Made in the Northwest: Imperial Peaks

Imperial Peaks
Imperial Peaks is a local company that sells dog leashes made with climbing rope.


SPOKANE, Wash. – Cody Stewart and Brian Horpel are a couple of friends who love the outdoors and love their dogs. What they don’t love are leashes that don’t hold up during their adventures.

“We were sitting on a chair lift like, ‘Hey, dude. My dog just tore up another leash running through, you know, the woods or what not,'” explained Imperial Peaks co-owner Cody Stewart. “And we’re just tired of buying new dog leashes.”

So up on the mountain, the idea for Imperial Peaks was born.

“We could build something for just us to make a dog leash that was durable enough just for all the stuff we put it through, whether that was snowboarding, skateboarding with our dogs, pretty much all the activities that we enjoy doing,” said co-owner Brian Horpel.

Steward said theyt decided to use climbing rope for the leashes for maximum durability.

“They’re on rocks all the time, they don’t fray, they’re very durable, they hold hundreds of pounds of weight.”

Horpel said they also use injection molded clamps to hold the rope together.

“Unless your dog is going to be able to pull 1,200 lbs. worth of weight, he’s not going to break out of it.”

The feedback they received from friends and family, in Horpel’s words, “Was pretty insane.”

So they started a Kickstarter campaign, asking for $3,000 to get Imperial Peaks off the ground.

“We hit $1,500 and $2,000 in the first two or three days, so we were like, ‘Alright, we’re on to something here.’ And we actually ended up doubling our goal plus some,” explained Stewart.

“We wish we would have gone a little more now,” Horpel recalled with a laugh. “You know, we didn’t want to be too crazy with it. But yeah, we did not think it was going to blow up as big as it did.”

They’ve since sold more than 200 leashes at $48 apiece. Stewart said the color selections are a big draw.

“If you want something that’s bright and vivid or you want something that’s, you know, a little bit more reserved, but also still has color to it, we kind of have both options.”

Imperial Peaks hopes to expand its product line in the future by making collars as well.

“Basically using the same concept, using the climbing ropes, but just with a slightly modified clamp,” said Horpel.

But the company’s main goal is to be known as the dog leash brand of Spokane.

“We just want to see them on as many dogs as possible,” said Stewart. “We want to be out there.”

And with so many locals who love the outdoors and their dogs, they may be able to reach that goal in the very near future.