Home Archives February 2007 VIP: Patrick Kruse, founder of Ruff Wear in Bend

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

A Complex Portrait: Immigration, Jobs and the Economy

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE & KIM MOORE

Oregon Business reports on the visa squeeze, the skills gap and foreign-born residents who are revitalizing rural Oregon.


Read more...

October surprise

News
Sunday, October 12, 2014
roundup-logo-thumb-14BY LINDA BAKER

Cylvia Hayes, tabloid vs. watchdog journalism and the looming threat of a Cascadia earthquake.


Read more...

Woman of Steel

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Tamara Lundgren tackles the challenges—without getting trampled.


Read more...

Measure 91: What Oregon Businesses Need to Know

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
91 thumbBY DIANE BUISMAN

Some common misconceptions employers have about marijuana.


Read more...

100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon [VIDEO]

News
Thursday, October 02, 2014

Screen shot 2014-10-02 at 11.17.21 AMMore than 5,500 employees from 180 organizations throughout the state participated in the 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon project.


Read more...

Shifting Ground

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE

Bans on genetically modified crops create uncertainty for farmers.


Read more...

The Bookseller

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Everyone knows college is expensive, but a look at the numbers brings that into sharp — and painful — focus.


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