Sponsored by Lane Powell

VIP: Patrick Kruse, founder of Ruff Wear in Bend

| Print |  Email
Thursday, February 01, 2007

PatrickKruse0207.jpg

 

ViP  

Patrick Kruse, founder
& Otis, top dog
Ruff Wear, Bend

Credit Otis the dog as Ruff Wear’s muse. Otis, with his feet beat up after running on rocky river banks. Otis, who fell out of his lifejacket while being ferried across a rapids-filled river. And credit Otis as chief prototype tester for nearly all of the products that followed: boots, packs, life vests, first-aid kits.

Patrick Kruse didn’t start with dogs. At 16, he tested out of high school and left Southern California to work for several years on charter boats in the Caribbean and South America — experience he used to start a boat-maintenance business and kayaking-gear business when he got back to California.

In the mid 1990s, about the time Kruse was eyeballing Bend for its rivers and mountains to play in, a friend challenged him to make a dog’s water dish for backpacking. Thirty-two dollars’ worth of research later, Kruse was showing off collapsible bowls at trade shows, and testing his new ideas on an Australian cattle dog puppy. Last year, Kruse turned 45, Otis turned 11, and Ruff Wear’s sales were $5 million.

Kruse always has tried to work in the environment he plays in, turning existing products into something that people involved in adventure sports could use. With Ruff Wear, he bases ideas on customer input. Now his canine customers go beyond the adventure market to include seeing-eye dogs, military dogs in Iraq and bomb-squad dogs.

“It was always fun,” Kruse says, “but this gives what we do more value. It substantiates what we’re doing.”

— Abraham Hyatt


Interested in being a VIP? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

More Articles

Undersea Power

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Mike Morrow and Mike Delos-Reyes first came up with the idea of an ocean power device 23 years ago, when they were students at Oregon State University. They realized a long-held vision last summer, when their startup, M3 Wave, successfully launched the first ocean power device that works underwater.


Read more...

Business partnerships: taming the three-headed monster

Contributed Blogs
Monday, July 06, 2015
070615-businessmarriagefail-thumbBY KATHERINE HEEKIN | OB GUEST COLUMNIST

Picking a business partner is not much different than choosing a spouse or life partner, and the business break-up can be as heart-wrenching and costly as divorce.


Read more...

Nine lives

Linda Baker
Friday, May 22, 2015
0f4f7bfBY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

Roy Kaufmann always lands on his feet.


Read more...

Oregon businesses face destruction from future earthquake

The Latest
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
htctthumb1BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

An earthquake would completely destroy many Oregon businesses, highlighting the urgent need for the private and public sectors to collaborate on shoring up disaster preparedness, said panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast summit today.


Read more...

Department of Self-Promotion

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 17, 2015

061715-awards1Oregon Business wins journalism awards.


Read more...

Efficiency Boost

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

How conservation stimulates the local economy.


Read more...

Sun set

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE

The right sunglasses can protect your eyes and look cool at the same time. This being the 21st century, select shades are socially conscious, too. Portland brand Shwood uses wood and other natural materials and manufactures locally. Founded by Ann Sacks, the brand Fetch dedicates a portion of its profits to animal welfare. But whether you choose classic tortiseshell or aviator chic, please, shed the sunglasses when you walk in the door — and, of course, at night. 


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS