Sponsored by Oregon Business

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

Downtime with the executive director of Greater Portland Inc.

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015

Janet LaBar, Executive director, Greater Portland Inc.


Read more...

Party Like It’s 1999

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
pets-com-sock-puppetBY JASON NORRIS, CFA | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Pets.com, GeoCities, eToys, and WorldCom … blasts-from-the-past that all signify the late 1990s Internet bubble. Yet we believe the dynamics of the market, specifically in technology stocks, are much different today than it was during the late 1990s.


Read more...

Beam Me Up

April 2015
Thursday, March 19, 2015
BY DAN COOK | Photos by Jason E. Kaplan

An alliance of developers, academics and timber industry executives wants to position Oregon as a front runner in the glamorous new world of wooden skyscrapers.


Read more...

10 Oregon companies positioning themselves for growth

The Latest
Friday, March 13, 2015
vcthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Ten startups have secured venture capital, angel or seed funding in 2015.


Read more...

VIDEO: The 2015 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon

The Latest
Friday, February 27, 2015

videothumbVIDEO: 2015 100 Best Companies to work for in Oregon


Read more...

Bike Chic: 7 stylish options for cyclists

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cycling to work is all the rage. But not everyone wants to arrive at the office messy, sweaty — and unfashionable.


Read more...

Oregon Business expands events portfolio

The Latest
Friday, March 27, 2015
htctfacebookBY OB STAFF

New events series brings magazine to life.


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