About Genuine Wallowa County

theresa stangel, arrowhead chocolates, gift box


Support Local Artists and Craftspeople

Genuine 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.

GWC History

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. In 2018, Kristy Athens received permission from available local stakeholders to take over management of the brand and founded the e-commerce store known today. Then in March of 2024, Genuine Wallowa County was purchased by Rayanna Mitchell. 

Rayanna is a "Genuine Wallowa Countian" having been born and raised in Enterprise. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration in 2010. After spending several years on the west side of Oregon, she moved back home in 2018. While working full-time, Rayanna had been looking for a way to use her business skills and connect with the community. The opportunity to purchase GWC came at the perfect time.

She is so proud of Wallowa County and the incredible talent we have here and is passionate about sharing that with others along with helping support local small businesses.  


GWC Press

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)

Like us on Facebook and Instagram!

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). 

sara averbeck, kristy athens, nez perce

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.

sustainable packaging


GWC values diversity and inclusivity of all kinds, including age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, race, religion, or veteran status.

lgbtq, all welcome, diversity, inclusive