Frequently Asked Questions

The Surprise Concept

How does this work?

Every month, our gift experts carefully select a new handmade surprise gift.

Each gift is made by an artisan who lovingly creates and carefully wraps their handmade item just for you—and includes an artist information card so you can learn a bit more about them.  The gift ships straight from their house or workshop to your doorstep!

According to one customer “it’s like having your very own personal shopper!”

What sort of items do you send?

Every surprise gift is hand-picked by our professional gift curators, and comes directly from a US artist, along with an info card about their process, background, or inspiration.  Each month, the gift could be anything from gold or silver jewelry, to artisan ceramic pieces to hand-stamped tea towels!

You can see all the previous items we have sent to our subscribers by visiting our Past Surprises page here.  We generally send out jewelry items every other month, and other lifestyle goods (such as ceramics, accessories) in between.

What's the difference between the two subscription options?

Good question! The answer is—gifts for both subscriptions follow the exact same style guide. We opened up the second one to support demand, but they both share the same curators, and even sometimes the same artists.

However, items from each subscription will be different from one another—so if you wanted to, you could subscribe to both!

Little tidbit: The Thyme subscription begins in January with a jewelry item, and the Rosemary subscription begins with a home goods item. Then they alternate each month.

How do I sign up?

Right now we are completely full, so we are in a Waiting List scenario.  Head on over to our Subscribe page to sign up for the waiting list.  See our Waiting List FAQ below for further details.


Who should I send a surprise subscription to?

That, my friend, is entirely up to you! Our only (strong) suggestion is that these subscriptions are intended for women.

A large majority of our subscribers (over 50%) are actually buying these subscriptions for themselves—and we say, why not treat yourself?  We also have a large number of  boyfriends or husbands sending these subscriptions to their girlfriends or wives—not to mention people sending these to sisters, mothers, daughters, and friends.

We suggest taking a look at our Past Surprises page to see our style and figure out if it fits you or someone else who deserves a little surprise.

What occasion should I buy these for?

Surprisingly enough, most of our customers don’t sign up for a specific occasion, but rather decide it’s just time for a little surprise treat. However, these make perfect gifts for birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, and especially as “Pick-me-ups” for anyone you know who could use a little surprise cheer arriving in their mailbox every month.

How do I buy these for multiple recipients?

Currently you will have to purchase each subscription separately, as our shopping cart only supports a single shipping address for each transaction.

Please note that if you want your recipients to receive different things each month, you should sign them up for two separate subscriptions. All subscribers to a particular subscription will receive the same gift in a given month.

How do show my recipient I've gotten them a gift?

We do not include any personal details in the surprise packages, other than a note describing what Fair Ivy is, so you will want to let your recipient know that it was you who purchased the subscription for them!

You can print a gift card for the Rosemary Subscription here and for the Thyme Subscription here.

Do you do packages for girls? Men?

Not anymore.  However, our sister company tiny Treasure Hunts makes treasure hunt kits that are awesome for everyone—especially kids and husbands/boyfriends/brothers that never grew up.  Check it out!

Waiting List & New Subscribers

How long is the waiting list wait time?

We don’t accept new subscribers in order, so if you sign up now you aren’t behind a thousand other people, needing to wait for years until your turn.

Instead, we put everyone on one newsletter, and then once per month we open our subscription up if there are any new spots and send out an alert to this newsletter group.  This usually happens between the 8th and 15th of the month.

At this point it’s first come first serve.  The length of time the spots are open depends on the month and the number of spots, but usually we have to close within a single hour.  So be fast!

If you aren’t yet on our waiting list newsletter, you can sign up here:

I signed up, when do I get my first surprise?

We accept new subscriptions for a new month during the prior month.  So if you manage to sign up for a new spot on July 15th, it means your first surprise will be our August surprise—sent during the first or second week of August.

The reason we do this is because all of our gift items are handmade.  The artist who creates them needs time to get everything in order, and everything lovingly crafted and wrapped up.

Shipping & Returns

Where do you ship to?

Current only to the US.

How is the shipping cost calculated?

The shipping cost is always $6.95 every month, regardless of the weight of the item we send.  Sometimes the item will cost us less to ship than that, and some months it costs much more, so the $6.95 is our annual average.

When does my recipient receive their surprise gifts?

Surprises are generally mailed out by the 7th of each month, so you should receive your surprise gift by the middle of the month!

What is the return or cancellation policy?

To cancel a recurring subscription, simply log into your account on the My Account page and hit Cancel next to the subscription.  Please note that this will prevent future charges only—any charges that have already been placed on your account will remain valid, and surprises will be mailed for any months already charged (so be sure to cancel as soon as you know you’d like to).  We currently charge subscriptions on the 10th of the previous month (so we charge your account for February, on January 10th).

You can also drop us an email and request a cancellation.  For more details, see our cancellation and return policy.