concept of “Portland in a Box” – a curated assortment of artisan goods, all sourced from companies here in the City of Roses.

"What's in the boxxxxxx?"

“What’s in the boxxxxxx?”

A couple of weeks ago, the folks at TiqueBox were kind enough to send me one of their Dudefully Splendid boxes – which, as the name implies, features a collection of dude-appropriate goodies. Let’s crack open this bad boy, shall we? I haven’t been this excited since The Gipper asked me to help him build his Presidential Library!

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1. BB Design Fab – Oregon Keychain/Bottle Opener
There’s not a whole lot that you can say about the venerable keychain / bottle opener combination, but this number from Etsy seller BB Design Fab does sport a pretty sweet design. And, you know, it’s pretty good at opening bottles, too.

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2. Whiskey Ink & Lace – Shave Soap
A traditional soap-and-lather shave is a rare luxury these days, but one that more men should avail themselves of: A) because it’s relaxing and can net you a closer, smoother shave and B) because it looks badass. This shave soap from Whiskey Ink and Lace has a pleasantly manly scent (fitting for a product called “The Gent”) and works up a decent lather.

The only weird thing about the experience was the included shave brush. Traditionally, such brushes are made from badger or boar hair, and well… I had forgotten the one downside to a traditional shave: if you take a bunch of badger hair and get it wet, it smells a little like – you guessed it – wet badger.

Whiskey Ink & Lace also makes a wide selection of aftershavesbeard balms / oils, body scrubs, and even, um, personal lubricants.

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3. Sock It To Me – Fish Socks
Portland sock purveyor Sock It To Me does one thing, and one thing only: they sell socks. Of the wide assortment of whimsical patterns on their website, these fish socks are one of their more sedate designs – just flashy enough to show some character, but sufficiently low-key that I could get away with wearing them to the office. The knee-high red lightning bolt ones? Maybe not as much. Buy yourself a pair here.

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4. Illustrated Playing Cards – Portland Breweries Deck
Local artist Aaron Trotter’s line of Illustrated Playing Cards have featured landmarks from cities near and far: Portland, Boston, Chicago and the like. For his Portland Breweries deck, Trotter’s cards feature 52 different hand-drawn scenes from Breweries around the city. While the retail price of $20 may be a little steep for some buyers, there’s no more distinctly Portland way to throw down during a round of King’s Cup or Texas Hold ‘Em.

The breakfast of champions... or people who really hate carbs.

The breakfast of champions… or people who really hate carbs.

5. Portland Roasting Coffee – Portland House Blend 
6. ShurkyJurky – Cowboy Style Beef Jerky
No gift box would be complete with that most important of all categories: snacks. The Dudefully Splendid box includes samples of both the Portland House Blend, a medium roast blend from Portland Roasting Coffee, and a sample of ShurkyJurky’s Cowboy-Style Beef Jerky. I’m not a coffee expert (my level of expertise rivals Conan O’Brien’s in this clip), but both the coffee and the jerky proved to be perfect snack-time indulgences, and Shurky has some new flavors (Guajillo Chile? Yes, please!) in development that I’m looking forward to trying. One lesson you can learn from me, though: you may enjoy the favors more if you try the coffee and jerky separately. Want brew some Portland Roasting Coffee for yourself? Get a bag here.

VERDICT

A monthly subscription to TiqueBox costs $25 a month; you can buy individual boxes for $40-$50 each. While the value of the individual items in my box easily added up to well over $50, the cost of an individual box can be a little steep unless all of the items appeal to you. In my opinion, where TiqueBox really shines is as a subscription service: for $25 a month, all that swag is a steal, and the folks at Tique do a marvelous job of scouring the city to find new and interesting products to put in front of you. Getting mail is finally fun, again.

VENDORS

BB Design Fab
www.etsy.com/shop/BBDesignFab

Whiskey Ink & Lace
whiskeyinkandlace.com

Sock It To Me!
www.sockittome.com

Illustrated Playing Cards
www.illustratedplayingcards.com

Portland Roasting Coffee
portlandroasting.com

ShurkyJurky
www.shurkyjurky.com

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