Frequently Asked Questions

About My Dear Darling

Q: What is My Dear Darling?
A: My Dear Darling is an online gift shop where you can find a variety of handmade gifts. Currently, the shop offers penguin plush dolls, character pillows, fruit pillows and stationery, all of which can be personalized. My Dear Darling’s mission is to explore creativity, provide innovative designs and handcraft special personalized gifts for individuals. New products are added periodically, so make sure to check back to see what’s new!

Q: Who is behind My Dear Darling?
A: My Dear Darling was created by Akiyo with the help of her husband, Brandon. She designs and creates all the products you see in the shop but everything is first approved by him. Akiyo’s heart goes into every project and especially loves working with her clients on personalized gifts. She loves getting to know her customers and gets giddy when she receives Fan Moment photos of her products with their new families. Brandon has a full time job at 2K Marin and is such a sweet supportive husband, that he takes some of his off time to help Akiyo with her business. They currently reside in Novato, California with their dog, Katsu, and hope to travel around the world some day.

Products and Personalization

Q: How come you don’t name your characters?
A: My Dear Darling personalizes gifts specifically for each individual. The Darlings, as we like to call them, do not have names and are not gender specific until you decide what you would like for your dear Darling. What fun would it be if we took that pleasure away? 🙂

Q: What products can I personalize?
A: Any product titled “PERSONALIZED for YOU” may be personalized. Unfortunately, readymade products will not be customizable.

Q: Would you be able to make a green penguin instead of black?
A: Yes! I can change the colors for you at no extra cost. A list of color swatches is available but please keep in mind that the actual fabric color may not be what you see on the screen since our monitors are all calibrated differently.

Q: I want a custom item that you don’t have in your shop. Would you be able to make it for me?
A: If you have an original design, contact me at MyDearDarlingShop(at)gmail(dot)com and we can work together to create your special gift.
RESTRICTIONS: If the character or the design is the property of an individual or a company other than yourself, I will NOT be able to create it because of copyright laws. I apologize for this inconvenience.

Orders and Payments

Q: Do I need an Etsy account to order a My Dear Darling gift?
A: Yes. Currently, My Dear Darling gifts are only sold on Etsy. However, when the official My Dear Darling shop website launches, you will be able to purchase gifts without an account. Here is a helpful link on how to purchase items on Etsy: If you need any help or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Q: How do I order a personalized gift?
A: For personalized items, please follow the steps below:

1. Email Akiyo at MyDearDarlingShop(at)gmail(dot)com to design your special gift.
2. Agree on a design.
3. Purchase your specialized listing.

An email will be sent within 48 hours to confirm the date your special gift will be shipped out.

Q: How much are personalization charges?
A: Personalization charges vary by the type of personalization. The cost depends on the detail and size of the design. Each letter or symbol is $1USD and goes up from here. Once you have an idea of what you would like to personalize, I will provide you with an estimate.
PLEASE NOTE: Personalization is NOT included in the price unless I have created a reserved listing specifically for you.

Q: What payment methods do you accept?
A: My Dear Darling accepts PayPal only. You can use your Visa, Mastercard, Discover or AMEX through PayPal even if you are not a registered PayPal member. Payment is due within 3 days of order. If after 3 days, the order is not paid for, the transaction will be canceled.

If your ordering from a California address, you will be charged a 9% sales tax on all products. Other states will not be charged sales tax.

Please let me know within 3 days if you would like to cancel your order. Otherwise, the transaction will automatically be canceled if no payment has been sent by the third day.


Q: How shipping method do you use?
A: All My Dear Darling plush doll and pillow orders will be shipped via USPS Priority Mail within the United States and USPS First Class Mail for international orders. Other My Dear Darling products will be shipped via USPS First Class Mail. An email will be sent to you within 24 hours to verify that your gift has been shipped out. Please make sure the shipping address is correct on your Etsy account. Your orders will be shipped to your Etsy mailing address.

Recipients are responsible for customs fees for international orders.

Q: Why does the time frame which the gifts are shipped out vary?
A: Most My Dear Darling gifts are made to order and I am very limited in the amount of products I can make in a day. Therefore, I have created a booking system where I schedule appointments to make a product. Your “creation date” will be scheduled according to the order in which purchases are made. For example, if I am booked until April 23rd, the next made to order purchase will be scheduled April 24th. Prior to purchasing, you can get a rough idea of the next available date by checking the Announcement section of my shop. This is updated every time I schedule an appointment. You will receive an email within 48 hours after your purchase to inform you of your estimated ship out date.

Readymade gifts will typically ship out 1 to 2 days after you receive an email from My Dear Darling.

Q: Do you guarantee shipping?
A: My Dear Darling does not guarantee shipping by a certain date on any order because we cannot be liable for delays caused by the shipping company.

Refunds and Exchanges

Q: Do you offer refunds or exchanges?
A: Since all the gifts are personalized specifically for each customer, My Dear Darling does not accept returns or exchanges unless your item is damaged.


Q: Do you offer wholesale for retailers?
A: My Dear Darling does offer wholesale prices for retailers. We are currently only offering My Dear Darling character and fruit pillows. Please contact me for details.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. 🙂

Copyright © 2008-2009 by My Dear Darling. All rights reserved. My Dear Darling is a trademark.

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