Interview: Royal Treasure Chest
August 14, 2018

I was giddy when I recently discovered the delightfulness that is the Royal Treasure Chest Vintage Subscription Box. As a person who loves getting mail, I was intrigued by the hand-curated collections of vintage items sent to a person’s door, available in several categories: Olde Books, Curios & Knick-Knacks, Jewelry, Tie Bars & Cufflinks, Paper Ephemera, Ladies Accessories, Gentlemen’s Accessories, and Surprise Me! I reached out to the folks behind the subscription box service to get some more info on this charming business.

1. First, tell me a little bit about your main business and then how you got into the subscription box game.

We are a husband and wife team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For about 10 years, we have sold on Etsy and eBay. We travel around western Pennsylvania and Ohio to auctions and estate sales to rescue old treasures! Our goal is to keep the treasures of the past from the landfills and introduce them to a new generation.

We have both always loved old things. We each have very happy childhood memories of sifting through our grandmothers’ attics. Just over two years ago, we were talking to two of our adult sons who mentioned how they loved subscription boxes and how they felt that we had everything that was needed to offer a vintage subscription box. So, we looked into it and were amazed at the number of subscription boxes that were out there! We were amazed also to find that there weren’t many authentically vintage subscription boxes. It was an exciting challenge and opportunity for us and we felt the time was right to launch our Royal Treasure Chest Vintage Subscription Box.

We have loved every minute of doing these vintage subscription boxes and hand curating every box for our subscribers.



2. Which category is the most popular? Did you expect that?

Curios and Knick-Knacks have surprised us as being our most popular category. It is a very fun category and maybe it is the element of being the unknown randomness of what it could be that makes it so popular. We did not expect this category to be the most popular at all!



3. If I had to pick a kit theme for myself, I would go for the paper ephemera box. Which one is your favorite and why?

We love all of our categories which is why we chose them. If we had to pick one, we would also say Paper Ephemera is our most favorite category. This could include a bundle of letters and photos from the past, which give you a little look into someone’s life from that time. It could be an old magazine from the 1920s to the 1950s showing all of the things that were popular and in-fashion then. It may be a couple of advertisements or fashion plates from an older magazine which are perfect for framing.

We love this category because of its scope and variety of what it may include.



4. Do you have any plans for future additional categories for kits?

We don’t have any plans at this time for future categories, but we are always open to any suggestions that our subscribers may have. At this point, two years in, no one has requested any new categories! We have recently added two additional subscription box options. We started with the $40 three-item box. Recently we added the $60 five item box and the $15 one item box. We have had a great response to both of these new options!



5. Is there anything else you would like to add about the project that people should know?

Yes, we would like everyone to know that every item is genuinely vintage. Each box is hand-curated for the individual customer, and lastly, if a subscriber tells us they have a preferred era or style, or things they really don’t want, even right down to a color, we will accommodate those requests as we hand curate their boxes.


Jillianne Hamilton is a history enthusiast and the author of The Spirited Mrs. Pringle (historical fiction), The Hobby Shop on Barnaby Street (historical romance), and The Lazy Historian’s Guide to the Wives of Henry VIII (non-fiction). Jill launched The Lazy Historian in 2015. She lives in Charlottetown on Canada’s beautiful east coast. Learn more.

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Hi, I'm Jillianne.

I'm a historical fiction writer, a lover of history, and a hoarder of books. I'm the author of The Spirited Mrs. Pringle, The Hobby Shop on Barnaby Street, and The Lazy Historian's Guide to the Wives of Henry VIII.

The Lazy Historian is a history blog featuring stories from the past with sass. With a focus on Western European and women's history, I delve into anything fascinating. Learn more.