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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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Membership FAQs

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

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