The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania is here.
What our brand stands for
The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania name captures the spirit of place and partnership upon which the program is founded and operates. It evokes an aspirational “of the people, for the people” feeling, where grassroots, homegrown, organization, and commerce all intersect, and welcomes and inspires collaborators and investors for the long-run.
The ‘Made By Hand’ brand reflects the relationship among our artisans, the high-quality products they create, and the unique core values they represent as residents of the Pennsylvania Wilds. These elements include: tradition, authenticity, natural products, environmental sensitivity, attention to detail, cultural values, quality, and craftsmanship.
The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania, originally named the Pennsylvania Wilds Artisan Trail, was initially imagined as a way to grow the nature and heritage tourism industry in the Pennsylvania Wilds by promoting the region’s unique artisan wood products, and tying them to the regional PA Wilds brand. The opportunity, however, was much greater. The PA Wilds is home to an impressive and diverse community of skilled artisans, craftspeople, and producers working across a variety of media. In 2007, following the Artisan Development Initiative economics study, the PA Wilds Artisan Trail program was born. In 2015, the program was relaunched as the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania to better reflect its growing membership and mission.
The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania grows and connects the unique establishments central to our place-based tourism development. We provide members with branding and marketing tools; networking and education opportunities; access to new markets and products, and mentorship and referrals to PA’s financial and technical service programs for small businesses.
Our creative artists and entrepreneurs influence our regional brand and visitor experience in a unique way. We are proud to be building one of rural PA’s largest networks of creative entrepreneurs, to help them network and learn from each other, and to bring products to market that reflect our region’s natural beauty, bounty and rural traditions, while giving an economic boost to our communities and enhancing their unique character.
HOW WE’RE ORGANIZED
The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania is a program of the Pennsylvania Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship Inc. (PA Wilds Center), a 501(c)(3) regional nonprofit that seeks to marry conservation and economic development in a way that inspires the communities of the Pennsylvania Wilds. The official registration and financial information of the PA Wilds Center may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement. Administrative support for the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania program is provided through a partnership with Elk County Council on the Arts (ECCOTA).
For a current listing of career opportunities with the PA Wilds Center, check here!