Our home here at the center of the PA Wilds lives up to its name. The Elk Country landscape is home to the largest free-roaming elk herd in the northeast. It’s not uncommon to find them grazing in our backyards. While some people are still discovering that Pennsylvania is home to elk, we’ve been stewarding them for decades and finding ways to celebrate their beauty and resilience.
Let's meet the PA Wilds Marketplace makers who are creating, designing, crafting and innovating in the Elk Country landscape!
Mickayla Poland - PA Made LLC
Mickayla's love and appreciation of the outdoors have always been the core of who she is, and that flows into the core of her art. She started with a couple of wooden framed windows she bought at a yard sale, painting them with a majestic bull elk she always saw in her backyard growing up. Organically but quickly, her business started to grow when Mickayla began designing outdoor, Pennsylvania, and PA Wilds inspired stickers, t-shirts, and more. she now owns and operates PA Made in Weedville as a full-time artist and graphic designer.Along with a love of conservation, she likes to shine a light on how special and unique Pennsylvania and the PA Wilds are.
Ryan and Brandi Magaro - Rich Valley Apiary
Ryan and Brandi Magaro and children Enzo (11), Milla (9), and Aria (8) started as beekeepers in 2011. They have grown from a single hive to 20 colonies of natures most fascinating creatures. Rich Valley Apiary spreads their passion for the honeybee by presenting educational seminars from Pre School to Penn State Cooperative Extension. Everything they make is done with care and from the finest natural ingredients. The honey and beeswax used in the products is collected from their treatment free hives. Their products are dependent on the hard work of the honeybees they keep, and so they are at the mercy of the seasons and ever changing weather. They will never sacrifice quality for quantity!
Stephanie Distler - Stephanie Distler Studios
Stephanie is an autodidact or self taught. She describes herself as an artisan coming from PA Wilds Roots with Rural Organic style. The working studio is housed in her home and focuses on "made by these hands" designs, inspired by nature. These pieces carry with them a sense of place: digging in the garden, hiking in the PA Wilds, shopping for fresh produce at the local farmers’ market, enjoying an IPA at a craft brewery or antiquing on Main Street. These designs are reminders of our downtime. Coming from a family of ‘makers’ including woodworkers, fiber artisans, cooks, and gardeners, Stephanie has chosen precious metals over wood shavings.
Josh Smith - Valley Glass Art
Josh has been making one of a kind borosilicate glass art pieces since 2017. He served in the military after high school and picked up glass art soon after. Josh practiced though college and is now a full time retail and wholesale artisan, living in the Saint Marys area. Some of his glass artwork includes mushrooms, turtles, hearts and abstract drips. Some of Josh's pendants sold on the PA Wilds Marketplace come on a handwrapped macrame or rope necklace.