Applying as a Creative Maker

The jurying process allows us to keep our brand strong, our network focused and to curate a unique experience for visitors.

To evaluate Creative Makers applicants, juries made up of professionals from relevant fields are convened twice yearly to evaluate applications and images and/or publications.

The jurors complete scoring sheets and provide comments designed to be helpful in marketing or promotion, or further improvement.

To complete your jury application:
1. Select the medium, craft, food or service you would like to be juried. You may select up to 5 types for review per application, it is $10 per selection for review.

2. After selecting the medium, product or service you would like juried, complete the rest of the application fields.

3. You will be able to pay securely via credit card once your application is complete. At this point we only accept credit cards for payment. There are no cash or check options for payment.

4. After submitting your application you will receive an email confirming receipt of your submission. Your application will be reviewed during the next scheduled Jury Review Session.

5. Upon acceptance to the Wilds Cooperative,  you will receive an email indicating your membership type, and based on your score whether you have been accepted as a professional level artisan. 

For more information about the program, Member Benefits and Expectations read our Member Guidelines .

Visual Artisans: Applications and related images or publications are evaluated on artistic merit (70%), marketability (20%), design/material sourcing (10%), and professionalism (10%).

Craft & Food Artisans: Juries for artisan food producers and craft artisans focus first aesthetics and technique (40%), followed by local aspects such as ingredient/material sourcing (30%), presentation and marketability (20%) and professionalism (10%).

Creative Industries Partners:  Applications and related images are evaluated on artistic/technical merit (70%), professionalism (10%) and marketability (10%).

FAQs about becoming a vendor at the PA Wilds Conservation Shops

PA Wilds Conservation Shops are gift shops run by the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship (PA Wilds Center), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Our physical and online stores focus on locally-made and value-added products so that customers can take home a piece of the Pennsylvania Wilds while making a difference. These purchases have a ripple effect on our local economy while also supporting our nonprofit mission, which is to work with partners to grow the region’s nature and heritage tourism industry as a way to create jobs, diversify local economies, inspire stewardship and improve quality of life.

Tag: vendor

A Buyers’ Pack is a way to present your product, business and terms as a wholesale line to potential buyers.

For our purposes we ask that your buyers’ pack be created in a digital format and include the following:

  • A cover letter. Introducing your work and why you think it’s a great fit for sale in the PA Wilds Conservation Shop at Kinzua Bridge State Park; include your contact information.
  • A wholesale price list or line sheet.
  • Terms and conditions. Do you have minimum orders or quantities? Where are your price breaks? How will you deliver your product to us? What are your cancellation, damages and returns policies?
  • A catalog or look book which contains images of your work that can be produced and sold in quantities of 20 or more. If you have not produced the items yet you can include sketches or comparable design images.

We have compiled resources to help with creating a buyers’ pack, visit our resources section here for more information.

Tag: vendor

Good question!  Short answer: We’re sorry if we’ve been slow in communication and we’re working on improving that.

Long Answer:  In launching our first PA Wilds Conservation Shop, we had a lot to accomplish in a very short time period.  We are continuously working to improve our communication strategies and develop procedures so that our processes and methods are as transparent as can be. This is just as important to us as it is to you so we appreciate your understanding and patience as we put these steps in place. 

Currently, we select product as needed. However, we typically place seasonal orders forecasted on anticipated visitor numbers. Interested producers are encouraged to fill out this form, and as we get in the position to order more product we will be in contact on an individual basis

Tag: vendor

Possibly. No one likes a vague answer, but we don’t want to make promises we can’t keep.  Purchasing for The Conservation Shops is a marathon – not a sprint. So we will be constantly looking back through submission requests and also putting out our own calls for requested products. We can’t guarantee that all product submissions will be a fit. But we can promise to revisit submissions in a regular way, and believe demand for new product lines will continue to grow as we expand the PA Wilds Conservation Shop program in coming years. Artisans/producers should not take a non-purchase as an indication that their work is not good enough; if you’re a professional-level artisan in The Wilds Cooperative – your product has already passed that test. Sometimes it just comes down to timing

Tag: vendor

Juried Artisans are the talented makers at the heart of the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania. The two categories of Juried Artisans are Basic Membership and Professional Artisan.

Basic Members are those who are admitted with a jury score between 100-300 – OR – those with a higher jury score who elect to enroll at this level. Professional Artisans are those who are admitted with a jury score above 301.  The jury score is based on the criteria, including artistic merit, marketability and design, and material sourcing. You can read more about member benefits and decision criteria in our member guidelines here.

