To "bee" or not to "bee"

I feel as though the internet has been a-buzz with talk of a company called "Wittlebee" lately. Or maybe it's just my circle of blogs I read, but it was popping up left and right, so I finally caved and gave it a go a couple of weeks back.

The premise is simple: You fill out a style profile about your kid, you enter your payment information, and then magically, a box of clothing shows up every month. Behind the scenes, in the "hive," there are little "worker bees" called stylists putting a box together of outfits. The company says that they allow you to put your child's wardrobe on auto pilot, which is a big plus for me.

Once I decided to take the plunge, I was really excited about it. The boxes were getting, for the most part, really good reviews. The sample boxes were adorable. And the logo and packaging made this Design Mama's heart sing.

It was relatively simple to fill out the style profile. Don't get me wrong, I still stressed over it, cause that's what I do... but it was multiple choice questions and those always take the burden off you! I chose "Preppy" and "Hipster" as the clothing styles I liked (Hipster was an attempt to break out of the rut we seem to be in.) For graphics, I selected Skulls and Rock-n-Roll, as well as patterns and plaids. Colors were highlighted as Orange, Red, and Green. I chose short sleeves, long sleeves, and pants as our styles needed. I indicated I would be open to "accessories" such as pajamas and hats In my world, you can never have too many hats!! This might explain why I have a collection myself. It gave me an option to specify styles not needed which I said tank tops and onsies. I thought the onsies was obvious, but... well... you never know. When asked climate, I indicated hot summer days... which I knew was going to result in shorts in my box, even though we didn't really "need" them.

The part I struggled most with was size. Spencer is not a uniform size. Not only top and bottom, but across brands. I'm sure this is something we all struggle with... Right?! Spencer is probably a little more drastic being that he's wearing (for the most part) a 3T shirt, and 18 month shorts. In pants, he needs the 2T for length... sometimes a 3T as long as they have those elastics inside to cinch 'em in. Finally, I decided on 3T as my size since I knew I could leave the stylist a note.

As soon as I hit order, I wrote my stylist the following note: "Just wanted to point out that while I put 3T, he wears 4T in the brands that run small... and 2T to 3T on bottoms. Or 18 months if it's shorts!  Thank you! Oh... Rock'n'Roll, yes.. skulls, not so much!"

That took almost as long as the order since I had a character limit!  I also felt the need to get in that I don't like skulls. Why is Rock-n-Roll so closely aligned with skulls?! Ugh. But once it was done, I was officially excited. It's been next to impossible to shop with Spencer for clothes... and when I have a free moment, I really don't want to go clothes shopping! Well, not for him at least! {wink} And we are in a serious style rut here.

Our box finally arrived this week, and I was SO excited to see the white box in the mailbox. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. And then I opened the box...

And felt like the kid who got socks and underpants in their stocking.

Oh Wittlebee, I so desperately wanted to love you...

We received a box of three outfits, i.e. six pieces. Included in those six pieces were THREE size 3T shorts. Of course. In case you were wondering, there is a big difference between size 18 months, and size 3T. After I got over the disappointment of the short sizes being inaccurate, I moved on to actually examining the outfits. I feel like the paul frank shirt paired with the red sports shorts is right in line with Spencer's current style (You could argue that it's on the sporty side, but I'm actually ok with that). I think the rock star dinosaur outfit could not be any more "hipster meets prep school" and that's awesome. AND it had a guitar in it too. Total home run for the stylist. It's not something I ever would have chosen either... which is exactly why I signed up for this service! The quality in that outfit leaves something to be desired, but we'll see how it wears. (I plan to alter the shorts to fit) The last outfit.... oh... I don't even know how to feel about it. I actually really, really like the shorts. I'm surprised that I like them as much as I do. Hopefully camo is still in style when he finally fits in them in 2 years! The shirt feels like a cop out to me. I know that wittlebee is expanding to actually produce their own clothing line... which I think is really cool. But this feels like "logo wear" to me. If it had been in the box as an "extra" thing, I'd be psyched. But it's in their as one of my pieces... and that feels... eh, ok. This is a premium service, and I pay a premium price... but I also expect premium products. I know how much these cost to produce, and I'm less than impressed that this was included as an item. And, for the record, this is a box for a three year old boy... who puts WHITE t-shirts on their boys regularly? Not me. Where can I indicate that on my next style sheet? No white! (I'm kidding... mostly.) I did notice that there was a 4T shirt in there... which leads me to believe they read the note... but maybe only half of it?

{The shorts on the left, the blue and green plaid, are shorts that currently fit... see?! HUGE size difference!}

I plan to tweak my style sheet in hopes of better results next month. I really, really want this to work because it saves me time, and oddly enough, money. Each piece averages $6.50 if you divide the cost of the box by the amount of items in there... and just keeping me out of the stores is a win in itself. (Everyone wonders what the "suggested retail price" is on these. The tags for the paul frank outfit and the "rocking dinosaur" outfit come to $68... so it is a bargain. One I didn't have to hunt down!)

Update: I contacted Wittlebee immediately, and they are shipping me a replacement box. (Once mine shows up as shipped back in the system.) It took FIVE days for my message to be dealt with, which I feel is sub-par customer service. A quick look on their faceb00k page shows I'm not the unhappy customer right now. It seems (from my perspective) that they are having some serious growing pains. I hope they can right the ship, and quickly, because this is a service that is long overdue in the market. If you are reading Wittlebee, maybe you should stop pushing out new services and products until you can meet the demands of your current customer base?? I so badly want you to succeed!

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Please note : I have no affiliation with wittlebee. I just thought I would share my thoughts on the first box of what could be a really great service.