About Genuine Wallowa County
Recapture and Share Your Wallowa County Experience
Whether you have visited Wallowa County or are lucky enough to live here, you know how special it is! The sun shining on Chief Joseph Mountain, the fresh air careening down Alder Slope, the wildflowers on Tick Hill and the East Moraine, the cattle and horses grazing in pastures beside stunning, historic red barns. Maybe you hiked into the Eagle Cap; maybe you spent the afternoon sipping a hot beverage (or a cold one!) at a café or pub; maybe you learned about the county’s original inhabitants at the Nez Perce Homeland interpretive center or Tamkaliks parade ground.
While you were here, you inevitably came across local artisans, craftspeople, musicians, or other “makers” who were selling their wares at the farmers’ market or a shop in town, or performing at a festival, restaurant, or bar. Maybe you struck up a conversation, got their business card but then misplaced it, or walked by meaning to double back but never got a chance to. Or you had a great chat, and now want to share that unique experience with friends and family.
We hope you return sometime for a visit! Until then, check out the GWC website and celebrate the creativity of Wallowa County artisans and producers.
Support Local Artists and CraftspeopleThe goals of Genuine Wallowa County (GWC) are to:
- Enlarge the marketplace for local 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.
GWC hopes to eventually offer individual items and promote businesses whose products or services can’t fit into a box. Keep watching the site, and like us on Facebook and Instagram, to learn when we expand our services!
GWC values diversity and inclusivity of all kinds, including age, gender, gender identity, disability, national origin, race, religion, or veteran status.
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.
La Grande Observer/Baker City Herald news article from April 2019 (scroll down to pages 7 and 8)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.