Subscription service marries the novelty of receiving mail with the power of online communities
by Miranda Ward
Founded by Zach Frechette, Cofounder and Editor of Good magazine, Quarterly Co. is a new subscription service delivering a batch of gifts handpicked by a cast of creative contributors. Like the four-year-old "object based publication" The Thing Quarterly, the upstart means to delight in an era of constant communication but physical detachment.
"Quarterly wants to recapture the romance and impact of a well-crafted package," explains Frechette in a blog post, but its goal is also to "tie it into existing online communities in an organic way." Quarterly subscribers will receive a new "issue" every three months from the contributor to which they subscribed. Contents might include anything from notebooks to cold remedies—the point is for each object to have a story, a reason or some other way of enhancing the relationship between contributor and subscriber.
Current contributors include Mike Monteiro, Cofounder of Mule Design, who will send items that "contain an uplifting story about someone else's pain" and Swissmiss Studio Founder Tina Roth Eisenberg chose items that she herself would display in her minimalist workspace. Geoff Manaugh, the brains behind BldgBlog, looked to help recipients explore "the built—and unbuilt—environment," while The Atlantic's Senior Editor Alexis Madrigal wants to help subscribers understand technology. Bobby Solomon, Editor of The Fox is Black, will share things that inspire him—bringing his site in to the real world.
Quarterly is in public beta and adding new contributors regularly. All subscriptions on the site are currently sold out, but new contributors and site features are announced toward the end of each week, "at which time Quarterly will be open for business for a period of roughly 48 hours."
Subscriptions start at $25 per quarter and are now open to international subscribers for an additional shipping charge of $10-15. To find out when subscriptions are open and get other news, follow Quarterly on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr.