You might not think of areas like civil engineering or meteorology as places to look for fashion inspiration, but once you see the jewelry produced by Sci Chic you just might change your mind. From the core of the Earth to the Juno probe orbiting Jupiter, Sci Chic shows the beauty in science by translating areas of STEM into necklaces, rings and other products using methods like 3D printing. The company sells these pieces online and aims to educate consumers about the science and creation methods behind them at the same time. Now Sci Chic is taking its mission of providing fashionable science pieces with an educational spin to a new level with a monthly subscription box service for adults and kids.
The two boxes, Sci Chic Kids and Sci Chic Monthly, were announced in November and will expand on what the company is already doing by providing science-inspired fashion with educational information. However there’s going to be much more in these boxes than what you can buy on Sci Chic’s website.
In an email interview, I asked the CEO of Sci Chic Erin Winick about these new boxes, why she wanted to create them, what you’ll find inside, and more.
Why did you want to create subscription boxes for kids and adults?
Erin Winick: Subscription boxes are an awesome way to build a community around a topic, and we are hoping to form a community around how creative and fun science can be! We have met an awesome network of women and men who are huge supporters of diversity and STEM and science art and we hope this box will help bring these people together. Each box has a different goal. For kids, our goal is to create a consistent way to expose them to different areas of science in a new way. They are able to learn about an area of science and then share it with their friends, sparking every day conversation about science and starting a new learning experience. For adults we want to show that science can be fashionable and bring chic and high end fashionable items to their door every month. We are hoping to bring more 3D printed fashion and give people fashion with a story behind them.
How did you decide on the different themes for each month and why did you want to focus on these during the first year of the service?
Winick: We wanted to do a mixture of topics from all of the areas of STEM to give a variety in the inspiration. There is a lot of relationship between science, technology, math and engineering, so we didn’t want to focus on just one. We hope to give kids and adults exposure to many different areas and show that all of these fields have really cool things going on. We are going to pick a specific topic in each of those monthly themes to focus on as well to really showcase the fields in the best way we can. For example, under Technology, the focus of our January box will be Coding!
Additionally, after a year of running Sci Chic we had tons of requests to cover new areas of science. We hope this box will allow us to include more people and give some lesser-known topics of areas some deserved science art attention!
Can you give us some examples of the types of fashionable items people will be able to find in these boxes? Will they all be from Sci Chic or will you include pieces from other companies occasionally?
Winick: We are going to do a mix of Sci Chic and outside products! Every month will have at least 1 3D printed plastic item in the kid’s box and 1 piece of 3D printed metal jewelry in the adult box only available to subscribers. However, we definitely want to give people variety! In addition to jewelry, we have plans to include items including headbands, stickers and patches in the kid’s box and nail art, notebooks, and shirts in the adult box. There are so many fantastic science fashion creators out there and we hope to feature as many as we can!
The items in the boxes will also be paired with educational material. Can you tell us about what the educational aspects of these boxes will be like? How do you hope these boxes will educate kids and adults about STEM?
Winick: We are hoping to educate both about the science topics as well as 3D printing with the boxes. Each box will have a card explaining the science behind each item, a small lesson for kids about the field of STEM, and a feature on an interesting specific aspect of that field. We will also include links to more online resources and where they can explore learning more about that area of STEM. Every month will also include links to videos showing a behind the scenes look at how we made the items for box. This will include time-lapse videos showing the 3D printing of the items.
Our goal with these boxes is to give both kids and adults a glimpse into that area of STEM and hopefully spark their interest enough to go learn more! Additionally, we hope the educational materials will give our subscribers a background to be able to talk to their friends and family about the science behind their jewelry. We want to make science as accessible as possible and something that people are proud to wear.
You'll also be featuring women in STEM fields. In what ways will you be highlighting these women?
Winick: Each month, we will include a small interview with a woman in STEM working in the field of science we are focusing on that month. We will also include a more in depth interview with them on our website. Some months the pieces in the box will actually be co-designed with these women as well! We hope that these women will show young girls possible career paths in these areas of science and people they can look up to.
Additionally, we have some collaborations lined up with science artists to do some monthly custom designs specifically for the box for the fashionable items in the box as well as for the educational materials.
Do you have any other upcoming releases planned that you can tell us about?
Winick: We are going to have more collaborations coming up with women in STEM from around the country for release on our website as well! We just had our collection come out that was a collaboration with astrophysicists Summer Ash [Editor’s Note: Ash is also a contributor to Fangrrls] and Emily Rice of Startorialist. The collection featured pieces ranging from Hubble Telescope Earrings to a James Webb Telescope Necklace. A portion of the sales of these pieces is going to the Young Women’s Leadership Network, the charity of Summer and Emily’s choice. Expect new jewelry pieces from new areas of science and engineering throughout the next year! You also might start seeing our items in more museum gift shops as we have been increasing our retail sales as well.
We are also adding new material options, including glow-in-the-dark, to our plastic pieces of the coming months! We are excited to give people more choices to help make the perfect pieces of jewelry.
Lastly, we are adding a few clothing options to our site! We just released our first shirts, but we plan to expand what we offer. We have been experimenting with 3D printing directly on fabric and hope to offer some initial options with this technique soon, maybe even in our subscription box!
Anything else about the boxes we haven't discussed that you want to share with our readers?
Winick: The sign up for the first box closes on December 19th and the first boxes will ship mid-January. Upon ordering you will also get a certificate of purchase that you can include as a stocking stuffer to make it a great gift to give for the holidays.
If you have ideas for new jewelry pieces let us know! We will be hosting a contest soon letting people submit designs and design ideas to become a part of the Sci Chic collection. Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up to date on the contest and new products coming out!