11182282_10155509749630725_982519751133239745_nWelcome to AshleyGabby Designs! My name is Darlyn. I can picture you now trying to pronounce it. Nope, not darlin’! Think “Darlene”. That was VERY important to get to first. Okay, now the rest.

I love being creative, am crazy about my daughter and have married the man I’ve been waiting for all these years. I left the corporate world to take care of my daughter with special needs.  I started AshleyGabby Designs in April 2013 in order to fulfill my desire to be a part of the business world while still being able to work from home. I wanted to make a product that allows kids to be kids, where they can create, forget and get lost in play for a little while.

When thinking about starting AshleyGabby Designs, I wanted to dedicate the business in some way to my daughter and all other children with life threatening conditions.  I decided that the best way to do that was to donate a percentage of my annual profits to charity.

For 2015, AshleyGabby Designs will be donating to Idic 15 Canada.  This organization is very close to my heart. My daughter Stephanie has Isodicentric 15 which is an extremely rare chromosome abnormality in which a child is born with extra genetic material from chromosome 15. There are only just over 60 known children in Canada with this condition.10687156_10154813606520725_27513084053545559_n

Idic15 Canada is a not for profit organization which provides resources, collaboration, advocacy and research to families living with Chromosome 15q11.2-13.1 Duplication Syndrome. This organization is born from the need to advance medical, family resources and awareness in Canada.

Individuals with Idic(15) have delays in language development and motor skills such as walking or sitting. Other traits may include low muscle tone (hypotonia), seizures (epilepsy), short stature, and intellectual disability. Distinctive facial features associated with Idic(15) may include epicanthal folds (skin folds at the inner corners of the eyes), a flattened nasal bridge, button nose, and a high arched palate (roof of the mouth). Some individuals with Idic(15) also have features of autism, such as problems with communication, social interactions, and repetitive and stereotyped behaviors (e.g., lining up toys, playing with a toy in the same manner over and over again, hand flapping, rocking back and forth).

The business name AshleyGabby Designs was also inspired by my daughter Stephanie.  She had two dolls, one named Ashley, one named Gabby.  True to who she is, she would call each of them “AshleyGabby”.  Whenever she asked for “AshleyGabby” it was a guarantee that I never brought her the right one first! The name and it’s charm has always stuck with me.

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