Pass the Parcel: An Interview with Svbscription CEO Andrew Apostola

Since June 2012, Svbscription have been altering the modern man’s experience of collecting the post. Every three months, the banality of receiving bills and pizza menus has been replaced with a child-like anticipation as the Svbscription package is set to arrive. Taking curation to the next level, the luxury subscription service has based each of their seven parcels on a different emotive theme, from travel to the home, the latter of which was collated by The Selby. Intrigued and in desperate need of a little child-like anticipation, The Manual caught up with the company CEO Andrew Apostola to find out more.

What sparked the Svbscription concept?

In a world where there is an over supply of choice, the minimization of choice can become a luxury. Combine this with the sentiments of personalization and custom delivery, and you have the two central tenants that brought Svbscription into being in November 2011.

In your opinion, why is this concept so relevant to the modern man of right now?

The modern man has everything at his fingertips. If he’s successful he also has the resources to make anything possible. In a lot of ways, this is incredibly boring—isn’t it? That level of control and influence means that there’s little room for real surprise, for unexpected fun. We don’t think it’s as existential as John Grisham outlines in The Game, but there is a strong feeling that exists in most guys of wanting to one day get on a plane to California and end up in Athens.

What has been your favourite Svbscription package so far?

Undoubtedly the one we just shipped, the Unexpected. It was such an emotive theme; everyone had their own sense of what it would be. We really enjoyed thinking about our members firstly unbundling the package in their living rooms (to date all parcels had been sent in wooden boxes), then pulling out an axe and saying WTF? The process of making an axe was really enjoyable for us. We worked with Sinclair Smith, an industrial designer, who went deep into the process of axe making in order to come up with something original, modern and functional.

How do you come up with the theme for each package? And how do you select the creators involved?

We stand in a circle holding hands until someone speaks. Sometimes it might take an hour, the longest has been two days. The first word that is spoken becomes the theme for the parcel. If two people speak at the same time then we have to start the whole process again. The process for choosing the participants is much easier. It’s a lot of reading, pinboarding on pinterest, attending tradeshows and exploring great retail stores around the world.

You’ve dubbed the next parcel V7: The Maker, can you give us any sneaky hints at its contents?

For information and the first sneaky hints, you need to check out the mood board and inspiration section on the Svbscription website.

Finally, we know it’s a little early, but can you tell us what is on your Christmas list for this year? We’re dying to know…

It’s never too early to think about Christmas and thanks giving gifts. For tech, we’d like a Maker Bot Digitizer. To read, Dog Songs by Mary Oliver and to wear, a pair of Mark McNairy Rock ‘n’ Roll Hoochies. Two business class tickets from New York to Palm Springs in mid Feb would be great too.

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