M. Crow & Co. is a 107-year-old general store in Lostine, Oregon, nestled in the remote Wallowa valley of northeastern part of the state. Wallowa County is made up of only six thousand people and has no stoplights.
M. Crow was opened by the Crow family who were among the first few dozen families to settle the valley in the late 1800's.
In 2012, Tyler Hayes purchased the store to prevent its closure and the loss of an iconic memory of his childhood. "I was raised in the very rural northeastern corner of Oregon," he says. "When I was five years old, my grandmother gave me her sewing machine for my birthday—a shiny black Singer. I made bad pants and stuffed animals and my mom taught me to sew a blind stitch by hand to close the stuffing holes. By 10, I ran a trap line and tanned mink and raccoon fur, built go-carts, bombs and even unsuccessfully tried to steam-bend homemade snow shoes. Making things blew my mind; materials, shapes, colors and mechanics. Back then I had this recurring fantasy of wanting to make everything in my life that I used or needed. As an adult, I became a painter and sculptor and then eventually a furniture designer and builder, founding BDDW in the late 90's."
M. Crow is an awkward collision of Tyler's hobbies and interests and an outlet for fulfilling that childhood fantasy. He is making from scratch the things he wants or needs, and making extras in order to sell them. He has designed most of the products with locally gathered materials.