Artisans can contact the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania support staff at wildscopa at pawildscenter.org to arrange a time to discuss their score and jury feedback.

Tag: vendor

Yes. And be sure to tell us the steps you’ve gone through and how you think your product fills a gap in our current inventory.

Tag: vendor

No, we purchase all of our inventory at wholesale prices on Net 30 terms. 

Tag: vendor

Space, audience and liability. The space at the current gift shop does not allow for large pieces. This is also not the venue for selling large one-of-a-kind pieces. This is not a sales gallery or artisan center, although we have many great venues of this type throughout the Pennsylvania Wilds, which can be found here. Instead, this is a gift shop where a customer wants to take home a memento that is a reflection of their visit to the park and their trip in the Pennsylvania Wilds. At this time, our e-commerce site is not equipped to place large pieces in storage until sold, nor can we assume the liability to ship large one-of-a-kind pieces.

Tag: vendor

Does it matter where the stuff you buy comes from? We think so. Which is why we’ve put a lot of thought into how we source products at our PA Wilds Conservation Shops.

One of our main product lines is The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania, a network of more than 100 local producers, artists and craftspeople from across the Pennsylvania Wilds region. These are people who live and work in rural PA, love what they do, and have proven through a jurying process that they are good at doing it. These pieces carry The Wilds Cooperative of PA hangtags as a signal to customers that they are taking home hand-made products.

We also carry various soft goods at our physical and online stores. These include PA Wilds-branded and state park-branded t-shirts, totes, hats and other apparel. These are sourced using industry and conservation resources such as One Green Planet’s “A Guide to Buying Sustainable, Fair-Trade and Cruelty-Free Clothing.” Once we find a responsible company with competitive prices where we can source the soft goods, we work with local companies in the Pennsylvania Wilds to place the order for ‘blanks’ and then these local companies are hired to give the products their value-added component, be that creating a design for a new line of t-shirts, stitching embroidered patches on fleece jackets, screen printing or some other service.

It’s not a perfect system, but it is one that we’ve put thought into, that we feel lives up to our Brand Principles, that is making a difference to small-scale producers and business owners in rural PA – and that we feel the consumer, in return, can feel good about.

Tag: vendor

Yes! We do have an e-commerce site which can be found here

Tag: vendor

Juried Artisan Status Questions

All Juried Artisans have a profile in the “Member Directory“.  Type your name into the search box and if you have a profile it will appear in the search results.  You may then log into your profile to update your member information.
Read more about updating your profile here.  Problems logging in? Email wildscopa at pawildscenter.org for help.

When applying select “Current member of Wilds Cooperative” then login. Your profile information will auto-populate and you can proceed with the application process. 

When applying choose “Non-Juried Artisan” as the registration type and then follow the steps to submit the application. A member of the PA Wilds Staff will contact you with further instructions for a special jury process. 

Membership FAQs

Juried Artisans are the talented makers at the heart of the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania. The two categories of Juried Artisans are Basic Membership and Professional Artisan.

Basic Members are those who are admitted with a jury score between 100-300 – OR – those with a higher jury score who elect to enroll at this level. Professional Artisans are those who are admitted with a jury score above 301. The jury score is based on the criteria, including artistic merit, marketability and design, and material sourcing. You can read more about member benefits and decision criteria in our member guidelines here.

All artisans with paid membership for the 1516 member year will be able to view their jury score in their profile by the beginning of November 2016. They will renew for the 1617 member year at their appropriate member level.  Artisans that were not current with membership dues for 1516 will be required to be re-juried into the program in Spring of 2017. Artisans can contact the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania support staff at wildscopa at pawildscenter.org to arrange a time to discuss their score and jury feedback.

Since we started the re-branding process in 2015 there have been quite a few changes in the program- the largest and the most obvious was the decision to change the name from the PA Wilds Artisan Trail to The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania. The change in the program name is reflective of the positive change and growth opportunities that The Cooperative provides for its members. Looking at these opportunities it became clear that there are different types of members. There are some artisans that have made their craft their full time job and are growing the possibilities of their business into different markets, including wholesale venues. There are other artisans that work on their craft as a hobby or in their spare time and are not interested in selling on a larger scale. There other artisans that might be in the earlier stages of honing their craft and they haven’t quite yet reached a level in their business to grow it on a large scale (but are on their way). We love that there are different types of members and we want to do our best to develop and promote all of our members – regardless of their member level. But with that in mind, different types of motivation in your work require different types of support. As a program we felt that we could better our members if we could focus on the different types of needs. We know that whether you are a Basic or Professional level you need access to digital marketing tools, promotion from our team via social media platforms, networking with other members of The Wilds Cooperative and access to professional development – and both levels receive all of those benefits (and a little more- compare the full list here). For the additional member cost Professional level members receive added support that is geared toward wholesale opportunities, which includes hang tags, a listing in the annual Buyers Guide and the eligibility to be considered as a vendor in the PA Wilds Conservation Shops.

