When Pam Koukas decided to open a shop selling handmade goods, she knew she wanted a name that conveyed that its items that were “a little offbeat and a little quirky.” She landed on Wayward Apple Gifts, which opened last July at 2935 S. Fish Hatchery Road in Fitchburg’s Yarmouth Crossing shopping center.
All items at Wayward Apple (except for the balloons) are handmade, and most are local, too, coming from crafters in Madison and Fitchburg. Koukas herself makes soaps and tutus. She has often sold at fairs, but dreamed of turning her hobby into a regular gig. Now she sells on consignment year-round.
Items range from knit booties, hats and sweaters for babies and children to yard art, embroidered tea towels and coffee mugs.
Many of the items are geared toward people who embrace their inner nerd, Koukas says: “We have a lot of fun, geeky stuff.” The candles touted as having scents that will remind users of certain cult fantasy series, including Game of Thrones, the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Harry Potter, fall under that category.
Star Wars mugs, Harry Potter clocks and bottle openers are staples at the Fitchburg shop.
Some of the most popular items at Wayward Apple include whimsical, multi-colored metal flowers and pigs for the yard by Mindy’s Country Crafts of Monroe, bowl-shaped knitted hot pads for heating bowls of food in the microwave by Cynthia’s Custom Designs of Fitchburg and wooden berry-picking baskets by Good Knight Woodwork of West Bend.
The inventory changes regularly. Koukas is constantly amazed by the new products that come in: “There is so much talent and creativity out there.”
Wayward Apple also hosts craft classes. Koukas offers a free session on Saturday mornings in which all skill levels are accommodated. An easy project, like hand warmers, might be on the docket. Other fee-based classes focus on such projects as making pallet gardens, decorating pumpkins and creating art out of Scrabble tiles.
Wayward Apple Gifts
2935 S. Fish Hatchery Road, waywardapplegifts.com, 608-213-5423