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

Change at the pump?

The Latest
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
001thumbBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

New Jersey and Oregon are the only two states in the U.S. that ban self serve gas stations. But these two holdouts may be ready to give up the game. New Jersey is considering legislation that would lift the state's ban on pumping your own gas. Oregon is considering smaller scale changes.


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...

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...

Green workplace 2.0

Linda Baker
Thursday, May 28, 2015
IMG 2808BY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

Reinventing capitalism. Office dumpster divers. Handprints versus carbon footprints.


Read more...

Biker dreams

The Latest
Friday, May 15, 2015
bike at ater wynn-thumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is seeking input from businesses on a $5.5 million initiative to create a network of biking, transit and pedestrian trails within Portland’s central city.


Read more...

100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

As momentum grows at the state level to introduce far-reaching environmental regulations, such as carbon pricing and the Clean Fuels Program, Oregon employers continue to go the extra mile to create green workplaces for their employees.


Read more...

Stemming the tide of money in politics

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
 jeff-lang-2012-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

Jeff Lang and his wife Rae used to dole out campaign checks like candy.  “We were like alcoholics,” Lang says. ”We couldn’t just give a little.”


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