We're days away from GeekCraft Expo Midwest's Fall Mall October 14 and 15 at the Madison Masonic Center--have you RSVP'd yet? Don't miss our amazing crafters, weekend-long make-and-take crafts and scavenger hunt for kids, and our kids costume parade and trick-or-treating, beginning at 1:00 pm on Sunday.
We caught up with GCE alumni Pamela Koukas from Wayward Apple Gifts, who isn't just an exhibitor, but has a brick-and-mortar store in Madison! Read more to find out what they're bringing this Fall:
GeekCraft Expo: How did you get started crafting?
Pamela Koukas: Crafting was always something I kind of just did. I used to like making jewelry and things like that. Luckily, I met Jim who loves crafting as much as I do. In fact, the first time I went over to his house he had coasters everywhere. He had them on the floor, on all the tables . . . pretty much anywhere there was a flat surface there was a stack of coasters in various stages of creation. Within a few weeks, we were preparing for our first craft fair.
GCE: Can you tell us the "origin story" of Wayward Apple Gifts?
PK: We had been doing craft fairs and comic cons for about two years and at almost every event we were at, someone would invariably ask us if we had a physical location. That led to us joking about starting our own handmade gift shop.Then one day we were at Laredo's Restaurant eating outside once again joking about starting our own store. This time though a man came over and introduced himself as the owner of the mall and asked if we wanted to see an empty space he had. We did. A month later we were in that same space tearing up the floor, painting, and a million other things getting ready to open, Wayward Apple Gifts, a handmade gift shop that would have a little something for everyone.
GCE: What are your favorite things to make?
PK: My personal favorite thing to make is bath bombs. I kind of started my own side business making bath bombs, soaps, lotions, and such. Jim's favorite thing to make is still his coasters, but he also likes designed mugs and has been having fun creating T-shirts.
GCE: It looks like you teach as well as create with your “Craft With Me” events. Do you think different crafts techniques are becoming lost?
PK: The "Craft With Me" events are always fun because not only do I get to lead a few classes, but we invite our vendors and people from the community to teach them as well. It seems there are a few crafting skills that seem to be falling by the wayside. We will get older people who see something and begin talking about how their grandparents used to make similar things, and we will get younger people who see the same thing and have to ask what it is they are looking at.
GCE: Which geeky movies/TV shows/video games are your personal favorites?
PK: I'm not much of a video game player, but my husband is. Since we don't have a lot of free time, we tend to watch a lot of Netflix, Hulu and whatever our very full DVR has on it. Some of our favorite shows are Psych, Stranger Things, Walking Dead, Berlanti's Arrowverse, Killjoys, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Doctor Who, and Game of Thrones, to name a few. Although, we are only on season two of GOT, so no spoilers.
GCE: How was your experience with GeekCraft Expo last spring?
PK: Every time we go to GeekCraft we have an amazing time. It's so nice because everything is handmade and geeky. Plus, you get to talk to everyone about their favorite fandoms and interests. At most cons and fairs, you really don't have much of a chance to interact with the customers and your fellow vendors. That's probably the best thing about GeekCraft. You can actually have a chance to get to know people and make a lot of good friends.
GCE: What kinds of pieces will you be bringing to GeekCraft Expo Midwest this year?
PK: This year we are bringing our coasters. Some styles you will recognize from last spring and many you will be seeing for the first time. Not to mention a return . . . nah, let's call it a reboot of an older style of coaster. Of course, we will have bath bombs, lotions, and such. You will also see our mugs, onesies, light switch plates, and a lot of new cool things that you might not have seen before. See you there.
Thanks to Pamela Koukas for chatting with us! See Wayward Apple Gifts at our Fall Mall, and don't forget to join us Friday night for our GeekCraft Expo Midwest Fall Mall kickoff party at the Bodgery, featuring free beer from Karben4 and prizes from Geeks Mania Arcade, The Game Crafter, and many of our exhibitors!