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PA Wilds Artisan Trail Evaluation Results

Posted: April 12, 2011

Penn State Extension has been intricately involved in the PA Wilds Artisan Trail. In December 2010, an evaluation of the first full year of the Artisan Trail was conducted.

Since 2007, Penn State Extension has been providing support for the PA Wilds Artisan Trail. Initially, market research was conducted to establish the need for a project of this type. Once the need was verified, a strategic plan was developed and a work group consisting of various economic development agencies, artisans, arts organizations and other non-profit groups have been implementing the strategic plan.

One of the first pieces of the strategic plan implemented was the PA Wilds Artisan Trail. In 2010 an evaluation of the 2008-2009 trail initiative was undertaken by Penn State Cooperative Extension.

The primary research questions for this evaluation are:

  • Has the PA Wilds Artisan Project economically benefited artisan trail partners and juried artisans?
  • Has the use of the PA Wilds Brand to promote and market artisan projects positively impacted the customers’ perceptions of locally made artisan products made by juried artisans?

Retail Gallery Findings

  • 33% response rate from galleries
  • $254,500  total spent locally on business related expenses in 2009
  • $377,755 in sales for 2009
    • Increase of $18,285 from 2008
  • Average increase of $2,285 per retail site
  • Median increase of $854 per retail site
  • Commissions paid to PA Wilds Artisans increased from $5,800 in 2008 to $20,690 in 2009
  • 23% increase in number of PA Wilds artisans selling products through trail sites

 Artisan Findings

  • 55% Response Rate
  • $156,690 spent locally on business related expenses in 2009
  • 2009 Total Sales of $271,294
  • Increase of $11,723 over 2008 Sales
  • Average Increase in Sales $434
  • Median Increase in Sales $150

Total Potential Sales Impact

  • Known Sales Increase of $31,008
  • If the Average and/or Median Sales increases are representative of the entire survey population, the potential sales increase grows to:
    • $99,233 using Average Increases
    • $55,880 using Median Increases

Visit the PA Wilds Artisan Trail website for more information.