About Genuine Wallowa County
Support Local Artists and CraftspeopleGenuine Wallowa County is a mission-based community service project that showcases high-quality handmade items from local and regional Western and Nez Perce makers. The goals of Genuine Wallowa County (GWC) are to:
- Expand the marketplace for makers.
- PAY THEM! GWC gift products are purchased from the people who make them, not consigned or taken for free in exchange for “exposure.”
- Give visitors, lovers of handmade items, and locals alike a one-stop shopping experience to share the bounty of the region with friends and family.
- Be as socially responsible, eco-friendly, and inclusive as possible.
Wallowa County Chieftain Holiday Gift Guide December 2021
Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce "Support Local" video November 2021
Wallowa County Chieftain September 2021
KOIN AM Extra November 2020
Northwestern Outdoors Radio August 2020
The Capital Press July 2020
Wallowa County Chieftain June 2020
Wallowa County Chieftain/La Grande Observer March 2020
ExplOregon: The Backstories live videocast from August 2019 (forward to 4:13)
La Grande Observer/Baker City Herald April 2019 (scroll down to pages 7 and 8)
GWC Supports the Community
Genuine Wallowa County makes annual donations to the Wallowa Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation and the Nez Perce Wallowa Homeland (below). $1 of every sale on the GWC Provisions site is donated to Community Connection of Northeast Oregon to support the food pantries in this area.
GWC and the Environment
Genuine Wallowa County mitigates its environmental impact by using recycled packaging, such as Geami Greenwrap and EcoEnclose labels with recyclable backing, and enrolling in the Pacific Power Blue Sky renewable energy program.
While working for the regional economic development district, founder Kristy Athens learned of a branding idea that originated in 2007. The name “Genuine Wallowa County” and its logo (designed by local graphic designer Joan Gilbert) were suggested by a Rural Development Action Team that worked with a group of locals to consider ways to stimulate the economy. There was enthusiasm for the idea, but not enough bandwidth within local nonprofits to support the brand, and it remained a recommendation in a report. Kristy received permission from available local stakeholders in 2018 to take over management of the brand.Founder Kristy Athens
Kristy had been coming to Wallowa County for nearly 15 years, drawn by both the landscape and the amazing, creative people who inhabit it, before moving here in 2013. She has an M.S. in Food Systems and Society from Marylhurst University and is the author of Get Your Pitchfork On!: The Real Dirt on Country Living. In her spare time (ha ha!) she hikes, makes collage art, and plays songs on fiddle and electric bass.
GWC values diversity and inclusivity of all kinds, including age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, race, religion, or veteran status.