About Genuine Wallowa County
Support Local Artists and CraftspeopleThe goals of Genuine Wallowa County (GWC) are to:
- Expand the marketplace for value-added food producers, artists, musicians, writers, craftspeople, and other makers of things in Wallowa County.
- PAY THEM! GWC products are purchased from their creators, not consigned or taken for free in exchange for “exposure.”
- Encourage past visitors to the county to revisit their favorite makers and share the bounty of Wallowa County with friends and family.
- Give past visitors, lovers of handmade items, and locals alike a one-stop shopping experience for popular Wallowa County items.
ExplOregon: The Backstories live videocast from August 2019 (forward to 4:13)
La Grande Observer/Baker City Herald news article from April 2019 (scroll down to pages 7 and 8)
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 for this website.Founder Kristy Athens
Kristy had been coming to Wallowa County for almost fifteen 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. She works in economic development and served on the Wallowa County Farmers Market board for several years. Learn more at her website.
GWC values diversity and inclusivity of all kinds, including age, gender, gender identity, disability, national origin, race, religion, or veteran status.