Spindrift: Keeping It Local and Hands-Free | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Spindrift: Keeping It Local and Hands-Free

Why the Spindrift is awesome when taking your dog for a walk.

If you’ve spent time outside in Bend when the weather is nice, you know that dogs are prevalent. People here like to get out and be active, and many of them like to bring their dogs with them. But sometimes it isn’t very practical to have your dog on a leash, yanking your arm out of the socket.

That’s where Spindrift comes in—to ease your aching shoulder and to make it easier to get outside with your dog with their new hands-free leash system. Dogs are attached to their owners at the waist, making it easier for people to run with their dogs. This new leash system also makes it easier for owners to take their dogs on trails that require dogs to be leashed.

"The Daisy Runner changed my running experience,” said Stephanie Anderson Stroup, owner of Twist Cocktail Catering Co. “Before, I would have two dogs pulling my shoulders out of joint and now I have two dogs pulling me at my hips, up hills.”

Spindrift is a local business started by Mike McDowell in 1999. Although they are not the only local dog equipment company in town, something that sets them apart is their use of local materials.

“We do all of the manufacturing here in Bend,” McDowell said. “Nothing is produced overseas, and we try to get as many of our raw materials from U.S. sources.”

Spindrift has seven employees who produce gear that is sold all over the U.S. and in a few cases, overseas.

McDowell describes their products as, “dog equipment that is unique and functional for outdoor activity so your dog can join you going out to play.”

Anderson Stroup echoed what McDowell had to say. She has started running on the Deschutes River trail more often, someplace she used to avoid because her dogs had to be leashed.

“Running with my dogs is more fun than by myself,” Anderson Stroup said. “This has made running fun and it’s made taking two dogs out on a leash much easier.”

Producing quality equipment and using local resources is the most important part of the business for McDowell.

“We produce high-quality, functional gear in the U.S. with U.S.-made raw materials,” he said. “We’re not looking to increase our bottom line. I would rather stay local and employ local people than make more money.”

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