No. These are the factors that can change your categorization:

  1. If you receive a score that qualifies you for the Basic level (100-300) and you have the desire to grow your business and work to the Professional level you can arrange for a meeting to review the jury comments and as early as the next jury review session you can re-submit your work for review.
  2. If you receive a score that qualifies you for Professional level (301+) but you feel that your business approach is a better fit at the Basic level you may elect to join/renew at the Basic level.
  3. If you become past due in your membership and have lapsed in the program you will be re-juried before returning to the program and your member level will be determined on that score and not your original score.
  4. On a rotating basis our jury will review long standing members, the new score could reflect a change in your member level.

No. Only Professional level members of the PA Wilds Cooperative are eligible to submit their work for consideration to be sold in the PA Wilds Conservation Shop. If a member of the Wilds Cooperative leaves the program they will be asked to go through the jury process to be accepted back into the membership and once accepted they will once again be eligible to submit their work for consideration in a PA Wilds Conservation Shop.

You can read more about the PA Wilds Conservation Shops and vendor eligibility here.

Members with a score of 301 or higher can elect to join at either the Professional OR Basic level. You can view the difference in membership benefits here.

We love to share upcoming events with the public and other Wilds Cooperative members. We share events being held by Juried Artisans and Host Sites through posts in our Event Calendar and also in the Events section on pawilds.com. If you have an upcoming event please log in and head over to the Events Calendar to post details of the event.  Visit pawilds.com/events to submit an event to that calendar.  And don’t forget to use #pawilds and #pawildsmade as you market the event online so our social media team can pick it up. 

Enter your email address and select “Forgot password” during log in. Check your email inbox and spam folder for an email with directions for logging in. If you do not receive an email within 15 minutes contact us and we will check your account for a valid email address.

Our products are purchased at wholesale cost from members of The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania. Read more about our sourcing method here.

Step 1: Eligible producers can submit information via the online application to be considered as a vendor in the gift shop. Eligibility requirements are listed below.

Vendor Eligibility:  Producers must sell their product line at wholesale pricing, offer Net 30 terms for payment of product and professional level members of The Wilds Cooperative. 

Step 2: PA Wilds Center staff will invite selected vendors (via email) to submit a buyers’ pack for further consideration.

Step 3:  Once buyers’ packs have been reviewed selected producers will be contacted and a buying meeting will be scheduled to place an initial order.

You can read more about the process, eligibility, and submit your information here.

Eligibility as a vendor in The PA Wilds Conservation Shops is just one benefit of being a member of The Wilds Cooperative.  Learn more about becoming a member here

Tag: vendor

Profile and Directory FAQs

No one! That’s right – if you have new images, new information about your work, an updated mailing address, or any other information about yourself and your work, you may update the information yourself in your profile.  Directions for updating your profile can be found here.  

Requirements for Participation

All applicants must have been full-time Pennsylvania Wilds residents for at least six months prior to the application deadline. To actively produce and sell juried work under program membership, Juried Creative Makers must remain as PA Wilds residents.

If proof of identity is required, you may be asked to submit copies of any one of the following:
• Valid and current (unexpired) Pennsylvania Drivers License or PA State ID Card with legible dates of issuance and expiration;
•Voter registration card (stamped copy from county clerk’s office);
•Unexpired U.S. Passport or Permanent Resident Card with legible dates;
• Proof of lawful admittance for permanent residence or proof of permission from the Department of Homeland Security to work permanently in the U.S.; For proof of residency (required only for new individual applicants), submit copies of any one of the following with your application;
• Current utility bill (gas, electric, phone, cable, satellite, etc.), lease agreement or property tax record (owners), showing name and address.

It is your responsibility to inform yourself about doing business in Pennsylvania. Entrepreneurs who operate under their own given name as Sole Proprietors, with zero employees, and use their Social Security Number for tax filing are not required to register their businesses with the PA Department of State. All others must register. Business establishments with paid employees must register with the state. Visit dced.pa.gov/business-assistance/small-business-assistance, where small business owners can electronically register with the PA Departments of Labor and Industry, Revenue, and State. The PA Small Business Development Center is also a useful resource. Federal regulations can change. Consult the Small Business Administration (sba.gov) and the Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov) for more about business requirements.

