Last month, one of my family members was visiting some friends in Western Pennsylvania. Out for a Saturday morning stroll, they stumbled upon what they thought was a craft show, but it actually turned out to be a Buyers Market for The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania.
As it turns out, by being there, they were able to help me find one of the artists that we featured in our “Down to Earth” box this month.
There are so many things to do and so many areas of interests that make up this beautiful land…which has MORE public land than Yellowstone!!
One of those areas of interest is the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania.
According to their website, The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania is a network of Juried Artisans, Trading Posts, Public Art, and Host Sites that spans the twelve and a half counties in rural PA, while being a key part of a regional strategy to grow nature and heritage tourism, to create jobs, diversify local economies, inspire stewardship and improve quality of life.
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.
Celebrate and nurture our natural wonders by connecting people with nature.
The way of nature is our way of life.
Welcome those who share our passions.
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.
WE VALUE: 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.
With that being said, I’d like to introduce you to our next artist, straight out of the PA Wilds and the perfect fit for helping to get down to earth with her Beeswax Wraps!
Born and raised on Long Island, I met the love of my life in 1999 and moved to the country. When we started a family we both knew we wanted to be as healthy as we had the ability to be as well as self sustainable.
Gardening is something that has always been important in my family so naturally we planted a garden our first year together.
I learned to can and preserve what I had grown which gave me great pride in knowing we were eating healthy as well as chemical free.
After running into a lovely herb farm and expanding my garden I began to create products that incorporated my herbs. I took many classes from the herb farm, read a lot of books, and learned the medicinal uses herbs had to offer. Our lifestyle had change significantly after that.
Many of my friends and family were the first to enjoy my products.
When they started asking frequently for more a business idea came to be.
My business is called “A Touch of Nature” because my products are natural and incorporate homegrown herbs as well as focus on protecting our environment. My specialties include Salves, balms, Eco-friendly products, beeswax wraps, and crocheted baskets.
My inspiration comes from my family of course as well as my love for nature. My products are our lifestyle.
In five years I hope to be still doing what I love and continue to be an inspiration for others to live healthy and Eco-friendly.
The best part of doing what I do is I love and live what I make!
I primarily sell my products in a local Punxsutawney Pennsylvania brick and mortar store but I plan to expand eventually on the web…possibly Etsy.
Right now through word of mouth and previous purchases I receive phone orders and emails. I can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call me 814-938-1038.
Pics of my products can be found on PA Wilds website under Tara Heckler – A Touch of Nature.
Every year I expand not only my products but incorporating more local resources such as beekeepers and plants.
My Mother, Mama and Papa (grandparents) are the ones who taught me many things and I attribute them to inspiring me to live simple, creative family oriented, environmentally conscious, and healthy.
Handmade means to me made or prepared by oneself using local resources and by one’s own efforts. Simply made by ones creativity.
By buying locally you are improving the local economy, you get to know the people behind the products in which they can make items specific to your needs, and your community becomes more unique.
By buying my products you are supporting not only myself but several other local/small businesses.