Svbscription is a high-end product subscription service that accomodates to your personal taste and lifestyle. New York artist Sam Wheeler and Portable.tv founder Andrew Apostola make up the creative duo behind Svbscription, a service that delivers unique parcels of products to members all over the world. Each parcel contains the best of design, culture, technology, apparel and entertainment with products that are carefully curated by tastemakers and produced in collaboration with celebrated brands and designers. The service is designed for men who appreciate the finer details of lifestyle and culture but are short on time. With each parcel curated around a theme and delivered directly to members' homes or office, Svbscription makes it easier for men to own rare and exclusive products and experiences while managing to keep up with the trends. Manuscript spoke with Mr Wheeler and Mr Apostola about their service and what it involves.
Why did you set up Svbscription?
Fun is probably the best way to explain it.
Things like Mr Porter make it obvious that men are spending on luxury. But why Svbscription when you can go out and buy what you want directly? Is it about the element of surprise?
Yes, I think there is that element of surprise, but also the other element that’s important is the way that we work with brands to help produce the products. The first theme is curated around travel, and we’re working directly with a couple of manufacturers to do the product development of the pieces available in the parcel. Of course you can buy products online now and it’s become a world where everything is accessible, but this is luxury around scarcity of great objects. A lot of the time you don’t want to walk into an apartment and see the same things over and over again. This idea is based on having exclusive products that can be customised to suit our aesthetic.
How do you sum Svbscription up – a gift to oneself?
We've been likening it to a 'book of the month club', where you receive an object every quarter, a beautifully curated selection of products, but also an experience.
It’s quite decadent in that sense.
It is. It’s quite decadent gifting yourself regularly. We talk about it in the same way a gym membership works – you sign up, you attend, and you physically improve over time so you don’t mind the fee. With Svbscription you don't just acquire great things, but expand your taste as well. It enriches peoples lives to have something they can hold on to.
How did you get brands involved? Who are some of them?
We've started the conversation about doing something bespoke and exclusive. This is our first foray into it so we’re trying to shape it as we go. The people that have influenced and informed us the most are the brands that are involved. Through working in the city [New York] we've learnt about a certain taste level, and have been introduced to some amazing products.
What can one expect in the box?
There is an apparel element to it, and we have a concierge service that engages with our members for the product run regarding sizing. Each parcel contains apparel, beauty and technology. It depends on how many products are in each box – there’s six pieces in the first run. It all depends. If we find one exceptional piece we’ll do that with a smaller selection of complimentary pieces. The first package has a couple more impressive pieces and we also cover the necessities of travel.
Are the boxes tailored to each member?
Everyone gets the same, with the only difference being sizing.
How do you approve a member?
There’s only 100 memberships available at the moment with first in, first served. We’re opening in different sequences through different channels. We have our own network of people to take care of first and there’s a waiting list that expands each time. And because we’re just starting, 100 members is something we’re comfortable with as we don’t want to sacrifice quality. This also keeps it fairly exclusive in the beginning and allows us to control our market. We hope if we set it up right it will take off and expand on its own.
We are catering to different continents and it’s available to everyone everywhere. Of course there are limits on availabilities with shipping, with free shipping in the US and shipping costs to elsewhere.
What does a member pay?
$300 per quarter to $100 per month. People can buy a yearly supply for $1100. We’ve put it at an affordable price point for the pieces we put together.