If you make taxable sales, you are required to obtain a PA Sales Tax License. Visit business.pa.gov and search “rev-717” for details.

Food artisans, producers, and retail food facilities must comply with all PA Department of Agriculture guidelines, as well as applicable state and local regulations. Applicants must have the necessary permits/licenses in hand, before submitting an application to the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania. Food retail and/or wholesale operators, and their employees, must be in compliance with applicable provisions of the Federal Food Safety Act, the Retail Food Facility Safety Act and requirements referenced at the PA Dept of Agriculture site (agriculture.pa.gov).

Native American works must be submitted along with a copy of applicant’s membership card in a federally or state recognized Indian tribe, band, nation, organized group or community for authenticity purposes. The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 makes it illegal to sell or display with intent to sell, any product not made by Native American Indians in a way that falsely suggests it was.

Members of the Wilds Cooperative are those place-based businesses that are in line with the Pennsylvania Wilds lifestyle brand and which add to the overall visitor experience in the region. In so, there are certain businesses and types of businesses that are ineligible for the program.

Examples include:

  • Large conglomerate corporations that are not unique to the Pennsylvania Wilds region.
    • If you’d like to support the PA Wilds work in other ways, please contact us here.
  • Franchises not unique to or based out of the Pennsylvania Wilds.
    • Note: Franchises based out of the Pennsylvania Wilds may be considered.
  • Independent contractors involved in “pyramid scheme” or multi-level marketing efforts on behalf of other brands (e.g., Scentsy and Thirty-One).
  • Makers whose work is crafted primarily with items purchased and simply decorated, or by combining purchased commercial objects (unless commercial objects play a subordinate role).
  • Makers whose work utilizes appropriated images (e.g., digital clip-art, downloaded paintings, drawings, etc.).
  • Political and/or religious organizations.
  • Businesses that rely on gambling activities to support more than ⅓ of their gross annual income.
  • Businesses that require Tobacco Products Licenses to operate.
  • Adult entertainment establishments that promote sexually-oriented activities.

These ineligible businesses have been determined after thoughtful consideration of the Declaration of Principles outlined for the Pennsylvania Wilds team, as outlined below.

Our core values spring from the soul of our organization. We will adhere and live by these beliefs even if doing so becomes unpopular or costs us commercial opportunity.

OUR MISSION
Celebrate and nurture our natural wonders by connecting people with nature.

OUR PHILOSOPHY
The way of nature is our way of life.

OUR METHOD
Welcome those who share our passions.

OUR PROMISE
The road less traveled makes all the difference.

OUR VALUES INCLUDE
Charm not chain | Stewardship of the land | The joy of exploration and discovery | Cultivating the relationship between people and the environment | Preserving, sharing and creating new stories | Aspiring to excellence in all we do.

Our personality traits describe the unique characteristics that separate us from other places in the world. We celebrate these traits and bring them into every facet of THE PENNSYLVANIA WILDS. WE ARE: Down to earth; Quirky and authentic, not slick; Wild yet welcoming, Enthusiastic and optimistic; Rugged and resourceful. We commit ourselves to working TOGETHER to fulfill our mission every day, while living by our core values in THE PENNSYLVANIA WILDS.

Tech related FAQs

We love to share upcoming events with the public and other Wilds Cooperative members. We share events being held by Juried Artisans and Host Sites through posts in our Event Calendar and also in the Events section on pawilds.com. If you have an upcoming event please log in and head over to the Events Calendar to post details of the event.  Visit pawilds.com/events to submit an event to that calendar.  And don’t forget to use #pawilds and #pawildsmade as you market the event online so our social media team can pick it up. 

Enter your email address and select “Forgot password” during log in. Check your email inbox and spam folder for an email with directions for logging in. If you do not receive an email within 15 minutes contact us and we will check your account for a valid email address.

We send a lot of relevant communications to our membership (like invoicing and opportunities) via the email address wildscopa at pawildscenter.org, so please whitelist us or add us to your contacts (this will keep us out of your spam folder). We’ve written instructions on how to do this here.

Spam filters that come with email clients (gmail, outlook, yahoo, etc.) have both whitelists and blacklists of senders and keywords to look for in emails. By adding our email address to your whitelist you will be able to receive important emails from The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania.

Below are instructions for whitelisting based on common email clients.

