Ruffwear Extends Reach to Fido in the Far East

Business Oregon's Global Strategies team has helped Ruffwear, the Bend-based maker of outdoor gear for active canines; grow successfully around the globe and here at home.

On three different occasions in 2010, 2011 and 2012, Business Oregon gave the company export assistance grants to help it defray the costs of appearing at trade shows in Germany and Japan. Most recently, Business Oregon extended a $600,000 Oregon Business Development Fund (OBDF) loan to help the company move to a larger production site in Bend.

"We are all looking forward to the opportunities that our new space will inspire," Patrick Kruse, owner and founder of Ruffwear, said in a press release at the time of the company's move in January 2013. "The new building's huge distribution center allows us to continually improve our logistics processes. Our new design and development center will be decked out with new tools that rival Santa's workshop, allowing us to quickly cobble together whatever we conjure up for our four-legged friends and their human companions."

The move to the 21,000-square-foot building was part of the company's plan to bring the majority of Ruffwear under one roof. By consolidating into a single location, Ruffwear, which employs 22 workers, will streamline its operations, improve collaboration, have room to grow, and be that much closer to trails and open space for product testing.

The export assistance, in the form of two Oregon Trade Promotion Program grants, helped the company attend the Outdoor 2010 and 2011 trade shows in Friedrichshafen, Germany. In 2012, the company received a STEP grant to attend the Mont-Bell Supplier conference in Tokyo, Japan, where the company's products have proven especially popular. The company was awarded an Export Achievement Award in late 2012 for their efforts.