Borrowing the personal-shopper, at-home try-on elements of a subscription service, Leesburg women’s boutique Madisonbelle is offering a subscription-service-inspired “Style Box.”
The store, which carries such designers as Zadig & Voltaire, Bella Dahl, AG Jeans, and Mother Denim, originally began the service in response to the pandemic, but says they will continue the offering as an extension of the store’s styling services.
How It Works
Customers can fill out a questionnaire at Madisonbelle.com to indicate their style, color, and fit preferences, and then owner Shelley Scheerschmidt will pull a few selections and schedule a one-on-one consultation via video call, email, or text (in-person appointments are also available.) Once pieces are approved and paid for, selections are shipped and customers have 14 days to return or exchange—there’s a prepaid return label included in the box. The boxes can be ordered as a one-time purchase, or scheduled weekly, monthly, or quarterly.
Should You Try It?
So, the downside is this: unlike a traditional subscription box, you are charged for all the shipped items up front
. However, if you like the idea of a having a professional choose items for you, you want to avoid in-store shopping, you don’t want to commit to a regular shipment, and (ahem, topping the list), you want to shop local, it seems like it’s worth a try. Plus, though shoppers are charged for the full box upfront, the one-on-one consult to approve each item in advance sets Madisonbelle’s “Style Box” apart from the national subscription box brands. And while a video consult is a great way to go for the most social shoppers, being able to chat with a stylist and see items by text makes for an exceptionally attractive option for the rest of us. Of course, local shoppers who wants to do the whole thing in person can arrange that too by filling out the online form, setting up an appointment, and heading in-store to see and try on selections.
Update: The original version of this story said that returns had to be made in store. That is incorrect: there is a pre-paid shipping label included in each box for returns.