Embark started as a dream for Ruffwear’s Will Blount and Patrick Kruse. In 2016, they realized the company was outgrowing their current space and they’d need to expand. Entrepreneurs at heart, they envisioned an opportunity to give back to the start-up spirit in Bend, and the idea of creating a coworking space to support up-and-coming companies, expose Ruffwear team members to new ideas, and foster community was born.
While Ruffwear, a performance dog gear company, is an international business now, it started as just one guy working in his garage on a great idea in 1994. Having benefited from the support and mentorship of many others over the years, Ruffwear was inspired to pay it forward by creating a place for people with shared values to come together and cultivate innovation and change through relationship building.
The Embark Community
Three years and a massive renovation project later, the vision has become a reality! Embark is now home to an inspiring coworking community, the Ruffwear retail store, Crow’s Feet, and Embark Fitness. Members of this collective are explorers who have a shared sense of stewardship for our wilderness areas, and reflect a diverse range of professions.
The Embark building was inspired, designed and built with our environment in mind. Always driven to reduce our impact on the living planet, we chose many construction strategies and materials to purposefully minimize energy usage, enhance sustainability, and create a beautiful, warm living space for our community.
Look down and all around you. One of the most prominent and special features in the Embark space is the nail laminated timber (NLT or nail-lam) ceiling/floor installation. This century-old, unique construction method re-engineers wood castoffs which we’ve stacked on edge and nailed together to create a durable, warm, and inspiring feature. All of the wood is Forest Stewardship Council certified and was sourced from Bright Wood, a mill in nearby Madras.
You’ll find a sustainable mindset wound throughout the rest of the Embark building, including hand driers, low flush toilets, LED lighting, and HVAC economizers with a night flush system. Even the beautiful kitchen tiles came from Fireclay Tile, a Certified B Corporation. To top it all off, Embark’s roof has a 63 kilowatt solar panel array to offset our energy consumption.
The interior aesthetic was shaped to connect us with our natural world and remind us of the power of creativity to inspire our paths into the future.
These amazing local artists contributed to this effort: Anna Kalbrener, Jordan Stone, Trevor & Erica Crosta, Ben Hull, Stemach Design, Robby Milo, and Nathan Wismer.
The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.
-Coretta Scott King
Get in touch with us
2843 NW Lolo Dr. Bend, OR 97703