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Partners for Simplicity
Running a lifestyle business in Bend is a dream come true for Rick Fredland. A rock climber, inventor and entrepreneur, Fredland found his calling with the 2010 launch of Silipint - and he recently found a new small business-oriented banking partner in Larry Snyder, our Central Oregon Area Manager.

Many small business owners talk about the point when business gets in the way of the entrepreneurial spirit - when the reason why you started your business takes a back seat to the necessity of numbers and margins. At some point, the passion fades. Rick recalls his former career as a corporate Customer Service Manager at one of the most premier and popular outdoor apparel companies in the world. He loved the sleek, no-frills gear and the care in which they treated their customers. But, he can point directly to the moment the company changed. Suddenly the word "service" was replaced with "sales" and the gear accumulated unnecessary and non-functional fashion over performance stylings.

"Don't get me wrong, I know sales are important!" Fredland states, "but I need to love coming to work. It can't be a fake experience. At the end of the day, I produce a widget. But what I really want is to build a culture, a lifestyle, and a business. That is why company culture hiccups bother me more than business errors."  It's also why Silipint is based in Bend, a rapidly growing entrepreneurial community. Even though shipping and distribution costs to Central Oregon can be higher, the lifestyle and cultural opportunities in Bend make the sacrifice totally worth it to Fredland.

Fredland and Silipint own the patent on their silicone drinkware. His team, made up of a former lumber salesman, a Chicago stockbroker, a Gen Y college grad, and an architect, started with one-off orders. They navigated the intellectual property maze, created prototypes, and established manufacturing, printing, and distribution relationships.  Opening new distribution channels is their biggest challenge. However, they are currently filling orders for the branding efforts of Home Depot, NASCAR, the PGA Tour, US and NATO armed forces and Harley Davidson.

"Simplicity of character is a natural result of profound thought," and Rick naturally looks for the truest route to create a solution. And by truest, he means based in values. Rick's inventing career began when a neighbor found a dog choking on a cyclone fence by its collar. It prompted him to create his first company, Tazlab, that made safe, elastic collars and silicone dog bowls that could fold up and be carried in a pocket. "Still, my best innovation," he says, "but I missed the patent by 10 days." Rick thought, why not a pint glass? After realizing that such a product did not exist, Rick made it happen. The response was overwhelming. Soon the idea was patent-pending. With the help of the Bend community and early-adopters, Silipint has steadily been growing into a successful, responsible business with goals of spreading eco-friendly, innovative and versatile drinkware around the world, and having a contagiously fun time in the process.

"I have grown a lot as a business owner and learned from my failures," Rick says.

Silipint banks with Lewis & Clark Bank because we "understand the entrepreneurial mindset." Larry Snyder, Central Oregon Area Manager, "was as persistent with me as I was as an entrepreneur. Trying to get a loan out there as a startup is a nightmare and there was a time years ago when Larry told me 'I can't help you'. The difference, though, is that he kept digging and was able to find a State of Oregon loan guarantee program that fit my business. Other banks, especially the big banks, didn't even make the effort to look. His effort alone is worth a relationship."
“At the end of the day, I produce a widget. But what I really want is to build a culture, a lifestyle, and a business.” -Rick Fredland