Why you should care

Even temporary tats live on longer than flowers.

A big bunch of flowers is a nice, traditional gift, but they’re not exactly an original way to tell someone you care. Plus, with so many millennials on the move, who has a vase to spare? And roses peering awkwardly out of a kettle is sooo not a good look. But what’s the alternative?

For Londoner Susi Weaser, this problem crystallized after she was sent flowers during a breakup and couldn’t find a vase. “There’s nothing sadder than a bouquet of flowers in a mixing jug,” she told OZY. She got to thinking about what she might have appreciated more — no disrespect to her friend — and this led to the creation of her specialized gift box service, Death to Flowers, which launched in 2015.

… a gourmet chocolate bar and a fortune cookie inscribed with words of wisdom … from Beyoncé.

The boxes take a unique slant on gift giving: They’re sassy, smart — and free from petals and sickly sweet sayings. Each one features an assortment of items, ranging from wind-up organs and dancing-lady temporary tattoos to an inflatable flamingo drinks holder — useful, right? Every $23 box has a theme — like “No More Tears” for people having a hard day, “Grateful Face” for showing appreciation and “The Boy Box” for that special someone who deserves superhero socks. Then there’s the ♥ box — yes, named with an emoji — to convey those extra gooey feelings. Inside there’s a vintage cigarette card, a gourmet chocolate bar and a fortune cookie inscribed with words of wisdom … from Beyoncé (“Bow down bitches”), Cher (“Don’t take your toys inside just because it’s raining”) or Britney Spears.

The 'I Love You' gift box.

The “I Love You” gift box.

Source Death to Flowers

Weaser says she didn’t deliberately choose to quote powerful women; she went for pop icons with uplifting messages. The boxes are designed to appeal to people like herself, described as “emoji-using, Taylor Swift–loving women who have gone through enough of life to know how important their friends are.” This philosophy is explained further in Death to Flowers’ “F*ck Yeah Manifesto”: The boxes celebrate people you care about, the Romy to your Michelle. Don’t know how to say ¯\_(ツ)_/¯? Let the stickers, postcards, tats and fortune cookies do that for you.

But while the subscription boxes might be a fun gift for friends and colleagues, they probably won’t appeal to everyone. You might, for instance, want to stick to traditional florals when it comes to Mother’s Day. Cost is also a factor: International shipping costs can add an estimated $15+ per box, so crafty Americans might want to DIY their own.

Brandy O’Grady, editor at subscription-box review site Hello Subscription, says Death to Flowers’ cheeky attitude is a great selling point, but a potential downer is that the contents of each box are already known, so it might not be a surprise. O’Grady, who has 1,000 subscription box reviews listed on her site, says there’s also a lot of competition in the market. Still, Weaser’s determined. And when times are tough, she has a number of inspirational quotes to turn to. Like Britney Spears: “I know not everyone will like me, but this is who I am, so if you don’t like it, tough!”

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