GMAIL

In your inbox, locate an email from wildscopa@pawildscenter.org
Drag this email to the “primary” tab of your inbox.
Emails from The Wilds Cooperative of PA will go to your primary folder from now on.

OUTLOOK 2003 OR LATER

Right-click on a message from wildscopa@pawildscenter.org in your inbox.
Select “Junk E-mail” from the menu.
Click “Add Sender to Safe Senders List.”

YAHOO! MAIL

Open an email from wildscopa@pawildscenter.org – a “+” symbol should display next to From: .
Select this and an “Add to contacts” pop-up should appear.
Select “Save”

MAC MAIL

Select “Mail” and “Preferences” from the top menu.
In the “Preferences” window, click the “Rules” icon.
Click the “Add Rule” button.
In the “Rules” window, type a name for your rule in the “Description” field.
Use the following settings: “If any of the following conditions are met: From Contains.”
Type wildscopa@pawildscenter.org in the text field beside “Contains.”
Select “Move Message” and “Inbox” from the drop-down menus.
Click “Ok” to save the rule.

DON’T SEE INSTRUCTIONS THAT WORK FOR YOU?

Not a problem. Just get in touch with customer services at your email provider and ask for instructions on whitelisting safe email addresses.

Then, if you’ve got a sec, forward their reply to wildscopa@pawildscenter.org and we’ll add it here.

The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania is Here

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 the 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.

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. Program development guidance is provided by a volunteer Advisory Committee comprised of program members and other stakeholders. Staff support for the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania program is provided through a partnership with Elk County Council on the Arts (ECCOTA).

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A declaration of principles
FOR THE PENNSYLVANIA WILDS TEAM

WE the residents, business community, marketers, representatives and stewards of the rivers, streams and lakes, towns and villages, parks and forests, wildlife and dark skies that comprise the region known collectively as THE PENNSYLVANIA WILDS, hereby commit ourselves to fulfilling the following mission and upholding and living by the unique core values that define THE PENNSYLVANIA WILDS and the authentic experiences it represents.

OUR MISSION
Celebrate and nurture our natural wonders by connecting people with nature.

OUR PHILOSOPHY
The way of nature is our way of life.

OUR METHOD
Welcome those who share our passions.

OUR PROMISE
The road less traveled makes all the difference.
Our organization springs from the core values of the wild soul. We will adhere and live by these beliefs even if doing so becomes unpopular or costs us commercial opportunity.

OUR VALUES INCLUDE
Charm not chain
Stewardship of the land
The joy of exploration and discovery
Cultivating the relationship between people and the environment
Preserving, sharing and creating new stories
Aspiring to excellence in all we do.

Our personality traits reflect the unique characteristics that distinguish us from other places in the world. We celebrate these traits and bring them into every facet of
THE PENNSYLVANIA WILDS.

WE ARE: Down to earth; Quirky and authentic; Wild yet welcoming; Enthusiastic and optimistic; Rugged and resourceful. We commit ourselves to working toward fulfillment of our mission every day, while living by our core values in
THE PENNSYLVANIA WILDS.

Download a pdf copy of the declaration here.

Working with digital files

What is a ZIP file? (link) – what it is, how to open, edit, and convert the contents.
Summary: A zipped file is a collection of files compressed into one folder so it can be easily shared and downloaded. Most computers automatically decompress these files upon download once they’re double clicked to open the folder. You can drag the internal folders and files to your computer to save them for your own use.

What is the difference between JPEG and PNG? (link) – this link explains the difference between two of the file types provided in the zipped folder.

That’s the funny thing with a white image on a white background. You can’t see it! Because the PNG format allows for a transparent background you can use these white logo files on a colored or patterned background. Please refer to the Brand Guidelines before trying anything too crazy!

PDF files are vector images that can contain text or images that don’t rely on a particular operating system or program to open, so they look the same no matter where they’re opened.
Summary: Vector files (PDF, AI) are made of lines that can be scaled to any size. If you want to use the logo in a very large format, like a poster, choose PDF. AI can only be opened in Adobe Illustrator. Raster files (JPEG, PNG) are made of pixels. These are typically best for use on websites and social media. They provide very sharp clean images but the quality can degrade over time with repeated saving and editing.

We get it. There’s a lot of stuff in that folder. Here’s how we suggestyou start out:
Open the raster folder, open full-color folder, take a look at each of the logos and save the ones you want in a folder that makes sense to you. Rename them if you want to organize them in your own way. Do the same for the white logos and the Vector logos if you’ll use those.
Still having trouble? Email the Wilds Cooperative administrative support team at wildscopa at pawildscenter.org. We can help!

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