About Kylee’s Gift Cottage & Different by Design
Kylee’s Gift Cottage opened as a pop-up shop in October 2020 during the middle of the pandemic. This was a result of the lack of art and craft shows in the area for our art business Different by Design. In the pop-up shop, we brought together over 20 artists for the holiday gift season.
In October 2021, Kylee’s Gift Cottage opened a year-round store. The focus of the store is to provide unique gifts and home decor items while supporting local artists. Items are available for most major holidays including Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, graduation, weddings, and birthdays. We serve the greater Madison area including Fitchburg, Verona, Cross Plains, Waunakee, Middleton, Monona, Sun Prairie, and Westport.
The store is named after Kylee, our 9-year-old, rescued Chihuahua. She is often in the store and sometimes is even wearing a special outfit for your amusement and photo-taking enjoyment. But she does not like to be petted. Yes, she is a little diva.
Different by Design
Different by Design started in 2005 with the creativity of Michael Anderson. Michael’s love for art began when he won his first art award at the age of 12. He is self-taught and enjoys bringing his art to life in various forms. He taught art classes to children in his 20’s, before taking a different path in banking. But his love for art brought him back to the studio.
According to Michael, “To be an artist is a process, not a destination. It is a way of life, not just a title for your business card. It is a grand experiment in challenge and discovery.”
Michael’s unique perspective on life inspires him to create one-of-a-kind art. He believes art is a unique extension of a person’s ideas and thoughts of the world, unable to be conveyed through verbal or written communication.
Over the past 16 years, Michael Anderson and Colin Murray have developed their art business at over 400 pop-ups and weekend art shows throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, Iowa, and Florida, the business expanded into producing shows through ArtWorks Wisconsin in Madison and Milwaukee.
The continuous challenge of setting up and tearing down, traveling, staying in a hotel, and everything else related to the art shows is no longer feasible so Michael and Colin are changing their business strategy. Different by Design has moved into Kylee’s Gift Cottage, a permanent, brick-and-mortar location in Middleton, WI. The store will offer Michael and Colin stability while allowing them to continue their love for the art community.
“We aren’t leaving the art community, but making changes,” says Colin. “The pandemic has shown us a new way of operating and developing the business we love.”